Ah, December. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…the John Lewis advert, presents, parties Rudolf and all of the fun and festivities! Even if you’re not a huge fan of Christmas itself, I think everyone enjoys letting loose at the end of the year. Unless you’re a content creator, that is. Rather than seeing this month as a home run, this time of year seems to exacerbate stress and guilt over all of the things you have left to achieve by the end of the year.
I’ve noticed a fair few tweets on my timeline panicking about only having 20-odd days left to achieve a never-ending list of blog posts, shoots, campaigns and content. I’ve said it many times before but being a content creator is a graft. Especially if you’re a ‘weekend creator’ who also works fulltime. I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m in a constant state of juggling my ever-growing to-do list and feeling wracked with guilt about all the things I haven’t done yet.
But enough is enough. Instead of letting anxiety and my inner critic rule and spending the last few weeks of the year burning out trying to achieve everything I set out to do, I’m going to sit back and give myself props for everything I HAVE achieved this year. It’s not very British to admit this but I’ve been working my ass off this year and I have some amazing achievements under my belt. I’ve also seen some of my favourite bloggers working their socks off to achieve incredible things, whether it’s winning awards, working on amazing campaigns, writing books or simply upping their blog game. So why are we beating ourselves up instead of celebrating our successes? Why let a handful of outstanding items taint all of the things we’ve worked hard to achieve?
It’s hard to focus on what you have achieved and celebrate your success as we live in a society of overachieving and trying to have it all. We wear “stress” and “busy” as a badge of honour. I’m slowly learning that busy ≠ good. Instead of aiming for a life which is bursting at the seams, we should allow ourselves time to pause and celebrate each step towards a goal rather than ticking something off the list only to move straight to the next task. If you don’t stop to appreciate your work, you won’t find happiness, contentment or joy in what you do.
This doesn’t mean stop setting yourself goals or dial down your ambition, it’s just being realistic about your goals and being able to hit pause without being wracked with guilt. I put together a couple of tips to tick off a couple of projects on your to-do list while keeping your sanity over the festive season:
- Set goals…but be realistic. Would you rather do things or do them well?
- Prioritise your mental health. Giving yourself an evening, day or even week off when you need it will do you the world of good.
- Remind yourself what you’ve already achieved this year.
My most important piece of advice is: give yourself time to let your hair down. Be kind to yourself, take the pressure off and let yourself have fun.
Photography by Kylie Eyra.