So, September has rolled around all too quickly, and the summer is quickly becoming a distant memory. Work is back in full swing, and the next big thing I personally have to look forward too is Christmas. Autumn is my fave time of year as I can start wearing layers again, and Lord knows I don’t have much time for flashing flesh. Pass me the jeans and knitwear any day.
I’ve still got a bunch of holiday photos that I’m yet to post, and looking back through them got me thinking about how much I miss being that relaxed. Taking time away on holiday to relax and clear your mind is one of the best feelings. Putting the out of office on and being free from stress and work demands, even if it is only for a week. For me, it’s a huge part of looking after my mental health, even just the lead up of having a break to look forward to, often keeps my positivity levels up for weeks at a time. My summer holiday at the start of the summer back in June, and already it seems like a lifetime ago, and I feel like I really need another.
I don’t want to be a moaner, because it’s real first world problems that I’m not going on another holiday this year, I feel so lucky to have been away at all. But it’s true that there are so many pressures we put on ourselves, mainly from the internet nowadays, about how good our day to day lives should be. Because everyone else’s look like they are ‘living their best life’, right?
“Comparison is the thief of Joy” Theodore Roosevelt
One thing I hate about the internet, is all of those out there ‘positivity’ quotes, and captions, that spring up everywhere you go on instagram. Now, I’m really not out here trying to be a negative Nancy or anything, I’m always one to try and stay positive, and any inspiration is good inspiration right? But these fake ass lines like “Don’t work for 50 weeks a year to have 2 weeks on holiday living the life you want” are just outright stupid. It’s wildly unrealistic for most, and is a real back-handed motivator. It’s seeing that kind of content that puts subconscious pressure on us to achieve ‘the life we deserve’, and frankly makes me feel like I need a break from it all. Which is ridiculous because our individual lives aren’t all rainbows and butterflies like instagram portrays. These quotes are mostly instagram BS.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I’ve found myself lately being sucked into the online vacuum of just how well everyone else is doing, which seems so innocent, but has been really bad for me lately. Focussing on other peoples success is only ever going to hinder your own, and then I start to stress about that in itself. Basically, social media, as great as it seems, can be a real vicious cycle for our mental health. I’ve had to have a real word with myself and re-focus my mind onto what is real, what actually matters. Real life.
Now I’m not saying we need to jet off on holiday every time we feel a bit caught up with online pressure. But taking frequent breaks from the internet and making small efforts like just reading a book in bed at night instead go being online, has really helped me on my way disconnect from the negativity that the internet subconsciously plants in my brain.
Writing this made me think about how I can incorporate regular and achievable (and affordable) breaks into my life to keep my work/life/stress/calm balance on a level. Burn-out is real, and it will happen if we don’t think about breaks, and make them happen. I’m still thinking about how I’m going to conquer this struggle, at the moment I’ve not got much further than reading, unfollowing people that don’t inspire me or make me feel better. But they’ve made a big difference already. Small changes are powerful.
I think this is an area that I will need to revisit and maybe post an update on how I’m getting on, and other ways that I think can be helpful to improve. I just want to mention that as I write this blog post, I’ve ended up watching Casey Neistat’s video where he’s addressing the recent Joe Rogan/ Elon Musk interview and discussion about how social media is actually making us feel sad. Casey summarised saying ‘make sure you are watching for the right reasons’. And I think that’s the important thing to remember. If we aren’t doing that then we really need to take a break.