I spent a lot of 2018 learning about myself. I’ve harped on enough about how last year was a transformational year for me so I won’t be doing that again in this post, but one thing it did force me to do was take a step back from social media while I dealt with the ‘real life’ issues I was facing.
Up until my move back from London, I was posting on my blog three times a week, Youtube three times a week and Instagram three times a day. All this alongside my full time job was a lot, and meant that I was often working late into the night and all through the weekend to keep to my schedule. London is one of those cities which is filled with inspiration everywhere you look, and I was never short of visually appealing places to shoot or blogger friends to take snaps with which undeniably made my life easier, but ultimately I often found myself suffering from creative burnout. This would stress me out and I’d find myself frantically grasping at straws for content ideas meaning that the content I eventually put out wasn’t up to the standard that I wanted it to be and so the cycle continued.
When I moved home I wasn’t in the right mental space to be regularly writing on this blog, which forced me to take a step back from worrying about content creation while I sorted out the more important, pressing issues in my life. I still took the time to try and shoot over the weekends, but my blog shoots depended on a willing photographer (Mum) and typically took place in my back yard – suddenly the whole process was a lot less streamlined and I had to take a much more relaxed view on how and when I was creating.
This attitude then bled through to my Instagram and through to Youtube too. I realised that there were more important things in my life to be worrying about than half killing myself to create content, especially when I’m still at a level whereby this is my hobby/a small side earner. My career doesn’t revolve around any of my personal social media channels right now, and I’ll still be able to pay the bills regardless of whether or not I’ve uploaded to Instagram that day so why was I losing sleep over a self-imposed schedule?
By taking a step back it allowed me to see a lot clearer and in turn make the changes I needed to make in my life. My attitude towards myself changed too – where earlier in the year I had compared myself to everyone I followed, I was now firmly in my own lane and focussing on myself again. This new found confidence started to bleed through to what I was creating and meant that by the end of the year I was creating my best content so far.
While to some degrees I think perhaps I relaxed a little too much where certain apps are concerned *cough* Instagram *cough*, this more relaxed mindset is something I’m going to continue to embrace throughout 2019 too. 2018 may have been a learning curve but that’s no reason to stop working on myself completely and while I have some targets that I fully intend on hitting in 2019 career wise, I also want to make sure that I’m continuing to listen to what my mind and body need and focus on those too.
Time out can be frustrating but it can also be rewarding, if you feel yourself getting close to a burnout take a step back for a few days, re-evaluate and figure out what exactly it is that’s causing the problem. Remember, you don’t have to work yourself into the ground in order to be successful.