January and February passed by in a blur of blankets, baths and early nights. They were months of hibernation but my approach was more about survival than “self-care” (by the way – read this post on The Pool about the “self-care” trend, it’s brilliant).
Although we had some lovely things happen in the first two months of the year (a girls’ trip to Bath with my Mum, a stag do, hen do and wedding up north with Si’s family and various play-dates) it often felt like a hard slog to get through the day.
This was partly because work suddenly went very quiet for a few weeks which is, as a freelancer, the most terrifying thing that can happen. I’m used to being behind, chasing my tail and running to catch up, but rather than enjoy the lull I felt panicked, anxious and stressed. I’m well aware of the irony of this – when work is really busy I often yearn for a break in the routine and then when it comes I’m too worried to actually enjoy it.
Coping with anxiety
My work situation had a knock-on effect on lots of things. I would wake up in the night sweating, unable to get back to sleep, fretting about money (or lack of it), which would spark me to worry about other things that in the cold light of day were completely inconsequential. I feel like my anxiety peaked during January and February, which didn’t do anything for my levels of self-esteem. And no one wants to hear from a Negative Nelly on the internet, so rather than put out lots of content and use the time to blog and focus on making videos I just sort of… went away.
Instead, I started running. This has been the most positive thing to come out of the past couple of months. I’m now signed up to do a 10k run with my sister at the end of March and, although I’m no Paula Radcliffe, I’m really excited. I run for my mind, to slow it down, work things through, feel inspired and just enjoy being outside. If you’re thinking of getting into running then you might find my video about how I got started useful. You don’t need to be fit, be able to run miles or even have fancy kit to enjoy it. It’s been the single best thing I could do to balance out those horrible anxious feelings.
A new way of working
And with the running I found a new sort of peace and a new way of working. I started chatting with other journalists, bloggers and vloggers, meeting up with other creatives and putting together plans for collaborative projects. So while it may seem like I’ve not been putting out as much content, I’ve been busy behind the scenes networking (why does that word make me come out in hives?!) and coming up with new ideas. I’ve not been entirely comatose on the sofa, is what I’m saying.
Which leads me to where I am today. As we say goodbye to February and welcome in March I wanted to write a bit of a life update post, to let you know what’s been going on and what you can expect from me over the next month or so. There are now more of you reading than ever which is both scary and exciting – if you’re one of these people leave me a comment and say hi, don’t be shy!
March feels like the start of a new year, proper. With January and February out of the way, some busy family commitments and the period of hibernation gone, it’s time to get back to work and start embracing the situation I’m in a bit more. Effie now goes to pre-school three full days a week. This means I have more time to work, think and do.
And this is why, for March, I’m going to be upping the ante over on my YouTube channel. For March you can expect five videos a week from me. These will be a mixture of vlogs, sit-down videos and collaborations with other YouTubers. I’m pushing the nerves at creating this much content to one side and embracing the excitement. I’ve never been a daily vlogger or even done Vlogmas etc, so this is pretty new for me. If YouTube is your thing I hope you’ll join me and come and say hello!
I’ve also been a lot more active on Instagram over the past couple of months, doing regular Stories and spending more time with my photographs. I’m sharing more interiors shots these days, along with family snaps. Interiors are my thing and, although I have many things I want to do with this house of ours, I’m enjoying sharing the corners of our home a bit more. It’s still very much a place for real-life, unedited out-takes – just like all my platforms – but you know I like to indulge in the pretty too, and I can’t really help that!
So anyway, that’s what I’ve been up, what I’ve got planned and how I’ve been feeling.
Now tell me, what’s new with you?
I’m really keen to keep chatting in the comments here (although I know with Instagram DM’s, Twitter, Facebook etc I already talk to lots of you anyway!) so do leave me an old-school blog comment and connect!