“If it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive”.
I’ve already written my reflection on what I learnt in 2017, but as we’re a week into the new year I wanted to talk about one of the most poignant lessons that I’m taking forward into 2018.
It’s often glossed over on the internet – the blogosphere especially – but it’s so important nonetheless.
What I’m talking about is balance.
Amongst creative communities, mantras such as ‘nothing will work unless you do’, #girlboss and a relentless focus on ‘the hustle’ are more dime-a-dozen than Gucci Marmont bags on fashion bloggers.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in this glamorised workaholic whirlwind and be fooled into thinking that if you’re not spending every waking second of your day working, you’re doing something wrong. But when did this become normal or healthy?
“‘Off time’ is important.
Vital in fact…a form of self-care.”
2017 for me was all about learning to let go and have fun, but it took me a while to get there. Between a relatively demanding full time job and trying to grow my blog, I wasn’t allowing myself any downtime. My balance was way off.
Since university, I’ve always been one to go the extra mile. Nothing will get you where you want to be like hard work, consistency and discipline – that I stand by. But when you’re working a full time job and coming home to a side project, a hobby, how much is too much?
I think the difficulty is that I love blogging so much, so I never really see it as ‘work’ – but it requires dedication, organisation and time in front of a laptop nonetheless.
Because I wasn’t making time to switch off, I was overworking myself, suffocating my productivity and stifling my creativity. And then getting agitated and irritated when I wasn’t completing everything I wanted to.
Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’, try ‘it’s not a priority’ – how does that sound?
I have to constantly remind myself of this, but everyone has the same number of hours in a day, it’s up to you how you spend them. And if you don’t start prioritising time for yourself, it won’t happen.
I realised I had to start making life easier for myself, so I looked for ways to cut down on work and carve out a little ‘me time’. Obviously my 9-5 is my 9-5, but waking up early on a weekend to shoot some new blog photos? Didn’t I already have a backlog of flatlays I could use to go with that blog post? Was it really necessary to try and blog 3 times a week?
Just by making little changes like this, I was able to keep up with blogging – but now I had time to FaceTime a friend, get lost in a book or attend an exercise class.
And I felt so much better for it.
So when setting your 2018 goals, by all means reach for the stars – but don’t forget to go easy on yourself.
The phrase ‘work-life balance’ gets bandied around a lot, and that’s for good reason. ‘Off time’ is important and you need to prioritise time for it – as a form of self-care if anything.
top – New Look // jacket – Mango // trousers – Zara // earrings – H&M // bag – Fendi
Photos by Caitlin Pirie