Friday, 1 October 2021

Don't let burn-out be the thing to destroy you after so much hard work & Business section is live! | Editor's Letter



When I first started my business, I thought I knew enough for it to thrive. What I didn't realise was how much it was going to challenge my mental health.

The first major lesson I learnt in this insanely busy industry was burnout. 


And it hit me hard. 


After four months of no breaks, not taking long enough away from the computer or phone, and neglecting my social life for the sake of the grind, it so nearly had me tripping. 


Don't get me wrong, I did fall for a second. No shame in that at all and I'll explain why it was not a failure and how yours are not either. They are just lessons and part of your bigger story - if you so choose to tap in and listen, that is.  


I'll go first...


I started my Public & Media Relations business a few weeks after my dearly beloved Nan, Lyndis, passed away in April, so burnout was inevitable as I'd used my anger, despair and grief to fuel my drive


She was my world, and a voice in my head told me it was time to create a new one instead of moping about. 


My nan respectfully was a very "emotions later, survival now" kind of woman as many are of her generation. Hence, I say respectfully as they had the mindset drilled into them from children - as I learned from listening to my grandmother. 


I learnt countless things from my Nan but one that saddened me for hers and others sake is that the hustle is survival. 


It's not just about making millions. It's continuously having to work hard just to be able to feed a family without having the time or energy to really enjoy life. And it's been around for centuries. 


You don't have to own a business to be burnt out. We're all fucking tired! 


Generation after generation all across the world we are taught lessons to follow this path. It's not just governments either. It's our parents screaming at us to do more homework, teachers telling us we're failures without a degree, etc, etc.


Back to the story... 


In those weeks after my nan's passing, I think it was her calling to my intuition and giving me the inner strength to just, "bloody go for it, Sophie," as she would say. So I did it, I started a business after wanting to for so long but being scared.


You see, I, unfortunately, lost my job two weeks before she died. As a family, we decided not to tell her because she was incredibly supportive and proud of my career, and thus, we knew the worry it would cause. 


Whether it was my own inner voice or hers, I knew I needed to do her proud now she's watching, and I know she'd be most happy to see that I am proud of myself.




Enjoying this article and intrigued to read more like it? Check out:

- I'm going to embrace how 'annoying' I am, you should too | Editor's Letter

- Acting emotionless and nonchalant harms you, it does not protect you | Editor's Letter




Within a few weeks of launching my public relations business, I was doing it full-time and making more money than I was at my 9-5 in journalism due to sheer persistence balanced with patience. 


So, it really is no wonder I fell into 'hustle culture'. It was already ingrained in me, as it is for us all (I did grow up in a household that more often than not struggled to find the money for sometimes even basics), and the thing is, survival disturbs your peace. For it means you don't know how to stop or relax.


Because of this, for almost two weeks recently, I lost all motivation. Despite having a working plan in motion, support around me, and contracted co-workers so kindly (and gratefully) picking up the slack as I got my mind and body together. I proved to myself you can fall at any given moment - and that's okay because you can get back up stronger.


It pained me to step back. To stop working. I felt like a failure, mortified that I couldn't focus on my passions 24/7. 


Because that's my problem, my work is my passion more than anything else. It fuels me, gives me purpose, and makes me happy. It's my everything. It is what gives me life because I do what I love. 


So, when burnout hit and I couldn't focus on making any moves instead I was just stood stagnant it did make me very sad and lonely. The silence was defeating but my intuition screaming for peace was scarier. 


At that moment I thought to myself, "If I continue this, I will sink my own ship, and my businesses will drown with me". 


I started breathing instead of panicking about the few days I took off. Finally, after months and months of neglecting myself, I allowed myself a moment. 


This was when clarity, new and better ideas, and all the stress left my body once again.


Ever since I have made sure to continue my general wellness upkeep and self-care and it has only done wonders for myself, career and business. 


Rest sent my businesses and I ahead, not backwards. I was innocently wrong and naive, as many of us are on the topic that is: The Hustle. 


As I have learnt from my nan's generation and now my own, the hustle takes away clarity. It actually takes away the dream, it does not create it. 


You need space to be able to visualise something before you bring it into your existence. For that to happen you need peace and belief too. 


I'm saying this to you now as I learnt my lesson the hard way. For me it came up in therapy during that intense period of self-doubt and fear that I was scared to pause and take a break because I was worried if I took my foot off the gas, it would all crumble. 




Enjoying this article and intrigued to read more like it? Check out:

- Ditch imposter syndrome and prove yourself wrong because that's all that matters | Editor's letter

- Self-development will take you places nothing else can, it can also save your life | Editor's Letter




I couldn't believe what I had managed to achieve when putting my mind to something, and it, in all honesty, freaked me out. 


The fear that I could lose it all as quick as the universe delivered it shook me to my core. So I didn't want to get out of the fast lane, I was terrified of leaving the toxic survival mode that is conditioned into us. 


"That won't happen," I reassured myself one evening after a deep meditation brought up exactly why I feared losing everything with a different kind of clarity than therapy does. 


Before the meditation, time off, laughing with loved ones, and chats with a professional, I couldn't quite pinpoint what was holding me back. 


Why, when everything is going so well, and I'm genuinely the happiest and most motivated I've ever been, are my body and mind still punishing me? How the hell can I burn out from doing what I love daily? It made no sense to me back then.


Screaming for peace, I didn't realise what I actually needed was the stagnant silence.


Silence and rest give you direction, clarity and coat your soul in solitude, happiness and gratitude.


I fucked up because I got resting confused with quitting. That's where I fumbled the bag, as people say.


And I hope someone, at least one person, learns from me. Make time to laugh, to spend precious moments with those you adore and who inspire, and don't forget to take pleasure in the smallest of things. 


Therefore lesson one you will learn from me as I announce our new Business section is that rest is just as needed as the hustle. 


And yes, you read that right - as you did in the title - VavaViolet Magazine is launching a Business section with this article being our first of many!


For e-commerce etc., entrepreneurs, it won't be just me rambling about my traditional business or the digital one that is the magazine you're reading now...


We have been busy behind the scenes for weeks talking to entrepreneurs from all over the world. Collecting their best tips for you to read and learn from.


From their most significant lessons learnt to successes, whether you want to learn from someone two steps ahead of you or 20, you will be able to find it here.


Our main goal is to make sure you are looking after yourself while starting your business or growing one and providing you with all the tools you need so you don't burn out. 


All I have left to say is that after reading this article, while my words may make you think and ponder, it is your own drum you must genuinely turn to.


And when it tells you to rest, it's best to tune in.




Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-chief, Sophie Blackman



PS: Please do feel free to send in your pitches if you would like to write for VavaViolet Magazine. We pay for every article as your time is precious, as is your story and words. 

If you have learnt a lesson you would like to share or have a funny story to tell, email vavaviolet@outlook.com. 



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