Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Overworking and Overthinking. The Art Of Overworking?

missguided jumper dress

Jumper dress online here / hair by Sassoon / imagery by Oscar May 

It’s not an art really, is it, overworking ourselves so much so that we’re ill but it's increasing. The art of running ourselves into the ground. I wasn't good at maths but give me an exam on overworking and I'll ace it. I see the same pattern in my friends and actually, I saw it in my Mum growing up too. For some reason, I often push myself so hard that I feel incredibly unwell, exhausted, stressed and I know so many of you do too. There seems to be an obsession with running ourselves into the ground, whether it’s to prove someone wrong, to better yourself or just because you like the taste of success. Today I'm gonna talk about this and break it down. Warning: personal rambly word vomit post. I hope you enjoy. 

First and foremost, it's important to look at your emotions and understand why you're running yourself into the ground. Is it because you're trying to prove someone wrong? Is it simply because you're a workaholic? Or are you just passionate? Side note: you can be passionate without killing yourself from overworking. It's taken me a long time to realise that, to the point where I feel guilty if my laptop is closed on a Saturday. I actually can never get everything I need doing mid-week so seem to work all day Saturday and Sunday to try and get it done so a Saturday off? I feel so guilty. A prime example of this is a holiday I went on with some girl boss friends of mine, I'd deliberately got all of my work out of the way pre-holiday so I could actually relax and I remember feeling so anxious when I arrived because everyone else worked the whole week. I looked so lazy, sat on my sun lounger and felt bad, so much so that I eventually crumbled and gave myself work to do. It's hard, knowing when to switch off. Sometimes I switch off at the wrong times and then feel incredibly stressed when I get back to a pile of work.

I find that I have a to do list and continually add to it, it's really important to put your to do list into priorities e.g.: I need to get this done today, I could get this done today, it would be nice to get this done today. We often just continue to add stuff for the sake of it, or I do anyway. Whilst everyone else goes out on a Friday night, I get my kicks by ticking that to do list off. It's like an obsession. I'm passionate but I also want to prove people wrong, those people who laughed at me at school, those people who write nasty things, those people who have told me I can't do it my whole life. It's so satisfying crossing things off a list but make sure you're not giving yourself things to do for the sake of it. It's so important to take care of yourself and know when to switch off.

Know when to switch off. So many of us don't know how to. My job is 24/7, I'm so grateful for it and I wouldn't change it for the world. I don't schedule things. I have a rough plan but I try to take week by week as it excites me. An example recently, for on a press trip abroad, a journalist (no disrespect to journalists as I know they work hard!!!) enjoys the trip, lives it to the max and writes about it after, using stock images. I spend the whole week snapchatting, Insta storying, Instagramming then photographing then vlogging each and every second moment of the trip, from breakfast until bed. After dinner at 11pm I catch up on emails or edit the content from that day until 3am. I then wake up at 7 and do the whole thing again. I am extremely grateful that I get to travel the world but it was only when I compared this recently on a trip and realised actually, this isn't a holiday, nor am I being paid like a journalist is. I'm here to explore. I'm then finding myself shooting content all day, every second to try get incredible content of every single element of the trip, with no time to actually breathe and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I honestly felt like I needed to book a holiday afterwards, as awful as that sounds. The lack of sleep made me ill and the no-time-to-breathe. I blame it on myself though, it's a busy time of year and I probably shouldn't have gone because I had so much work to do. It's not that anyone was putting pressure on me, but I put pressure on myself and like to go above and beyond, sometimes sacrificing my health and wellbeing which is not good. I'm incredibly grateful to have these experiences and I don't have to push myself that hard, but my mind makes me do it. I need to stop piling the pressure on myself. So do you too, if you're doing the same. We are all just trying our best. The world is beautiful and embracing moments and experiences are important, away from the camera too, with my own eyes.

I got a comment on a vlog recently saying 'stop telling us how hard you're working'. As far as I'm aware, I rarely talk about the work element of my job, (and I'm sorry if I do too much). I feel like I have to censor absolutely everything I say with YouTube at the moment. One day someone will be offended by my clumpy mascara, one day they'll be offended by my over-grown roots, the next day it's because I dared to say I'd been up late working hard, or maybe my boyfriend doesn't love me because he isn't featured enough. These people aren't nasty people (okay, some are) they're just engrossed and genuinely interested but it's so tough to know what I can do and say, without upsetting or offending someone, adding to the pressure. I see my vlogs as a 'real' space or at least, the most real it can be so if I have a spot, you'll see it. If I'm having a bad day, I'll moan about it. I was once told to never moan on social media because it's people's way of escaping, but I think that's what makes social media dangerous. No-ones life is perfect and I'd hate to paint a fake picture, making the viewer then feel guilty if their life doesn't look the same. Obviously if someone moans for 30 minutes it isn't fun to watch, but sometimes, life can just be a bit like that. I obviously don't show every side of my life on my videos, the cute giggles with Matt or the cuddles because somethings are private. I've discussed my brother's illness a tiny bit but I don't always show the bad days, or the days I'm crying. The days we thought we were going to lose him. I don't discuss my heartbreak over not having a Dad or discuss what happened in my past. I can understand why people would wrongly judge because I guess I shield my family from the nasty forums online and don't want people to be able to judge them, like they wrongly judge me but I want to work hard on my YouTube so my audience enjoy it and knowing what I can do/say is a tough one right now. I promise one day, I will open up about all of this stuff but it's a really personal thing and I just don't feel ready yet. I'm not writing this for pity, I'm writing this to try and get my thoughts down on 'paper' I guess. Let's stop being so hard on ourselves and, hard on others. It's free to be kind. Read more on online trolls.

Hard on ourselves - We are too hard on ourselves. I know I am anyway. It isn't normal to wake up at 7 and work without any breaks until 2am. It's just not how life should be. We remember negative comments or failures, rather than seeing them as lessons learnt. I'm happy to take feedback on board, always. But feedback, not nasty criticism. Every time something goes wrong I try my hardest to learn from it but I am only human. Just like you are. I find in my job, if you do something wrong, it's really really wrong and hate campaigns will start. In any other job, that wouldn't be the case. I guess that's why I feel like I haven't been showing 'me' or my personality as much anymore because no matter what I do, someone has something bad to say. But these things make us be hard on ourselves. I'll judge my hair. I'll judge my face. I'll question if what I'm saying is going to offend someone. Don't let them. Please just do you. As my Mum always says, the people who love you and truly know you, which in my case, is about 5 people, know you're not a bad person. People change, people grow, people become better people. The person you were a year ago probably isn't the person you are today. A great quote I found today says 'there are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict. Walk away, the battle they are fighting isn't with you, it is with themselves. Be kind.

Take a step back - If work is becoming too overwhelming, shut the laptop. It'll still be there tomorrow. Set achievable goals, not ones out of this world. Goals are good but not if they're making you ill. Have a cup of green tea, run a bath, go for a run. Call your grandparents. It's embarrassing how little time I make for myself, where I'll run a bath and it'll genuinely feel like therapy. It's so important to enjoy 'real' life once in a while, that means life away from work, away from the Instagram algorithm, from your boss, from your laptop. Cherish that time with your loved ones and also, the me time.

Stress can make you really ill, it's something I'm really conscious of. If you're feeling stressed, do something that makes you feel better. On my stressed days, I know I'm a nightmare to be around it's about understanding that stress, figuring out why you're stressed and working out ways to deal with it then being the bigger person and apologising if you took your stress out on the ones you you love the most.

Self care - Don't feel guilty for having me time. My mission is to make more time for baths, runs, the gym. You guys know how much I adore the gym and I've made myself so ill and stressed recently that I haven't even had time for that. I do think a routine is so important. The gym is one of those things where if I don't go, I beat myself up but I've realised now that having a week off or even a month, is sometimes a good thing. It's important to recharge and revitalise. Listen to your body. Sleep is so important. 

You're only one person - The bottom line? You are only one person. You're allowed to make mistakes. You're definitely not a failure. You're trying your hardest and hey, even if you're not, you're allowed some downtime. Everyone is entitled to downtime. When your life ends, would you rather have had fun along the way and made some mistakes or made yourself so stressed and worked 24/7? I know it's cliche but life is for living. Never let anyone judge you, particularly people who don't know your story or the real you. It says a lot more about them than it does about you. Stay in your lane. Be a good person and sprinkle kindness wherever you can. Be kind.

Thanks for reading this rambly post guys, I hope you enjoyed it. Do let me know your feelings and thoughts on this topic. Sorry for just rambling away.

You might also like: 

How To Get The Work Life Balance
How To Deal With Friend Heartbreak

Lots of love, Em x

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