happiness = productivity?

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I feel like it’s a huge part of today’s society, everything is about productivity and getting stuff done – being successful is a measure of how regulated your sleep schedule is, how on top of your work out routine you are and how many things you got done that day.

It’s gotten to a point where if I’m not out of bed by 8am I struggle to feel motivated to do anything and I’m not sure how it got to this point because I’m pretty sure it used to be cool to sleep till the afternoon and not do uni or school work.

Personally I find it so much harder to be content and motivated when I know there’s a list building up of stuff that I’ve been writing down for a few days – there’s only so many times I can write ‘apply for a job’ before it becomes utterly soul destroying to actually do it.

I don’t know where the pressure is coming from, who I feel judged by or where this all began but I really hate that my productivity is directly equal to my happiness on a day to day basis and let’s be real, there’s no pressure from anyone or any kind of society, it’s just me beating myself up and I need to come up with some methods to stop… doing… that?

Step 1 – don’t be a dick. I mean, that’s generally good life advice but I need to stop telling myself I’m not good enough! Because it escalates very quickly from ‘I didn’t apply for a job today’ to ‘I have no skills and don’t deserve a job anyway’ and I’d like to think that’s not true.

But you know, step 1 is pretty difficult when it’s quite deeply ingrained in your brain. But what can I say, I’ve acknowledged the problem and I know roughly where to start. I think that’s progress?

Step 2 – figure out why I’m not productive and adapt my to do lists accordingly. But that’s not really addressing the problem of my productivity being related to my happiness.

Step 3 – it sounds too simple but just let it go. Let the list go, no pressure to do more than I’m capable of – work on relaxing even if I didn’t quite get everything done and enjoy an evening of not squeezing in more work and doing whatever it is I’m doing below average anyway.

Step 4 – I don’t even know anymore, I’m rambling for the sake of rambling.

It gets to this point in a blog post where sometimes I’ll doubt whether I really want to publish it – am I making a point or am I complaining about something that no one else really cares about? But I think it’s defying thoughts like that are important – this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I want to share!

I think there’s a lot of pressure in our generation on the internet that you’ve always got to be doing something, making something, working towards something and we all know that the internet can be a pretty toxic place. But defying these things that we’ve been conditioned to feel is the best way to combat it.

Today hasn’t been a productive day, but I had a really lovely afternoon working on my scrapbook and that doesn’t make how I spent my day any less valid.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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September Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been doing these posts for about six months now and I find they really help me focus on specific tasks for the month, especially because I’ve integrated them into my bullet journal spreads.

However, in previous months I’ve done a review of the last months goals before setting my new goals for the month and I’ve decided not to do that this time – these reviews should be a personal reflection for me to adapt and respond to but I don’t think anyone else needs to know or cares about last months goals!

Last months goals went quite well, ironically, you can read that post here if you like!

September has always been my favourite month, whether it was because it was my birthday month, whether it was back to school I was excited for or just going into the Autumn/Winter season, September makes me happier and I’m excited for this month.

[ S E P T E M B E R   G O A L S ]

  • work 12 hours a week – I’m fortunate enough that my mum has let me work for her company as a kind of Office Assistant/PA/learning about business management person and she’s always been open to letting me help but I was so focused on graduate job hunting that I hadn’t accepted it till now. I want to dedicate specific time to working for her company and I’m starting with (minimum) 12 hours a week and I’m actually kind of excited about it.
  • write 20,000 words (667 a day) – last months writing challenge was a huge success so I wanted to up the stake a little bit – I wrote 15,000 words in August so I’m aiming for more this month! I’m basically training myself up before NaNoWriMo (50k in November) but I’m really enjoying the creative freedom that writing gives me and being in the mental position to write again, I just love it.
  • driving – guess who booked her theory test and her first lesson on a whim when she was tired one night? Yes, it was me. My theory test is towards the end of this month, my boyfriend will (hopefully) be taking his test soon and we’ve nearly got our own car too. Right now, I feel the same as I did when I was 17 – I don’t want to learn to drive, I just want to be able to drive but it’s not the simple so I’m biting the bullet and doing it. My first lesson is on the 7th so wish me luck!
  • maintain no pressure exercise – I’ve written a couple of posts now about exercise and I think it’s not a phase that I’ll get bored of? It’s been about four weeks now and I’m still integrating it into my routine? And I like it? I’m having to change it up quite a lot because I get bored or I feel like it’s not doing anything but I’m actually enjoying exercising and boy I need to lose weight so hopefully by this time next month I’ll actually be able to see some results!
  • positive job hunting – will she ever stop talking about job hunting? Probably not! Being an unemployed graduate (bar working for my mum) has really got to me mentally – I went for a job interview that I felt really good about and then I didn’t get it and I felt like giving up. So alongside feeling really mentally low, I just didn’t have the motivation to apply for anything else. However, I’m pulling myself out of it and I’m trying to get back into the habit of applying for jobs positively and not looking at it as a mindless chore that will never amount to anything because if that’s the attitude I have than it never will amount to anything! Even if it means taking it a bit slower, I want to maintain a positive relationship with applying for jobs.

I’ve tried to make these goals realistic and achievable – September is a time for new starts; going back to school, back to uni, back to work and I’m feeling that kind of motivation without having school, uni or a job to go into it but I’m making my situation right now work as best as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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unfitness – when the going gets tough, listen to your body

2018, lifestyle

Hello,

I’ve gotten into a habit of blogging about something when it happens and then I become less interested or I find it harder to motivate myself and then in three months the cycle starts again. I’m determined not to let that happen with working out.

I wrote this unfitness post about starting a few steps back a couple of weeks ago and I was really excited, I was doing well at getting out of bed really early (well like 7am, that’s pretty early right?), doing 30 minutes of walking at various speed on the treadmill then having a shower and having a good productive day.

But hi this is bad mental health and it’s here to ruin your motivation to exercise!

Last week I managed one half hour yoga session which didn’t feel like it did a whole lot and one morning where I did ten minutes on the treadmill and ten minutes on the rowing machine. I didn’t even manage the ‘three times a week’ goal I set myself.

This is going to sound really melodramatic but hear me out: I feel like there is a hand around my heart right now and whenever I try to take a deep breath it closes a little bit. It’s an anxiety thing, I get it quite a lot but it makes exercising really hard, because whenever I try to push myself or do anything too strenuous breathing becomes a struggle and exercise is meant to make you a bit breathless but this is another level.

So I’m trying not to let this extended bout of anxiety stop me long term – I managed two sessions last week and it’s Tuesday as I’m writing this and I’ve just done my first session of the week and it was another ten minutes on treadmill/ten minutes on the rowing machine because I just can’t face doing any more.

(EDIT: I managed one more session that week (which was a 6km walk) and this week is looking more promising, follow me on Instagram if you’re interested in more immediate updates!)

But I did some. And at the end of the day I think that’s what matters – a part of my body is trying to tell me that I shouldn’t do the thing that’s good for me but I’m doing it anyway. It’s not a lot but it’s something and anything is better than nothing isn’t it?

I feel like I need to learn more about fitness and what I should be trying to like actually see some results but for now, I think I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing and maybe one day I’ll be able to afford some Personal Trainer sessions. But trying is better than nothing and not only is it working out which is good for your body but it’s also proving you’re better than your mental health, you’re defying it!

It’s hard, but it’s worth it in the end.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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July Mini Goals!

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

These posts are beginning to feel a bit repetitive as most of my goals are the same, but that’s probably a sign that I need to get my ass in gear and actually start ticking off some of these goals!

These posts are mostly for personal gain but if you’ve got any goals for the month let me know below!

JUNE GOALS REVIEW:

  1. Mental health: it’s a work in progress! I booked an appointment, went to the appointment, had a blood test and the results came back fine (I think?), now I’ve moved home I kind of have to start again but I got the ball rolling.
  2. Sort out my sleep schedule: Didn’t really happen, it’s been a weird month and I feel like I’ve slept okay but I’ve not been in control? It’s hard with no motive
  3. Finish my portfolio: Instagram portfolio, smashed it. Blog portfolio – untouched. Showreel – not even thought about. Really need to knuckle down with this!
  4. Keep job hunting: I mean, I have been job hunting but not as focused as before. I’ve had a lot of brain fog so writing a cover letter literally just feels like the worst idea, so mixed bag. LinkedIn has actually be really useful thought.
  5. Stay consistent with content: Complete (ish) fail – nowhere near as consistent as I wanted it to be but it was actually a really busy month, I lived on trains, I felt foggy and tired. It’s not an excuse, I could have done it but it would have been at the expense of making good content and at the expense of my mental and physical health. So, eh?

JULY GOALS:

  1. Content: Stick to the damn plan! Maybe I’m asking too much of myself which is why I’ve not been very good at this recently but I’m going to try and do my best to post two blog posts and two videos a week! Whilst I have literally zero commitment since finishing uni and not having a job yet, I should definitely be able to do it! For some reason I haven’t, so maybe this month I will.
  2. Portfolio: There’s no room for anymore excuses – I have all the difficult bit done, I just have to do the boring bit of putting each portfolio post on my website and then it’s done, then I can work on making it pretty and figuring out how WordPress works. I also want to make a showreel, but that one’s a bit more difficult and will take a lot longer so if I get it done, fab, if not, I want to make a longer term plan of the steps I need to make a showreel.
  3. Workout! I bought the BodyBoss workout program thing like multiple months ago and I’m yet to complete more than a week at a time. This was mostly due to the lack of space I had at my house in Southampton but now that I’m living with my mum who’s got lots of space and a lovely big garden (surrounded by bungalows that can’t look in!), so in July I want to finish the Bodyboss 4 week pre-workout program. Or at least, finish 4 weeks of it – I’m really unfit and I struggle so I might repeat a few weeks.
  4. Work experience: The biggest problem of the modern day graduate – “you need experience to get a job and you need a job to get experience”. Whilst I’m still working on getting a job, I want to get as much work experience in the field I want to go into which will hopefully make me more employable but also keep me busy and add to my portfolio! I want to make three inquiries this month.
  5. The dreaded J word: Who’s been talking about getting a job for approximately three months? Oh yeah, hi that’s me. But it’s still true. I would like a graduate job please. I just need to apply for as much as possible.

So that’s my plan for the month! I need to give myself a focus because I don’t have any work or uni commitments, but I’m also taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo and my family are doing a silly drawing challenge for fun as well as all the other things I want to do so maybe I’m overwhelming myself but we’ll see how it goes.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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it’s not all about results

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I’m someone who cares a lot about grades and I put a lot of pressure on myself – when I realised I wasn’t going to do as well in my A Levels as I did in my GCSEs I was heartbroken. And it’s not like I bombed – in my AS levels I got a C and 3 Ds which is a pass and I pulled that up to 2 Bs and a D which wasn’t awful but it wasn’t an A or an A* so I was proper gutted. But it got me into uni and that’s all that matters.

Then when I got to uni I was going to be a new person, I wasn’t going to care – I was just going to do the best I could possibly. Ha, that lasted about 10 minutes.

I scraped a 2:1 in first year but it didn’t contribute to the final degree so I wasn’t too fussed. Second year went really well for me and I ended up getting a first overall so my main goal for third year was to maintain that and do everything try to get a first over all.

And I tried my best, I worked so hard this year, and I didn’t do it. The salt in the wound is that I was only 0.44% away from the grade I wanted but I didn’t get it. At the end of the day, I didn’t get it. That sucks. Not going to pretend it doesn’t, it sucks a lot.

But. It’s. Not. Like. I. Failed.

I got a 2:1, I worked my ass off and I’ve got a great portfolio (check out my portfolio insta to see it in full, cheeky plug), I’ve had some incredible work experience that I got all by myself because I’m not a failure or an awful human being (shaking this mindset is a work in progress).

My life isn’t over. I’ve got a great degree. I could go do a masters if I wanted. I am still able to get a good job (hopefully, not successful on that front as of yet). So what’s the point in beating myself up about grades?

Conclusion: putting too much pressure on myself has been nothing but damaging.

I’ve picked up such awful habits from it, from beating myself up over every grade I got back, putting so much pressure on myself to work hard and make amazing stuff and everything needing to be the highest grade it can be and nothing I do is every quite good enough for that voice in the back of my mind.

And nothing good has come from abusing myself mentally like this.

It’s not an easy habit to break – I follow so many YouTubers and creators who are like ‘just stop doing that bad habit you have and be a happy person’ and that’s just not possible, not for me anyway. But it’s a habit worth trying to break because that kind of mental strain is only going to leave deeper scars in the long run.

So for me, what I’m doing to challenge this mindset are these three things:

  1. Telling myself that I am graduating with a good grade – a 2:1 is incredible and I worked really hard to get there and I’ve got a great community of people on my course, other friends and even a series of lecturers who are a great team who really helped and supported me. My university experience was incredibly positive and I need to remember that.
  2. Not pressuring myself too much about getting a job – obviously I need one and I really want to make the next steps to my career as soon as I can, but it’s not like I’m going to be unemployed forever and I’ll find my own path.
  3. I’m listening more to my body – I’m still making bullet journal spreads and doing what I can to keep myself busy and productive but sometimes, all I want is to curl up on the sofa and watch YouTube videos or I’d rather spend more time on fewer tasks and I go at my own pace. This has actually helped me be more productive in the long run!

It’s a work in progress, but I thoroughly recommend avoiding putting pressure on yourself where possible.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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June Mini Goals

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

Now that my degree and the consequent brain fuzz have passed (and a week of frantically catching up on content hence two blog posts and five recent video uploads!) I’m properly back on track – I feel focused, I feel productive and I’m ready to set some goals.

MAY GOALS REVIEW:

  1. Content focus: I didn’t do so well with this one at the beginning of the month as I’d just handed in my final project and I needed a break. I then have put out loads of content in the last week which isn’t awful but I can’t maintain it. On the bright side, out of all the content I planned to make in May there was only one video I didn’t make so I made lots, I just didn’t upload regularly at all.
  2. Get a job: I obviously haven’t done this. I’ve applied for the odd job here and there but nothing dedicated – I didn’t do as much research as I intended but I did a bit so not a completely lost cause.
  3. See more films: I saw 2 films at the cinema last month and this month I saw three! It would have been more but I had a look at my bank balance and realised I needed to stop going to the cinema. But I watched Infinity War twice more and saw Deadpool 2, so a very Marvel superheroes heavy month.
  4. Work on portfolio: I did really well with this one! I made a huge list of everything I wanted to include, sourced 70 odd pictures, redesigned my blog and in the process of uploading everything to the portfolio that is now a part of my blog and my portfolio instagram.
  5. Exercise: This one was a massive fail – I didn’t really do anything, I couldn’t stick with what I had planned and I just couldn’t bring myself to exercise, especially because I barely have the space in my house. But I did purchase the BodyBoss workout plan and I started Day 1 of the Pre-Workout this morning so going to try my best to stick to this one and go at my own pace!

JUNE GOALS:

  1. Do something about my mental health: The ‘exercise’ goal from last month was a real highlight that my mental health was the lowest it had ever been, I won’t go into too much detail but this month I need to do something about it. I’ve actually already started on this! On June 1st I booked a doctors appointment but it’s not until the 18th. I might do a whole post about it at some point in the future.
  2. Sort out my sleep schedule: One of my New Years Resolutions for 2017 was to become a morning person and I actually did really well – there was a point by the end of the year and before I finished my degree where I’d naturally wake up around 7am and I’d be in uni by 9am. But now I just can’t do that. This morning I was out of bed by 9am and I think starting this new exercise program will help me get up earlier.
  3. Finish my portfolio: With all the baseline work done, I just need to upload everything now! I’m well on the way to achieving this and additionally, I’d like to have a short showreel on my YouTube channel by the end of the month too.
  4. Keep job hunting: Obviously this is going to keep being a goal until I’ve got a job, but I’ve already got a bunch of links open with jobs I want to apply to so this month should be more successful. Fingers crossed at least!
  5. Stay consistent with content: Calm and focus is going to be my mantra this month – I’m loving my blog and YouTube channel at the moment and making content is something I really enjoy but uploading regularly and consistently has always been my issue. I’ve got a plan and hopefully I’ll stick to it!

There’s a lot going on in my head at the moment so whilst today is a good productive day, tomorrow may now be so I’m not going to push myself but I am going to try my best!

I’ve uploaded about five videos on my channel in the last week so if you want to catch up on those they’re linked down below.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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social media comparison: dangerous / motivational

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hi there!

I feel like everywhere I look at the moment, people are talking about how social media is such a ‘toxic environment’ – influences are only posting the best parts of their lives, teenage girls think they’re fat and nobody is as happy as they say they are.

But is that really the case? Is social media as awful as everyone says?

Short answer, no I don’t think it is. Yes, in some respects, social media invites you to compare your life to what everyone else is posting about their lives, but does comparison necessarily have to be a bad thing?

Disclaimer: if social media has a negative influence on your mental health and happiness, obviously it’s not good – I can only talk about my experiences with social media and it’s different for everyone so take my words with a little pinch of salt.

For one, not everyone is scrolling through Instagram analysing how every post they see illustrates why their lives are rubbish – I scroll past a photo of an influencer who’s bought some new furniture and I think ‘oooh that’s lovely!’, I’m not thinking about how my life is awful because I can’t have what they have. Does making this example about furniture make me seem really old? I don’t even know anymore.

For two, people are capable of going through social media and seeing people they admire and not comparing themselves (whether that be their body or clothes) to what they see. There’s a lot of talk, particularly with women and teenagers, about how people only ever compare themselves to others. In some cases, this is true (obviously) but in other cases, is it not just admiring someone who looks good? I follow a fair few fitness Instagrams and yes, I’d give anything to look like they do, I’m mostly just admiring how exercise has worked for them and it inspires me more than anything else.

(For the most part, on my really low days it can be depressing but those are the days I know I have to step away or look at something else)

Whether it be body image, interior design or career, social media can be an easy source of comparison but I’ve found in more cases than not, that comparison motivates people to be on the level they want to be – to work out harder, to work as hard as they can for that promotion, to be more like the people that they follow online.

In some respects, I think for us to assume that all anyone does online if negatively compare themselves to other is just that – negative, completely dismissive of how complex people are and we’re all capable of using and reacting to social media in different ways.

Obviously this is all very personal to me – as my mum likes to remind me, I’m a very competitive person so I’m often comparing myself to others and whilst it can bring me down and dishearten me, often it inspires me to be better, to be the best I can be. Sometimes it’s as petty as being able to prove to the people I went to school with that ‘media isn’t easy’ and I can and will be successful. Sure, that’s probably not the most ideal mindset but if it inspires me to work as hard as I can is it that bad?

I predominantly follow people from school to keep up with what they’re doing and watch them flourish in their own fields, because they’re so different to mine. Just to clarify – I’m not that badly competitive.

Comparison can be an awful thing and in some instances it is dangerous, social media can be an awful platform for that. But depending on who you are, how you use social media, how you react to other people, who you follow, what content you engage with and what they post, it doesn’t have to be.

For me, I find social media can be a useful tool when I’m feeling low – it helps me stop analysing my own life for a minute. It brings me out of my own head and into someone else’s world for a little bit – it’s a distraction as much as it is a motivational comparison.

But then that is just me – what do you think? Do you use social media for a particular purpose and do you find that has an impact on you?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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one day, I’ll love you | outfit

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

Let’s be flat out honest here – I really enjoy doing outfit posts and talking about body image and body confidence, so I wanted to do a follow up to this post, which was quite negative in conclusion and I got a fair few messages from people who were worried about me after that one.

I’ve always had a mixed relationship with my body – as soon as I hit secondary school it’s like my brain suddenly flicked a switch and I labelled myself as ‘fat’. The battle began with hating myself, comparing myself to my stick thin friends and staring at myself in the mirror at dance with nothing but pure resentment for myself. I reached a sort of peace in 2014/15 when my tumblr blog was a thing and every time I posted a picture I got lots of strangers on the internet telling me they loved how I looked (also my hair was lush).

Then I came to uni and got a boyfriend in second year I piled on a whole load of weight. Like 4 stone of weight. And I don’t say that to evoke reaction or sympathy (though there’s nothing to be sympathetic for), it’s mostly for my sake – I can’t be as ‘ashamed’ of my weight if I put it in writing, right?

Cardigan: Primark (mens). Long sleeved t-shirt: Long Tall Sally. Culottes: Primark. Sneakers: Primark.

Whenever I see people talking about body image, I see them talk about good days and bad days and I think the thing that hits me the most is I don’t have ‘good days’ with my body. There’s no point anymore where I like or feel happy in my body. So when I was thinking about what I wanted to wear for my next outfit post, I decided I wanted to wear something that made me feel fabulous.

And I couldn’t think of anything.

I don’t feel that surge of confidence in an outfit anymore, I have days where I feel less self conscious but that’s mostly because I’m wearing something that drowns me and no one can tell what kind of body shape I have in the sack I am wearing. But that’s not the same. I don’t ever feel that surge of self confidence that I used to get when I looked like this.

Heels: New Look. Jeans: M&S Tall. Top: Primark. Jacket: Probably Primark, I don’t know it was 2015.

But you know? This feeling isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it’s definitely not the end of the world (hear me out) – because it’s knowing that it won’t last forever that’s important.

Recently I’ve been coming to terms with my weight in a way I haven’t done since I was about 12 – 9 years ago. I’m not happy with it and I don’t like my body (at all) but doing anything about it right now isn’t a priority – I know I fairly recently wrote a post called ‘you can keep your health kick‘ but other than trying to eat a bit healthier, making time to go to the gym and workout isn’t something I have time to prioritise right now.

And if it bothered me that much I would prioritise it, so I’m deciding not to.

Just this week I placed a rather large ASOS order exclusively from the Plus Sized range and I’m really excited to have a bunch of new clothes that will fit me more comfortably! I’m slowly phasing out my wardrobe so I 1) have less clothes because wow I can hoard for Britain and 2) have clothes that actually fit me! Rather than a half a wardrobe I don’t entirely hate and half a wardrobe I’ll ‘wear when I lose weight’.

I’m working on getting my fabulous back.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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I hate that my boyfriend is so silly when he takes pictures for me because then the photos that are actually okay (like this one) are at dumb ass angles.

the final hurdle

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks feeling a little bit like I’m drowning – it’s taken me a couple of weeks to catch up on the YouTube videos I made but never edited or uploaded (I’ve just uploaded the weekly #4 and scheduled a January favourites video as of writing!) and I’ve not written a blog post since my rambly, somewhat obsessive post about The Greatest Showman… and I haven’t even been busy?

My brain has been busy but my life, really, hasn’t.

I’ve had one assignment. I’ve been putting off doing my big FMP project because if I start then it’s real and actually have to do it, which is a really stupid reason to be scared of starting a project but it’s true. There’s been some Sonar Film stuff, there’s been some personal stuff, but realistically I just haven’t had the motivation to do anything and it’s sad because there’s a creative, organised, ambitious human stuck inside the body of an unhealthy, emotionally unstable twenty-one year old who has the rest of her life in front of her.

But today that changes.

I applied for my first job today. My first real world, potentially starting a career, maybe graduating job. It was highly speculative and I almost certainly won’t get it, but there’s an ‘almost’ there and that’s worth a shot.

I’m feeling a lot better about everything, I’ve got a presentation next week and then after that the only thing I really have to focus on is my final project.

But that doesn’t help with writing blog posts or making YouTube videos, does it? A schedule does though! In the last week I have made a February content plan and it’s slightly more realistic than my January one was.

On the other hand, I was very proud for not beating myself up about not writing a blog post every week or getting behind on editing for YouTube – my mantra for content creation is ‘no pressure’ and I’m finding myself applying that to more aspects of my life and it works.

As soon as you take the pressure off and start to think of what happens as a result not as a consequence, but just a result then suddenly it feels a lot more achievable – even with uni. “No pressure” means I do the best I can whilst being conscious of my mental health and what grade I get is an indication of the best I could do when I prioritised myself – I think that’s an okay mindset to be in?

Balancing uni and blogging was always going to be a struggle – I don’t think there’s been any point over the last three years where that hasn’t been a struggle (how I wrote five posts a week this time last year I genuinely have no idea).

My conclusion is that stuff gets busy, sometimes I can’t prioritise what I want to do and sometimes I don’t have the mental capacity to do anything at all – but being aware of that, learning to recognise it and finding ways to combat and prevent is will never be a bad thing.

In three months I will have handed in my final project and the final hurdle of university will have surpassed. Whether I leap, climb or fall over it is yet to be seen but it’s in sight and I’m going to fight my hardest to jump as high as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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“under pressure” – why I disappeared from the internet

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

When I started this blog (over three years ago now, wow) I knew it would be a fairly big ask – I was in my last year of sixth form, I was applying for uni, I was already making YouTube videos once a week. But I didn’t make a big deal – it was somewhat unfamiliar territory so I didn’t make a big deal about pushing myself. Between September and December 2014 I wrote 8 posts.

In the new year of 2015 I started what I called the ‘365 Pages’ project, where I wrote a blog post every day for a year with each post being ‘Page 1 of 365’ and so on. I didn’t actually write a blog post every day – there were a couple of days I missed and I actually went away on an charity work expedition to Ecuador for four weeks and managed to pre-write over 30 blog posts and schedule 9 or 10 videos too (I’m still very proud of this, don’t know if you can tell).

So as my blog has gone on I’ve piled on the expectations of myself. It’s really not unusual for me to ask too much for myself. As the year of blogging ended, I decided I wasn’t going to have a schedule – I was going to have lots of ideas and write fairly regularly?

Yeah, no.

That didn’t happen so I planned a schedule – I think I uploaded three times a week and then I didn’t do that anymore. I don’t remember how my blog schedule changed between the end of 2016 and the entirety of 2017 but by September this year I just stopped. Third year began and blogging and making videos and basically everything else (like my diet and mental health, lol) took a massive backseat.

Third year has been really intense – in the 12 or 13 weeks that made up my first semester (I lost track, to be honest) I had 11 deadlines, pretty much one a week, I didn’t have time to do anything like cook myself food, I was in university 40+ hours a week every week, alongside running a society and rehearsing for a drama and performance showcase and trying to maintain friendships and a relationship and it was a lot.

Following the final result of my second year, I was driven for third year – I’d done the maths, I knew exactly what I needed to do to get the grade I wanted from my last year of university (so far). But that made me very stressed when suddenly I was faced with the reality of actually working at that level.

I don’t know if I’m writing really ominously or pretentiously or if I’m just not making sense at all, but not all the pressure came from myself. Third year is intense – obviously, it’s my last year of uni so it’s meant to be challenging and I thought I was ready but clearly not.

Maybe by asking myself to do as much as I can for third year, writing for my blog, making YouTube videos, running a society, being part of a performance society and having a job was putting too much pressure on myself? I was made redundant at the end of November so that’s one thing off the list and I’ve taken a step back from drama and performance until after Christmas. Sonar Film has been manic and I want to sit and have a day focusing on that over the holidays and I’m slowly working my way through uni stuff.

Writing all of this out really helps me, which is partially why I love writing on my blog and why I’m determined to get back into blogging and YouTube.

I’m someone who thrives on routines – writing and making videos as and when ‘I feel like it’ doesn’t work for me at all because I’m not someone who gets inspired to write things as and when.  So I’ve planned a new routine.

I have so many blog post ideas and I’m going to write as much as I can before I go back to uni properly at the end of January and I’m excited about it.

My aim for my blog and my Youtube channel is to take the pressure off a little bit – so that I have time to do it around my uni work but enjoy it as a welcome break from my degree. I don’t need anything else to be stressed about!

If you have any tips for maintaining a blog and a million other commitments do leave me a comment, I need all the help I can get!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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