Taking Time Off and Keeping Up with The Jones

taking time off and self careTaking time off?  But surely you don’t need to – I mean look at all these bloggers who do what you do.  They tell us they work until 2am sometimes and they’re way more successful than you… You should be working until 2am too.  Then maybe you’d be more successful.

Reading that back, just how stupid does that sound?  Ridiculous right?

Yet so many of us are sacrificing our own health to work longer than ever before.  It seems like every successful blogger under the sun works until the early hours, never switches off and hasn’t had a day off in five years.  Unfortunately, I can relate to that.  Holidays are for getting vlog footage fodder and come with work before, during and after as I love creating content around travel.  After discussing it with some of my non-internet friends I think we established that the closest I get to a day off is an eight-hour flight where I have no wifi – and airlines have even solved that ‘problem’ now too!

It’s too much and it’s making many of us ill.  My brain has never felt so wired in my entire life.  I know I need to take time off but there is that lingering feeling of guilt.  I feel guilty that I’m not utilizing my time more effectively.  Even sitting down and watching a box set, I feel like I should be editing or answering comments on my latest video.  I could always be doing something.

It actually took an intervention from my Doctor to make me realise that what I was doing wasn’t healthy.  To put it bluntly, he told me that if I didn’t slow down and take time off to rest, I’d be back in his office sooner rather than later, with full-blown exhaustion.  He confirmed what I already knew about myself; that I was teetering on the edge of exhaustion and I was taking too much on.  I promised myself last year that I would take more time for myself, and here I am having the same conversation but this time, I’m doing better!

My life is busy – I run two YouTube channels, a blog and social accounts on top of my ‘day’ job as a Social Media Manager.  I have a boyfriend, friends and a full social calendar.  I’m constantly online as it’s part of my job to keep updated with goings-on.  But when I find myself scrolling aimlessly at 4am because I can’t sleep, I’m only adding to my own problem.

I constantly see YouTubers and Bloggers that I look up to talk about how they sacrifice their whole evenings to plug away to be successful.  Is there anything wrong with wanting to be successful? No.  Is there anything wrong with them doing that? If they’re not making themselves ill, no.  And I know it’s my issue, but I’ve been so desperate to keep up.  But we’re all different and one person’s work schedule will not work for everybody else.  I love creating content and I, of course, want that content to be as successful as possible but the truth is, if it’s affecting my happiness, I don’t want it that badly.  If I’ve learned anything in this crazy journey they call life, first and foremost I want to be happy.

And sometimes you just need to remind yourself about that.

So what makes me happy?

Reading Harry Potter, watching Disney films, face masks, jigsaws, baths when it’s really cold…

Binge watching boxsets from under a duvet, playing retro PlayStation games, going out for lunch with Adam, having my friends over for prosecco…

All these things make my content better because I come back to the computer relaxed, happy and raring to go!  So why am I not doing more of them?

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be able to ‘keep up with the Jones’ and my time is better spent organising my diary to work for me.  That includes scheduling in downtime where I can to recharge my batteries.  I’m going to be having at least one evening a week and one weekend day where I do nothing content related.  I’m listening to my body and I want you to know that you should too. Without guilt.  Self-care is not a dirty word and taking time off is never a bad thing.

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