Putting Myself First

With August nearly come and gone, I’ve been thinking about the passing of time and how most recently, it’s literally been flying by. Safe to say this has been the fastest year I’ve experienced so far and trying to recall all that’s happened in the 8 months gives me a literal headache. Of course, there are certain things that stand out — most notably, how we got engaged! — but it’s also brought to light the fact that I’m in a constant state of hyperspeed. I’ve neglected to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak, which ultimately has affected my mental and emotional health.

In today’s fast paced world, it’s difficult to find a moment and just zone out. My day job is in the world of communications and social media; I love it but it’s demanding and stressful at times, and often I find myself prioritizing my work over everything else. This blog and my social channels are my side passion project, and certainly involves as much work, if not more, as my full time job.

You know that meme, “you have the same amount of time in a day as Beyonce”? Well, it’s true — and while she has an enormous team supporting her, I’d like to think the key takeaway here is about prioritization, project management and using whatever time you have in the day wisely, whether you have a team of 50 or 1… aka you!

Knowing that, the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome this year is learning how to say no. Sure, taking on that one extra project may look great on my resume or may get me that extra sponsored post I’ve been coveting for months, but with 5+ projects already on the go, can I ultimately produce a final result that I’m proud to say is mine? If the answer is no, then as hard as it is, that’s the project you have to turn down. Or delegate to someone else, as I’m learning with wedding planning.

Living and breathing social media certainly has its challenges: it sets you up in a world of instant results, where every decision you make and every post you publish is scrutinized. The pressure is magnified and certainly, I’ve felt the effects of it recently. So, I’ve challenged myself to stop letting my fear of letting others down and their judgement dictate what I do. I’m not going to lie, this shift has been a struggle, but certainly since accepting this mindset I’ve already noticed a huge change in my work and overall mental wellbeing.

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At the end of the day, putting yourself first isn’t being selfish. It’s a smart decision that supports your mental, emotional and physical health (more on that later) and will be your foundation in the long-term. Life is all about balance, and if that means you have to take a social media break for a few days or have to say no to a project, that’s ok. Because let’s face it: when you feel your best, you are the best version of yourself — and ultimately, produce the best work both personally and professionally.

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