Ah January! It’s a funny month, the expectation of a new year and what that should bring can put a lot of pressure on many, and I have to say I have found myself falling victim somewhat to the notion of how productive I would be, then feeling disappointed with myself when I’m not producing three blog posts a week, making two videos a month, recording a weekly podcast oh and being a full time makeup artist as I had told myself I would. Let me know if you can relate? Living in a world where many of us now hold down more than one job or try our best to make time for our side hustle(s), it can quickly feel overwhelming at times, and there’s something about January that acts as a quick reminder that we’re not super human.
I’m the first to admit that this January has already started with a little work obsession, especially with comparison and putting a lot of pressure on myself to write blog posts that engage, keep up with Instagram and get videos out on time yet the more pressure I put on myself the less productive I am. I struggle to accept that creativity can’t flow when I try and force it and I know deep down I would rather create content that focuses on quality over quantity (more on that here) yet the demand to please an algorithm only adds to the pressure. My expectations of myself are too much at times, and I have to constantly remind myself I can’t do it all, all at once, sometimes something has to give.
I had a really lovely Christmas and I was lucky enough to spend it with family, perhaps thats even where a little of the sadness comes from, saying goodbye again for a while to loved ones, and saying good bye to 4pm nap time while the smell of mulled wine fills the house. All good things…you know the rest, but seriously January can be a tough time for many for lots of reasons and let me be the first to say..its ok! You haven’t failed because your work life isn’t reflecting your vision board, or because you’re not at the gym 4 times a week, or even because you haven’t Marie Kondoed the shit out of your house. It’s ok, if you want to do those things you will, and if you have bigger fish to fry right now, then give yourself permission to put that first. For me getting out of the January blues is all about priorities. The first thing I have to do is to work out what’s standing in the way of the things I want and ask myself is there anything I can do about those things?
The best advise I was given in these situations is to write down on paper all the obstacles that are standing in my way of the things I want or the things that might be bringing me down. Next make two columns, one column should be for the things I can do something about, and the other should be for the things I can’t change, the things that are out of my control that ultimately when I accept will help me move forward rather than staying trapped in obsession, fear or worry. I really believe that even when you surrender a little to where you’re at right now it helps you take stock, breath a little and be a little kinder to yourself. It goes without saying talk to friends, talk to other people who may be going through the same feelings. A problem shared is a problem halved after all. If you need professional help, that could be the best gift you give yourself in whatever capacity that may be. We’re not meant to figure everything out alone, so we shouldn’t try to.
After looking at my list, the things I could change can now be actionable steps, things like keep a comparison journal for example, and try to look at where that comes from and what purpose it serves and catch myself when I’m in it. I can do things that help me feel creative again like taking photos, go to a gallery, a museum, read a book or paint. I can find apps that help me schedule the work flow I need to and ask for help where possible. Ultimately by prioritising (knowing the top priorities will change) I can look at what can be put on the back burner when needed. I can make a deal with myself only own terms. I know when work is crazy busy, filming just isn’t possible because of the things needed to put a video out, from planning, production, filming and editing it. But I also know being hard on myself when I can’t do t doesn’t help me in any way. Learning to stick to me priorities without judging myself (easier said than done at times I know) brings me calm and acceptance of whats going on in my life right now and that way I stand a much better chance of enjoying it and taking it all in. here’s hoping anyway!
Dress Alexa Chung For Marks & Spencer (Old) – Photos By Kayla Varley