Siobhan Emma

Lifestyle. Fashion. Travel. Disney

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Guess Who's Back...

Hands up if you started singing Eminem in your head after reading the title of this post!

This is just my borderline cringey way of breaking the ice on this blog after disappearing off of the face of the earth for seven months.

I've been back and forth with the idea of writing on this blog again.  In fact, I have written a couple of posts over the course of the past seven months, but then deleted them again, not knowing if blogging was really the right path for me.

I've been on a bit of a wild ride mentally over the past almost two years now since losing my Mum.  The sudden loss of her was a huge awakening for me.  It brought to light just how bad my mental health was (Sometimes still is), and as a result I've been figuring out what my triggers are, and what I need to do to make things easier on me.  I'm still figuring all of this out, but I think I'm slowly getting there.

I needed to take a big step back from blogging, social media, everything in order to really help me figure out what I need to do to get back on the road to happiness.  If I'm honest, I find social media to be really toxic for me personally at times, and I spent months and months blaming that on the other people on social media.  There's no denying that there are toxic people on the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the form of trolls and keyboard warriors.  It's only recently though that I realised that the problem was actually me...

The thing is, there will always be toxicity online.  Whilst ever people can hide behind the anonymity of the internet, there's going to be toxicity.  What I DO have control over is whether I choose to spend my time absorbing that.  I'm not a confrontational person, so I never read the negativity online to start an argument with anybody (Plus I know that it's completely pointless to argue with a troll!), but I would sit, sometimes for hours reading negative comment after negative comment and feel myself seething inside.

The best part is that none of these comments were ever aimed at me!  So essentially I was getting angry on behalf of another person (Often somebody I don't even know!) who probably wasn't even reading the comments and didn't even care about what was being said about them.

On the flip side I could ( And sometimes still can depending on what headspace I'm in) lose hours of my life scrolling through Instagram at other people's highlight reels wishing I had the time, determination and drive to work as hard as they have to achieve what they have.  The ridiculous thing is that I've always had the time, I've just wasted it all wishing I had what they have instead of getting off of my back side, putting my phone down and getting on with it.

I'm not afraid to say that there is a form of addiction there.  I don't think I'm anywhere near as extreme as others.  Whenever I'm with friends and family I can go for hours and hours without even glimpsing at my phone, and when I'm at work my bag stays in my bag, out of my way so I have no distractions from my daily tasks.  I find the addiction is based around a form of escapism for me.  When I feel sad I escape by looking at beautiful Instagram feeds imagining I'm living the incredible life of one of the Instagrammers I follow, or when I want something to be angry about I turn to social media to find that thing that will fuel my anger.

See why I took a step back?

During this time I've been doing a little soul searching.  Is being an online creative type something I actually want to work on, or do my passions lie elsewhere?

I tried getting in to fitness for a while.  I really gave it my all.  The truth though?  I'm just not that in to it.  I don't want to come home after a long day at work and have to get changed in to my gym gear and sweat it out.  I walk a good couple of miles or so a day to get to and from work, so when I'm home I want to cook tea and settle down for the evening to work on the things I truly feel passionate about.  As much as I tried, that thing is not fitness.  I definitely need to work on my nutrition and exercise some restraint when it comes to sweet treats, and I reckon if I nail that I could really get somewhere with my weight loss.  I pushed and pushed myself to continue working out, but I was resenting it more and more, so for now, I'm putting that on the back burner.

Instead of doing things I was resenting using my time on, I've started filling my time with things I actually want to do.  I've started leaving my phone downstairs at night, and instead of scrolling on my phone just before I go to bed, I've been reading for at least 30 minutes in the evening.  I've got so many books to read, so it's amazing making the time to read them, plus who knew that leaving my phone downstairs would lead to me having a much better nights sleep?  Shocking I know!

I've also been catching up on YouTube most evenings and as a result have been discovering more people to watch.  I've started a new DIY project that I have loads of awesome ideas for, and if all goes well I will hopefully be branching out in to opening an Etsy shop again.

I always spent time on my phone believing that I was using it to look up content as a source of inspiration, when in fact I was just using it as a tool for distraction.  The inspiration has come from actually spending time away from my phone.

As the creative juices began to flow again, I found the want to blog and YouTube return again.  I have so much footage from our trip to Florida to edit, but I've been so worried about touching it in case I do a terrible job.  Now I can't wait.  I even want to weekly vlog!

Receiving Bloggosphere in the post this week was the final thing that made me realise I'm ready to come back in to this world.  I'm subscribed to Bloggosphere, so have been receiving the magazine for the past two years now.  Since the beginning of the year I've had no inclination whatsoever to read it, and have even been giving it away to people who are more likely to get use out of it than myself.  When I had a flick through the most recent copy though, I actually felt excited to get stuck in to it.  Creative Siobhan is making a come back!

This time though it's going to be on my terms, no matter how much it might hinder me growing as a blogger/YouTuber/Instagrammer/Whatever people refer to themselves as these days.  This time I'm going to write about what I want, when I want, with no pressure on myself based on what the "big bloggers" are creating.  I'll be staying away from Twitter because I really do feel that place is toxic.  In fact, my only social media account I'll be using is my Instagram.  I'm a really visual person, so it's my favourite place to keep up to date with people.  Most of all, I'm going to make sure I have fun with it.  I want to experiment more with photography, and create content I'm truly in love with.

I'm really happy, and really excited to be back.  I hope you'll join me and see where we end up...

Thursday, 1 February 2018

It's #TimeToTalk

I suppose it is time I spoke up on here isn't it!?  It's been what feels like forever since I last wrote a post!

In all seriousness, today (Although there isn't that much left of today at the time I've finally been able to sit down to write this.) is Time To Talk Day.  A day where people are encouraged to speak up about their mental health.

Unfortunately, there are still far too many people out there who feel alone and isolated as a result of their mental illness.  Yes, we've come on leaps and bounds over the past 10+ years to break the stigma around mental health, but unfortunately that stigma does still stand in society, and it's those that suffer in silence that feel it the most.

I myself have suffered the affects of the stigma around mental health.  As you all know, mental health is a subject I feel so passionate about, and I will always encourage anybody who is suffering in any way to seek help.  Do I ever take my own advice though?  Rarely.

In fact, for the past 14 months I've suffered in silence.  Since the loss of my Mum, I've spent all this time taking care and worrying about everybody else, and apart from a short stint of bereavement counselling that I did at the beginning of last year, I've given myself next to no time to process the loss of my Mum.

If anything, I've played it down a lot of the time.  I've always been stuck in the mindset of "This is my problem to deal with, nobody else's.", and because of that I've found it incredibly hard to share my problems with others.  So I've spent all this time putting on a brave face for the world outside, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, then crumbling as soon as I shut to world out in the privacy of my own home.

This week, I was pushed to the edge and on the verge of a breakdown.  I couldn't do it anymore.  I needed professional help.  When I said out loud to Spencer that if I could trade places with my Mum right now I would, I knew I couldn't do this on my own anymore.

I decided to look at things from a different perspective.  I decided to look at myself from the outside.  As if I was listening to a friend tell me her problems.  I thought "If a friend was telling me what is going through my head right now, I would tell her that she needs to get herself booked in to see a doctor as soon as possible".  So that's what I did.  The very next morning I booked an appointment to see my doctor.

I personally find going to see my doctor about my mental health incredible nerve wracking. I convince myself they'll think I'm being ridiculous.  That I'm faking it.  That I'm just having a bad day.  Of course this is never the case.  Doctors very much understand that mental health is just as important as physical health these days, and my situation was taken very seriously.  I'm being referred for further bereavement counselling, as it's felt more is needed for me to help me move forward with my life, and I have been prescribed Citalopram to help me on a more short term basis to straighten my head out a little.

Whenever I get to the stage when I need to seek professional help for my mental health, I always feel a hint of disappointment.  Like I'm too weak to help myself, when in fact, it's the complete opposite.  Admitting that you need help is one of the hardest things you can do.  To actually go out and get the help you need and deserve, takes an incredibly strong human being.

I also realised I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Losing a parent is one of the hardest losses you will ever suffer.  It has a massive impact on your life.  In fact, your entire life changes forever!  Especially when the loss is sudden and a total shock.  That kind of trauma is going to have a lasting effect.

To anybody who is suffering low mood, depression, anxiety, or anything that is having a negative impact on your life, I urge you to please seek help.  Talk to somebody.  Whether it be a parent, friend, colleague, teacher, or even a doctor.  Please seek the help you deserve.  

Nobody deserves to spend their life feeling unhappy, and taking that first step just to talk to somebody can instantly help you feel like your problems are already halved.  There are people out there who want to help you, so let them.  Believe me, this is coming from the Queen of bottling things up.  I'm terrible for it, but as soon as I went to the doctors yesterday, I already felt a little lighter.

If you feel there is nobody in your life who you can turn to at present, then please call the Samaritans on 116 123.  They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, about whatever is on your mind.

Whatever you decide, don't suffer in silence any longer.  It's time to talk...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

What's In Store for Siobhan Emma in 2018?

That's a good question!

If I'm honest, for a while I wasn't even sure if there was going to be a future for Siobhan Emma in 2018.

I'm sure it's no real shock to you, what with my intermittent commitment to blogging throughout 2017, but I've really struggled in the blogging community this past year.  You're probably all sick of me talking about the loss of my Mum now, but the reality is, that event changed me, and one of the things that changed is my tolerance for pettiness.  You know what I've seen a lot of throughout the past year in the blogging community?  Pettiness.  So much pettiness.

I've found Social Media as a whole to be quite toxic this past year in fact.  I've hated being on it, yet, for the sake of my blog and being able to promote it and grow it, I've felt obliged to be a part of it, and I think this has eventually lead to the regular radio silence for my part.  I've only been able to take so much at a time before I needed to back off again.

Because of my feelings towards Social Media this past year, I've felt like I've been constantly at war with myself about the future of my blog.  On the one hand, it's no secret that I love to write.  Blogging has been a huge part of my life since discovering this world all those years ago on an evening when I should have been writing my dissertation instead.  My writing is something I've always wanted to get out there, I would love to grow my blog, and I'm very much aware that along with growing a blog comes a shed load of interaction and promotion on Social Media.

The reality is that I can't do one without the other, but every time I logged in to Twitter, the first thing I would read was yet another blogger spat, or underhanded comments being thrown around.  I felt like I was on the school playground again.

I couldn't see how I could achieve my blogging goals without the Social Media side of things, so slowly, I was coming to the conclusion that maybe blogging just wasn't for me anymore.  I didn't feel like I fit into the world that the bloggersphere had grown in to, and I was ready to bow out quietly, pretty certain that not many people would notice anyway.

Then yesterday I completed my final session of the stress control workshop, that I first talked about in this blog post here.  The final subject was based around our general wellbeing, and the importance of helping our wellbeing to flourish.  The course leaders gave us tips on how we could help our wellbeing flourish, and one of those tips was of course to invest more time into our hobbies.

Apart from reading (Can you tell I love anything to do with the written word?!), I couldn't think of anything I love doing more than creating content for my blog.  I love taking beautiful photography and writing what is hopefully great content for my readers, and I realised that I wasn't willing to just give that up.  Instead, I needed to come up with a solution.

There's no denying that Twitter is one of the biggest platforms to help promote your work.  As much as I hate being on there, I have to accept that.  So instead of avoiding it, I'm going to set myself small pockets of time to spend on there, whether that be to promote my blog or chat to others.  Maybe 20 minutes a day at the most.  The rest of the time I'm going to start using Buffer to my advantage and schedule as much as possible.

So heads up; if you speak to me on Twitter and I don't get back to you straight away, I'm not ignoring you, it just might take me a while to respond because I intend to keep my time on Twitter to a minimum.

Instagram isn't so much of an issue for me.  I enjoy the visual side of things; not just the photography, but the Instastories too.  I'm also yet to have a negative experience on Instagram.  I find it much easier to stay away from anything toxic on there, so this is where I plan on doing the majority of my promotion.  I plan on posting more regularly, and making use of the Instastories feature more too.

Now, lets move away from my hate of all things Social Media and move on to the things about the bloggersphere that I actually love.  Writing.

What kind of content am I planning for Siobhan Emma in 2018?

When I first started blogging I started as a beauty blogger, dabbled a little in food blogging, and eventually settled into lifestyle blogging.  When I moved into the realms of lifestyle blogging, I pictured myself covering topics like beauty, fashion, and travel to name just a few, and I have tried, and sometimes do enjoy writing about things in these areas, but an area I have touched upon this year, that I never dreamed I would write about regularly just two years ago is mental health.

Turns out I bloody love writing about mental health!

Having been on my own mental health journey over the past few years, it's a subject I've grown to be incredibly passionate about.  I find it incredibly easy to write about this subject, and in 2018, I want to delve into the world of Mental Health more.

In 2018 I will be exploring some career prospects that will involve my passion for helping people through their own mental health journeys, but that's a post for another day, and as a part of that, I would like it to become the focus of this blog in the new year.

As well as giving advice based on my own experiences, I want to share happy little moments in my every day in a bid to show that even in our darkest times we can still find little pockets of good.  I want to share tips on how to lead a happier life, and I want to help people work on their general wellbeing, because as I learnt today, if your wellbeing is in good shape, you will have less stress in your life, and less stress leads to less anxious and depressing thoughts.

I'm also considering investing in private counselling next year too.  If this is something I decide to go ahead with, I will share some of my journey with you.

I'll also share lifestyle posts from time to time too, but mainly, I will be focusing on mental health.

Now, I just ask you to bear with me whilst I establish some sort of schedule.  It's something I'm going to be working on over the next few weeks, but obviously with the festive season upon us, it could be a struggle to get it sorted before the New Year.

What I do promise however, is a fully running blog by the start of 2018.

Bring.  It.  On.


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