keeping my mind calm when I’m nervous

2019, mental health

Hello!

This week is a nervous one – my driving test is this week and for some reason, I’ve been feeling the effects long term anxiety for a couple of weeks now. It’s things like not being able to sleep, being unreasonably ratty and finding it difficult to concentrate.

And to be honest, it’s exhausting – it’s the heavy weight in my chest and the racing thoughts as I’m trying to fall asleep, so here are a few of the things I’m trying to do to combat it.

1. The Alphabet Game

If I’m struggling to fall asleep, I’ll play the Alphabet Game and go through baby names or films or food. I find this helps as a way to distract my brain and slow everything down – to stop the racing thoughts, try and lift the tightness in my chest and slow the heart rate down.

Also this is a fun family restaurant activity waiting for food!

2. Give yourself a little time off to do something you enjoy

Whether it’s turning off your computer, doing a little face mask or playing Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu for a whole Sunday afternoon (guilty) – giving yourself time to do something just for you, guilt free is a surefire way to keep yourself distracted and calm you down.

3. Have a morning or two with no alarms if you can

I know I’m fortunate to be in a position where I work very flexibly part time and at the weekend I don’t have any pressure to be up at a certain time. Sometimes, it’s not even necessarily that you sleep for much longer in the morning but waking up without the sudden panic of an alarm makes mornings feel much more chilled out and peaceful I think.

4. Try Headspace!

I know it sounds like a complete gimmick but meditation really does work – I’ve been using some of the sleep programs on the Headspace app (I’m sure there are others out there but it’s the only one I really know about) and I find them so relaxing – they help me breathe more deeply, I feel physically more relaxed and I feel like I’m more in control of how I’m feeling. It proves to me that I do have the power to control what I’m feeling and that’s really reassuring.

5. Apologise when you don’t mean to be angry

I’m quite a self aware person and sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in my own head screaming ‘I don’t mean it, I’m sorry!’ but I just can’t stop snapping and acting like a grumpy teenager. The best thing I’ve found is to be honest – to apologise and say ‘look, I’m really nervous and stressed about this thing, I don’t mean it’.

If, however, the person you’re talking to is making you justifiably angry then let loose.

6. Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t

Managing concentration when you’re stressed is a pretty good way to make yourself more stressed – looking at all the things I have to do when most of them are computer based and my eyeballs feel like they’ve been replaced with cotton wool is just the worst. But, focusing on what you have done or what you can achieve is important – getting one thing ticked off a to do list is better than none. Do what you can without pushing yourself because anything is better than nothing!

At the end of the day, the thing to remember is that life has a path – I’m halfway of the mindset that everything happens for a reason and halfway that life isn’t that scheduled, but the part of me that believes everything happens for a reason is often proved right.

For example, I was absolutely devastated when I failed my first driving test but when I upgraded my car and the transition from diesel to petrol was harder to adjust to than I expected, still having my ‘L’ plates on made me feel so much more secure because I had the safety blanket of everyone around me knowing I was new to the car!

I’m hoping for the best for my driving test, but if I don’t pass, there are ways around it – it will all work out in the end! Good luck for whatever you’re nervous or stressed about – it’ll work out in the end!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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New Year’s Resolutions 2019

2019, career, goals, lifestyle

Hello!

Guys and gals, a year of making myself mini goals every month (and January Goals are coming your way, don’t you worry) and I have the most organised, the most ‘me’ resolutions I ever could have made.

I’ve got two lists – one split into three categories and another which is more like a bucket list of goals for the year. I’m not going to blither on in the pre-amble because I think this post it probably going to get long!

Firstly, the categories – they’re the same as my resolutions for last year but a little more refined!

[ p e r s o n a l : ]

  • work towards my weight goal – eat well, build a workout routine

Since I’ve started seeing progress towards the end of last year, I’m more motivated than ever to see my goals through this year – over the next 12 months I definitely think I can reach my current goal but I’m leaving myself the flexibility to adapt these goals too.

  • prioritise tasks and make time for hobbies – stop caring about ‘productivity’ so much

This is kind of a double edged sword – on one hand, I want to put less importance on productivity, but also I want to value what I’m doing more and get more done during the day so I’m not sat in the evening pretending to work. I’d rather leave my laptop upstairs and make a better use of my time! I’m really going to reevaluate how I make my to do lists this year so I can get more done during the day and not spend the evening ‘finishing bits off’ and I can make time for the things I want to do.

  • self esteem, I need some

Whether it’s a bit of therapy or more personal reflection, but I’d like to feel more confident in myself this year.

[ c a r e e r : ]

  • build a freelance career – make my own work, be my own boss, be a superhero woman (essentially)

Having officially gone freelance in the last month of 2018, now I’ve got a whole new challenge to face in 2019 – not getting a job, but finding work. I’m both excited and terrified of it but the only way I can change my situation is to work on it so I’m going to make it work.

  • build my over media kit

I have my gorgeous little Canon EOS M10 but I want to build my own kit for events and work – on my dream wish list in a new DSLR and two lenses but I’ll develop this depending on the financial situation and what I need. Any recommendations from any media friends would be spectacular!

  • make a future plan with work goals, life goals, travel goals, aspirations etc

I love the idea of having a 3 or 5 year plan but what I’ve learnt from this time last year is that I need it to be more flexible and adaptable. So my goal is to make some sort of plan that I can adapt and change as and when, but more long term goals to focus on.

[ c r e a t i v e : ]

  • continue towards making the most genuine ‘me’ content on my blog and YouTube channel

I had a bit of a revelation at the end of 2018 that I felt a bit fake online and I’m definitely making more of an effort to make what I really love and what I’m passionate about and I’m excited to explore that more this year.

  • write a book? finish something? write more than I did in 2018? maybe some freelance writing?

Months like NaNoWriMo work really well for me so I’ve planned a few more writing challenges throughout the month so maybe by the end of the year I might have something to show for it!

  • work on photography – need to solidify basic knowledge and then work with better equipment

I love photography and I’m confident in my ability to take photos, but I think because I didn’t study photography at school, I got a little bit left behind with the real basics of photography at uni so I really want to go back and practice the basics.

[ t e n   g o a l s : ]

  1. Have a PT session – I want to know more about weight training and how to workout properly and I feel like for me I need to start with some professional advice so when I can drive and afford it, I’ll go to a gym and book a session.
  2. Get another tattoo – it’s getting towards two years since I got a tattoo and I want another one before the two year mark, so hopefully I can save for that.
  3. Read a book a month – I have so many books I haven’t read, so going to aim for 12 books this year!
  4. Do a grid drawing every month – I think it was two years ago I did a drawing challenge where I printed out a line drawing, divided it into the number of squares in the month and colour in one square every day. I think it’ll be less committed than a colour book but make me do a little something artistic every day, I’m excited about this one.
  5. Listen to more new music – I want to use my discover weekly playlists on Spotify and find some new artists to listen to. 2018 was the year of nostalgia and finding comfort in music I already loved and I think finding new music will really motivate me this year.
  6. Save for a new media kit – linked to one of my career goals, I really want to buy a new camera or at least be on my way to buying one next year.
  7. Have a little trip away with my boyfriend every month – I’m not saying I want to go on a full on holiday every month, just a little weekend, going to see friends, a little bit of European travel maybe, I definitely want to have a weekend in London for Winter Wonderland this year because I’ve never bin. Gonna change that!
  8. Take my driving test and upgrade my car – I’m so in love with driving at the moment and I’m hoping to have taken my test by April (ish) and my car, however lovely it is, I would like to get a newer car that I trust to take on longer drives across the country. 2019 is the Year of the Car, I’m so excited about it.
  9. Improve my posture – very, very different scale but being someone who’s always been tall for their age, I always compensated when I was younger by hunching over and trying not to stand out too much. Now I want to have better posture and strengthen the muscles in my back.
  10. Find somewhere to live/get our own place – my boyfriend and I had always planned to find our own place basically as soon as we finished our contract in our student house but nothing worked out as planned so going into 2019, we have a vague idea of what we’re going to do but I would so love to have our own place by the end of the year.

But who knows where the year can take us! One of the biggest things I’ve learnt since last year is that they goals can’t be set in stone – it will only lead to disappointment in the long run if I things change or what I want changes.

Either way, I’m really excited about this and working on the goals this year is really going to help me focus and make progress. Can’t wait!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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November Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

This is the penultimate goals post of 2018! And then we get onto all that good New Years content looking back on my goals for last year and making goals for next year, but even though that’s not many ‘goals’ blog posts away, it is two months in real time away so like the forbidden ‘C’ word, I won’t mention it again!

This month I’m kind of having to make some important decisions – nothing too drastic, but I need to figure out what I want the next year of my life to look like and what I need to do to get there. But, that’s on a broader to do list – here are my goals for November.

[ N o v e m b e r   G o a l s ]

  • workout once a week (‘gym’/running) – I was in a decent routine of using the treadmill and rowing machine in my mum’s garage a few times a week and I’ve completely fallen out of that routine. I have started up a new dance class (two even, in one day!) and I think once a week on the treadmill, building up my stamina and maybe getting a bit better at running is a good routine to get into.
  • NaNoWriMo! I feel like I’ve mentioned it approximately a hundred million times, but NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a website that brings together a community of writers to scribble 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1667 words a day and quite the challenge. I think I’ve mentioned before that writing is a huge passion of mine – I started creative writing when I was 12 and before I went to uni, every single night I would sit and tap away at my computer in front of the TV in the living room. I wrote a full length novel when I was 16 in NaNoWriMo so I’m going to try and emulate that success this year. It’s going to be a challenge but I’m so determined.
  • Balance work and making content – This month I’ve been pretty rubbish at working. I’m so lucky that I can work so flexibly for my mum’s business but I haven’t been very good at actually making the time for it. I need to set myself a stricter routine and in the end I get paid more when I do more work so it’s win win all round really.
  • Shorter to do lists – one of the things I hate the most is that I write myself a huge long list of things to do, and when I do them all it feels fantastic but when at the end of the day I’m staring at a list I’ve ticked one thing off of it’s both demotivating and daunting so to combat this, I’m only letting myself write 5 point to do lists each day. Hopefully this will maximise productivity all round and maybe even give me some spare time but mostly just keep me a bit more sane.
  • Plan December and 2019 videos – in terms of my blog, I’m pretty confident that I can write two posts a week and know what I want to write about and what I want to make. My YouTube channel however, takes a little more work and planning. I’m thinking about potentially doing Vlogmas on my main channel (you heard it here first lads) and I want to think about what projects I take on in 2019. 2016 was the year of the monthly vlog, 2017 I got back into making weekly videos and 2018 I’ve been weekly vlogging and making sit down vlogs (two videos a week!) for most of the year. I need to figure out whether I want to continue weekly vlogging, whether I want to try something new or maybe change it all up completely. If you’ve got any Christmas video requests do let me know!!

I’m feeling a bit more focused at the moment, there are certain aspects I’m trying not to think about but it’s all one step at a time, that can be part of next months goals.

Hope you all had a lovely October and are enjoying the colder temperatures – I’m loving having all my jumpers and blankets out again!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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thinking of ideas when you’re uninspired

2018

Hello!

I think we can all agree, that one of the most difficult things about making content consistently online is having enough ideas of things to talk, write and post about. Everyone goes through periods of feeling incredibly inspired and having loads of posts you want to write but similarly, I’m pretty sure everyone goes through periods of having no idea what to make!

I’ve been making YouTube videos for nearly 5 years and writing blog posts for over 4 and whilst I’ve had different consistencies of how frequently I’ve posted, I’ve made 300 videos and 600 blog posts and I think I’m doing alright! I’ve been consistently publishing two blog posts and two videos a week for a fair few months now so I thought I’d share my three top tips for finding ideas when nothing is springing to mind!

1. What do you enjoy making the most? 
Sometimes if you’re feeling uninspired, the best thing is to go back to content that you enjoy making the most because that always comes through. Making what you love often makes it easier to motivate yourself to actually make it and can reignite the spark for why you love making content at all, thus getting those creative juices flowing and maybe sparking some more ideas.

2. Looking back at what you’ve already made
Scrolling back through my blog posts and YouTube videos, looking back at what I’ve published, what worked, what people engaged with and reacted well to often makes me think of something  new I want to make or something I’d like to try again. Also works if you scroll through your favourite blogs or YouTube channels!

3. Using social media
Something as simple as searching ‘blog’ or ‘video’ on twitter or instagram (or your YouTube sub feed and recommend pages!), scrolling through what other people are making, even having a read or watch and engaging with others content, you’ll be inspired by something or like an idea or think of something for sure. Even if you end up using someone’s idea (as long as you credit them obviously!) it might get you back on the creative track and inspire you back to your usual, idea brewing self! Also a bonus that it’ll keep you up to date on trends and what’s popular and what is working for other people, which is always useful!

I mean, it’s easy enough to google ‘blog ideas’, I think we’ve all done it, but I’ve never found an idea or written a post from a random list of ideas that I’ve been passionate about and lists of ideas will never beat your idea or your research and it won’t really fit what you want.

It can be tough, but if you’re prepared to put the work in and make content that you’re really passionate about and love, then your content will be fantastic.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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how to find your niche

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been really thinking about blogging recently and what I want to do, hence why I took a week off last week, so I’m going to make more of an effort to make more lifestyle themed posts, not just a rubbish online diary.

I’m now classifying myself as a lifestyle, music and travel blogger and that’s where I’m sticking! The lifestyle is going to be more prominent than music or travel because those are more reliant on gigs or releases or actually going travelling and lifestyle is a bit more accessible for me.

But I’ve only recently made this decision of where I want my blog to be, so here are some ways I found to change up my style a little bit!

  • Read a lot of blogs!

It’s hard to know what kind of blog you want to be without knowing what’s already in that genre and what the genre (or niche) is! It’ll give you ideas and make you feel super inspired.

  • Google ‘how to be an X blogger’

It may feel a bit ‘granddad on the internet’, I know, but if you’re feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed, as I definitely was, it can be a really good place to start to get a feel for the genre, to get post ideas and to find new bloggers, which helps with the first point!

  • Try and brainstorm a bunch of ideas

You’ll realise you have more to talk about than you think and hopefully it’ll certify that this is the niche you want your blog to be in. Or, on the other side, it can tell you that it’s not the kind of blog you want to be writing before you start.

A blogging crisis was a bit distressing to me – I’ve written nearly 500 posts now and to realise I didn’t really know what I was doing shocked me a bit but having that week off to do a little bit of research and make some post ideas and figure everything out a little bit was really good for me – I’m in the process of trying to adapt the design of my blog too so if you’ve got any tips or can redesign websites, please let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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20 Things I Learnt Before 20

2016

Hello!

It was my birthday yesterday and I thought just to round off my 19 years, I’d write about 20 things I’ve learnt before being 20! And that’ll be the last I mention my birthday I swear.

1. Life goes on – things keep moving whether you want them to or not and more often than not it’s best to let yourself have a moment and move along with it (and more often than not, it’s easier said than done).

2. Don’t pretend to like stuff for others – music, make-up, clothes – you’re your own person and not liking something doesn’t have to be personal.

3. Don’t blame yourself for everything – while it’s so easy to think everything your fault, nobody’s perfect and beating yourself up isn’t going to change anything.

5. Savour those who make you feel loved – because people who put as much effort into a friendship as they get out are truly valuable people.

6. Don’t leave assignments to the last minute – just, do your homework. Seriously.

7. Sometimes, jam on toast is the answer – particularly at 2am.

8. If you don’t like something, you’re the only one who can change it – bad people in your life? Get rid of them. Bad habits? Change them. Only you can make your happiness.

9. Blogging is something I can do forever – it’s not a life lesson but genuinely, someone find me a job where I blog all day every day because I would love it.

10. I’m actually way more indie hipster than I realise and I don’t care – I actually quite like it.

11. Growing up is terrifying.

12. Travelling is the only thing I know I want to do – the list of places I want to go is longer than the list of actually concrete ideas for my career.

13. Wishing you could do something is useless, go learn to do it – you won’t be good at it straight away, but you’ll be better than if you didn’t try.

14. Music shows a piece of the soul – and it’s so expressive.

15. Art is everywhere and everyone has the capacity to be creative – but no one shows it in the same way.

16. Cooking is such a valuable skill – and it’s so much fun too.

17. Learn and embrace culture – because being narrow minded and blindly patriotic for your whole life is boring if nothing else.

18. Study and learn forever – just to keep growing as a person.

19. Always make things – for me it’s blogging and writing, for others it can be anything but staying active and making things is so satisfying.

20. Your 20s are the best years of your life – they can’t be any worse than being a teenager.

Happy Birthday me?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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What motivates me?

2016

Hello!

Sometimes I need a bit of inspiration to get out of bed – on bad mental health days and tired days I need a little bit more to remind why I need to get up for the day. It’s quite a personal list, as in this is what motivates me specifically, but hopefully others can take inspiration from this too!

1) The thought of getting my book published – if I don’t get up and do some writing, I’m never going to be able to hold that beautiful hard back book with a meaningfully written forward and my local paper going ‘can we have an interview?’ and my old school being all ‘come back to us we love you’ and me making another meaningful speech about how promoting academics and Oxbridge isn’t everything and I did it without any support from my school.

I’ve definitely not thought about this… at all.

2) Work experience I’ve already had – remembering what I got to do at Channel 4 and NASS, the work I got to do and how one day, I’ll hopefully be able to do more than that and work for other companies, bigger festivals and maybe specific artists.

3) Being a productive person who has their life together.

I can pretend.

4) I’ll feel rubbish if I don’t do anything productive – I’m someone who’s mood relies fairly heavily on how ‘productive’ their day has been and when I do a lot, even if I don’t feel inspired at the beginning, I often feel better and even more motivated at the end! For example, it took me the best part of half an hour to write the first couple of paragraphs of this blog post but now that I’m into it I’ll finish the rest in one go!

5) The people I admire might see me as someone they respect and might work with me as an equal. This is something I think about a lot – the people I watch on YouTube and the writers I love, I’d love for them to see me as an equal content creator, not some creepy fangirl.

6) Lucas – sounds super sappy, but a life with him where we don’t have to worry about things financially or be in jobs we hate and we can live in relative comfort is a real inspiration to me.

7) So I can end up in a job that makes me happy and passionate.

Being inspired and loving what I do are really important features to me!

This post in itself has actually inspired me a lot? If you like, you could leave the things that motivate you in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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