11 April 2016

Back From The Break


I'm back from a little creative break - you may have noticed that for the past two weeks, I haven't really been around on my blog (but always present on my Twitter and Instagram channels!). I needed to take that break simply because I was overworking myself, and pushing myself to the edge of a breakdown.
I don't use that word lightly, but ever since I started my career I have been known to get ill from the amount of pressure I singlehandedly put on myself and this time I could see that I was approaching breaking point. I paint pictures in my mind of how my life, job and the world that I revolve in should be - and get affected when my expectations don't match reality. For example, I've had a lot of comments from my friends and readers who think it's pretty great that I can manage a full time blog, full time job, am starting my own business and have added planning a wedding to that list. It is pretty great - but things aren't really going to plan, and it's thrown me in a frenzy of panic and darkness. I blog 5 times a week - that's a hefty schedule for which I give up most of my weekend; during the week, I simply don't have time because I work for a fast paced agency and have a horrendous commute. Those two were hard enough to juggle, then I decided that I am finally going to pursue my dream of opening up a vintage boutique - a third act to throw into the mix. Then, I manically rushed around planning wedding venue viewings and other important things we had to make decisions on before my fiancé left for Canada for 3 and a half months.
In the end, he couldn't make any of the viewings I have worked so hard to arrange which made me really upset and angry (because of my fiancés job, he hasn't lived at home since January so I'm pretty pissed about that), I wasn't having any luck finding stock for my shop and making money to launch it (if you're interested, I'm selling a lot of fashion items on Depop to make some money for the launch of Dalry Rose!), my job just got way too much and I was finding it hard not to burst into tears at my desk, and naturally my blog suffered too.

I was having anxiety attacks, and during one week I actually started having chest pains (which went away after a couple of weeks, thank the lord) - that's when I knew somethings go to change. I was getting really down about everything, wasn't happy with anything and simply lost interest in the activities that brought me pleasure. It wasn't a nice time, and it made me feel really crap/sad/like I was in a hole that I couldn't climb out of. I didn't want to spend time with anyone, I just wanted to spend my days in joggers and t-shirts, and I just kind of lost who I was. Although I tried to get myself back, I just couldn't shift this feeling of doom and gloom. On top of everything else, I have discovered that I actually find comfort in eating and have been stuffing my face with all sorts of sugary foods.

So I took a week off work and used that week to get some much needed rest, de-stress and spend some cosy time underneath my duvet (which is all I wanted to do all this time I was down). This week was enough to get me away from the busy environment of work, but I was still feeling like I was stuck in an emotional hole - so I extended the break to my personal life: I laid off the blog, put a little break on the shop and all the wedding plans got placed on hold until the return of my fiancé in July (of course, I'm still having a little nosey around for ideas and inspiration!!). This extra week gave me time to breathe and get my head straight about what makes me happy, and how I can be that happy person again. What I figured out is that it's simple really: I need to stop putting this immense, ridiculous pressure on myself, and focus more on taking time to appreciate what I already have in my life. Here are a few things which will help me on my journey to getting me back:

- Worry less: easier said that done, but I have already started worrying less about non life-threatening things which have been giving me anxiety. The moment I can feel my brain panic about something, I walk away and turn my attention to this questions: is there anything I can do about it - yes, or no? If it's a yes, then focus on sorting the problem - if it's a no, just walk away.
- Meditate: daily meditation has proven to help your brain focus on things that really matter (like your life goals) and positive thoughts which make you feel good.
- Spend more time with my animals: I have read studies which show that spending time cuddling your animals can actually help reduce stress - that and also the fact they make me really happy just by being all cute and snuggly!
- Eat healthier: cutting out sugars and artificial ingredients can only be good for your health, and I have changed my diet to include more veg, fruits, pulses and organic meat/sustainable fish. This should help my energy levels peak, and level my mood.
- Take things one step at a time: instead of going full speed ahead at 100mph whilst juggling one too many things, I am going to make sure I do these projects with love and perfection (I need to cut that word out of my vocabulary because let's face it - perfection doesn't exist and shouldn't be encouraged). I have decided to go back to posting 3/4 times a week on my blog but be really happy with the campaigns I work on and the content I bring to my readers, and not rush the stores launch date but rather ensure I am 100% happy with the content and stock.
- Take time to myself. Make decisions that benefit me, get time to rest without feeling guilty that I'm not spending time with someone, pamper myself weekly, and dress like I'm on a permanent catwalk.

Things are looking up - my moods are slowly lifting, I feel happier and like I have more energy to put into exciting projects, and I feel in control of my life. I was heading off the edge of a cliff but I managed to stop, and now am backing up into the road which will take me where I want to be. Eventually.
I'm back from the break now though - back to planning posts (I've taken so many pictures last weekend that I am super excited to share new content with you!), back to hunting for vintage pieces and working on Dalry Rose, and back to smiling.

I guess it really is all about perspective. So what if it takes me a little longer to launch my store - at least it will be exactly how I want it to be. So what if I don't reply to an email within 24hrs - no one is going to get hurt or die. So what if my post is a day late - I don't work on projects with a very tight deadline specifically because I want to be flexible with timings. And in terms of my personal life, I'm a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and things will fall into place. Eventually.

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3 comments

  1. I really relate to this in that I put so much pressure on myself and get worked up into a downward spiral when really no one else is putting that pressure there, just me. It can take me to some pretty dark and difficult places and I know how hard it is to pick everything back up and carry on. It seems like a break did you the world of good and I'm glad your feeling better about things 😊 You should never feel guilty about taking care of yourself. Thanks for sharing something so personal, I'm sure it took a lot of courage to admit that you needed some time x

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    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment Natalie! It's so easy to put yourself under huge pressure, but it's difficult (for me anyway) to take a step back and admit I was doing too much. It has really helped though, and I feel like I can start collecting my energy back! Back on to a happy, positive path :) xx

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  2. I loved this post - and can completely relate! I too work for a fast-paced digital agency full time during the week, luckily I don't have a horrendous commute and I've always admired people who can juggle the commute, full time work, blogging and generally just life! I too put far too much pressure on myself, and end up setting myself up for a fall on the daily, because I set such unrealistic expectations, life goals etc etc, and end up worrying far too much about such trivial things.

    Like you said - your doing so well, I think your shop is going to be amazing and I'm very excited for the launch, time is on your side, really, it isn't going anywhere so just do things when your ready.

    Can really relate to this post - thanks for writing!

    http://www.right-up-my-street.co.uk/ xxxxx

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