Welcome back to a brand new blog post – today marks world mental health day, so I thought I’d compose a slightly more personal piece of writing as it’s been a little while since I’ve written anything of that nature. I basically just wanted to type freely about something that’s been on my mind as of late – the pressure to keep up with the way the blogging industry is growing/changing, and how it can often trigger anxious times and make it feel like you’re treading water and way out of your comfort zone…
Now don’t get me wrong, I think challenges are important for everyone – it’s a positive thing to teach yourself to be uncomfortable now and then, it often makes you adapt and react more quickly in situations you fear. However, there is an increasing pressure to self promote, to host events, to be in shiny campaign videos – basically all of the things that cause me sleepless nights and anxious email responses. My anxiety is a part of me that I think will always be present in some form – but as my blog grows, so does my fear of not being good enough. It sounds silly, but there is a pressure to almost conduct yourself like a model or presenter, and not every blogger has bags of confidence or legs that go on forever. I am often envious of bloggers who almost double up as models and take to huge projects with ease, but for me it sometimes makes me shy away and rethink what the hell I’m doing. Then I think back to how I felt about YouTube before I started – I was completely convinced that it was something I’d never do, but now that I’ve started, I’ve actually found myself really enjoying it. It’s a new way to share and engage with you guys, and hopefully get across a little more of my personality. That being said, would I have taken the plunge had it not been for the pressure? Who knows.
One of the questions I was asked on a recent YouTube Q&A was have I ever doubted myself along the way? The truth is yes, massively, and I still battle with confidence and self doubt on a regular basis. For someone who (for the most part) can be quite introvert and prefers the familiar – creating content for the internet can often be draining. There are days when I sometimes feel a little suffocated by it all – constant expectation and new outfit ideas can be overwhelming. Perhaps sometimes I just want to wear the same jeans all week and perhaps I don’t feel like having my picture taken or promoting my own work. These are all struggles that rear their head from time to time – just like most jobs, there are ups and downs to blogging and sharing parts of your life with the online world. It’s funny because my phone used to feel like a personal object, but now I look at it and automatically think about work, I think about emails and posting new Instagram images. Sometimes just glancing over to where my phone lays on a Monday morning is enough to completely overwhelm me before lunch time. It’s safe to say that just over six months into freelancing, I’m still working on finding that work/life balance that works best for me.
There’s also this connotation that if you’re a freelancer – you shouldn’t complain. After all, you’re likely to be doing a job that you’ve chosen to do, exercising a skill set that you enjoy. In this sense, I often feel bad when moaning around friends or family when I have hard times – but this is silly. Everyones issues are issues to them – everyone has the right to admit that they are finding life a little harder than they did the previous week. This is not something that is automatically snatched from you just because you get to do your dream job. I might seem that I get to have amazing experiences from the outside (which I do), but what you don’t always see in the meltdown I might have had prior to going on that trip or turning up at that event. It’s all a learning curve, and for the most part, freelancing has taught me that although I might struggle with down times and self doubt, I am also way stronger than I sometimes let myself believe. No matter how things change or evolve, I have to be willing to move with that, and not get too caught up in the future or the expectations of others. There are going to be stretches of really happy/fun times, but there will also be times when I question myself and wonder if I’m on the right path. That’s just human. the only difference is, if you suffer with anxiety or depression, these times are likely to be heightened – that unavoidable crushing feeling in your chest that becomes all too familiar, but doesn’t get any easier to digest with each return. It’s important to take a moment to remind yourself that are you are strong, you are worthy of your dreams, and each bad feeling is only ever temporary…
If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or any kind of mental health issue – no matter how big or small you think it might be, talking to someone is always a step in the right direction. If you are based in Manchester for instance, organisations like Manchester Mind are a mental health focused charity that are working for better, more positive attitudes towards mental health in the city.
Photography by Adriana
Disclaimer: This post isn’t sponsored, I am working in collaboration with Manchester Mind to highlight their important work!
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