Happy Monday! I’m back today after taking the week off to share what I learned about myself during a few days of soul searching. Seven days might not seem like a long time, but it was more eye opening than I had anticipated. And it was amazing. I feel so lucky that I was able to do it without any major repercussions.
Before we get into that though, I just have to share details on this pretty little Draper James shirtdress. Reese’s preppy brand has created a bunch of dresses for under $100 and this one is my favorite because it’s super flattering and great for both work or play. It’s the perfect length and such a cute pattern too! I paired it with a white tote and white pumps for a fun spring work look that can easily be transitioned to drinks or dinner by swapping in a clutch and maybe some fun earrings.
But onto the more important things, like what taking a week off did for my emotional state…
Last week, I wrote about how I was going to gather myself and get into a better headspace after some serious anxiety that culminated in an anxiety attack. To be honest, the thought of taking time away from my blog seriously stressed me out at first. Would I lose followers? Would brands care that my numbers were down for the month because I wasn’t driving traffic? Would my management team be mad at me?
Clearly I’m not good at taking breaks as you can probably tell by the fact that I only took a two week maternity leave…
But guess what? My numbers were down and no one even cared, not even me. It was a great lesson in letting go of control and learning how to relax.
Relaxing, however, is something that I didn’t do much of on my week off until the very end. I packed my days with home projects like building some shelves, organizing Amalia’s old baby clothes, and putting together a dresser. For work, I finalized some future blog projects and shot a bunch of outfits. By the end of each day, I felt accomplished, but not relaxed.
Finally on Thursday, Anel was like if you’re going to take time off, you should at least enjoy it! So I booked a massage for myself on Friday morning, something that I haven’t done in forever, and fully let go. I was so blissed out afterwards, that I cancelled my plans for the rest of the day and literally just hung out… I walked the dog, ate my lunch outside (it was 70 degrees!) and didn’t do much of anything. I literally cannot remember the last time I did that. Maybe 2007? Haha.
All joking aside, however, the week off definitely gave me some clarity into my mental state. Here are some of the lessons I learned:
Don’t overbook: It turns out that I overbook myself almost every day. I only have six hours of childcare each day and in that time need to get my work done which is totally doable if I’m not out and about during that time. I realized that I need to dedicate at least one full day every week to no appointments, meetings, or plans.
Don’t take on any more: I’m already feeling at capacity with what I have going on (Anel and I have a super exciting announcement about his business that I’ll be sharing soon!), so taking on more work besides campaigns for Lemon Stripes has to take a back seat. That means personal projects too! We were excited to start Whole30 next week, but after talking about it a lot, I realized that the pressure of that right now would be too much. We still plan to do it in the next year, but for now I’m feeling really great on my anti-inflammatory diet without the pressure of being “perfect” with it, so I’m sticking to that for now.
Be kind to myself: Because I spent so many years working a “real job” and blogging at the same time, I feel like I’m not going anything unless I’m go go go from sun up to sun down. That’s just insane, obviously. I’m working on learning how to feel accomplished with more normal work hours and feeling proud of what I get done during that time.
In conclusion (am I writing a college paper?!), I’m so happy that I took some time to gather myself, realign, and let Mercury get out of Retrograde. I’m starting this week feeling on top of my game and ready for whatever comes my way!
Photos by Julia Dags.