Sometime in 2016, it was determined that we should be doing it all. You know, eat avocados, spend all of our mortgage funds on Pret sandwiches and Tweet/Snap/Instagram our every move whilst being watched like hawks from *cue dramatic music* The Baby Boomers. I’m kidding, of course. I’ve been working ahead of time a little, lately, in order to give myself a proper two weeks off from work and 80% of social media over Christmas. With that comes setting myself goals, that you’ll read about in due course.
Sometime last year, it was decided that we should take every opportunity given to us, girl boss our way through life and have our cake and eat it too. And for me, there was no reason why I shouldn’t and couldn’t have it all. Yes, I could run my own business and do it successfully. Yes, I could transition to a vegetarian diet. Yes, I could scrimp and save for a house deposit. Yes, I could eat however many avocados as I wanted. And yes, I could use every waking hour chasing pursuits here, there and everywhere. The only problem laid in trying to find time for it all. I began to ponder whether, actually, it was quite selfish to want an evening to put my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and drink coffees in the bathtub whilst watching Netflix. Suddenly, any moment spent j chilling instead of ‘girl bossing tf out of life’ felt like I was cheating. Maybe I didn’t deserve to be working from home, wearing whatever I fancied – often socially unacceptable garments, let’s face it – and perhaps I was a bit of a fraud for popping out on a two-hour dog walk and having an animated conversation with my dog.
Slowly but surely, I gave up my me time, the me time that drove me to pursue my dream of working for myself, and began to do it all. Well, everything else that wasn’t me time. Here’s what I learnt:
You’ll Burnout. Quickly
I’ve written about stress and anxiety and all of their physical health effects already but it can’t hurt to reiterate burnout to help even one person. Burnout is a real thing: you’ll feel completely drained of energy and creative juices and it’ll become difficult to function normally, whatever that means. So many times this year have I sat with my head in my hands wishing for some sense of normality to return to my everyday routine and to just be given a damn break. Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind a non-holiday if it meant I could just lie quietly in my bed listening to The Sims 4 Let’s Play videos on loop until entire days had passed.
There’s only so much that one person can juggle at a time. Mind’s Limit reported that the average person can focus on 3 or 4 items at any given time, so why the hell am I trying to juggle up to 6 clients a day, keeping a dog alive, myself alive, maintain relationships, run a bonus online shop and write a blog? Nah-uh honey, think again.
Everybody Needs A Break
Although this is completely self-imposed, I can work entire weeks at a time without giving myself a break. In 2017, I gave myself 8 days of annual leave. EIGHT. And girl, that is not enough. The modern-day norm might seem to portray the ideal of an everyday hustle by day and night but the ideal is more likely to hustle as much as you can and then just have as many tea breaks as you want. I’m a big advocate of breaking away from the 9-5 norm and we all deserve a break once in a while. For quite a long time, I championed using my passion as a break and that proved to be unrealistic over time. I plan to pour all my love into Honey + Chai in due course but sadly that hasn’t been the case in recent months. Using a business as a break simply isn’t feasible for me but that’s completely fine. It’s about time I shifted some priorities around.
You Don’t Have To Justify Your Decisions
Another thing I’ve really struggled with in the past 2 years is justifying all of my decisions, personal or business. And realistically? Who even cares. It’s awful that I ever felt I had to justify that what I do – browse my site here – is worthy of being paid for and that it is a ‘real job’. It’s awful that I felt I had to try and prove that my job isn’t any less than another individual’s job. I’m oh so happy with the business that I’ve built from the ground up and, hey, I can totally still indulge in ‘treat yo’self’ moments! Everybody’s a winner.
Finding A Sanctuary Is Bliss
Working from home has made me reevaluate my ‘happy place’. Arguably that is ‘bed’ but I found that spending all of my time at home made me feel anxious whenever I had to be out and completely delineated me from a normal twenty-something’s lifestyle. I’ve briefly touched upon how nervous and guilty I feel whenever I have to leave my dog at home (not for long, might I add) but it completely multiplies when you add in the fact that work = home and home = work. In October I finally mustered up the courage to join a gym and that has been a blessing. The gym has become my sanctuary of sorts, where I can work on myself, see results without the pressure of a client, listen to some music and actually enjoy myself. It’s good to get away.
Can you relate to feeling overwhelmed by ‘girl boss’ culture? Let’s talk!