I’ve been admittedly absent from the blog lately. It’s been a strange transitional time in my life. In a sense, I’m happier and more at peace than I’ve been in a long time. Not many people know this (even some of my closest friends), but just over a year ago, I was on medication for depression and anxiety. In addition to that, I was going through a breakup, financial troubles, and grieving the loss of someone very close to me. When I look back at how far I’ve come in just one short year, it brings a happy, grateful tear to my eye.
Though I feel so much relief to be on the other side of such a difficult chapter, lately I’ve been faced with a new set of challenges that I think so many of us deal with from time to time. You know the feeling, when all your days seem to blend together in an endless cycle of work, sleep, repeat. When weeks and even seasons seem to pass in the blink of an eye, leaving you feeling like you’re no closer to accomplishing your dreams than you were 6 months ago. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had some amazing travels and happy moments that I’m incredibly grateful for. It’s not lost on me that I’m very lucky to have a great job, relationship, home, family and friends that enrich my life. But at the same time, I’ve felt incredibly stagnant in terms of my career and personal goals. It can happen to the best of us, and wanting more fulfillment out of life is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
I’ve been doing some serious soul-searching about my blog and its purpose, as well as my relationship to social media. As someone who’s naturally very sensitive and self-conscious, working in a social-media focused industry has often had a negative impact on my mental health. I have often questioned what I’m doing all this for, and wondered if I’m really helping myself or anyone else by promoting a false Instagram reality (especially when my real life is anything but glossy and perfect). I’ve realized that at the end of the day, fashion (and blogging) really does have a useful and important function in society. So many of us today look to our favorite influencers for useful and trustworthy information, whether they’re showing us a pair of boots we absolutely have to have, effective skincare products, wellness tips, or inspirational travel photos that inform where we plan our next vacation. After taking some time to get re-inspired, I’m ready to approach my blog and personal goals with this new perspective.
Regardless of what industry you work in, all of us go through periods of feeling like we’re in a ‘rut’, when we feel stuck and don’t know what to do next, or when we might even question the path we’re on. I wanted to share some strategies that I’m personally using to try to move forward, in case you’re going through something similar.
Clean Your Environment, Clear Your Mind
Whether we realize it or not, we’re all affected by our physical environment. If our surroundings are chaotic, this can make us feel mentally chaotic as well. I’ve acquired a lot of crap over the years and I’ll be taking part in a Minimalism Challenge to clear out some physical and mental space for myself. I find that whenever my surroundings are less cluttered I feel more at peace and ideas seem to flow more freely.
To me, one of the most effective ways to get motivated again is to look to someone you admire for inspiration. Beyoncé is my go-to spirit animal, and if I really need a boost I’ll pull up one of her performances on YouTube to get my blood pumping and to remind myself that I have the same hours in a day as the queen. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is another hero of mine (check out my Halloween costume of her here!), and I found the recent documentary about her (RBG) to be incredibly uplifting. I’ve also just pre-ordered Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming, and I’m looking forward to reading about her journey and the struggles she overcame. Whoever your muse is, look to them when you need a reminder to keep going.
Count Your Blessings
It’s easy to get caught up in our daily dramas and forget how good we really have it. I’m guilty of this more than I’d like to admit. Whenever I’m feeling particularly sorry for myself, the number one thing that gets me out of a funk is to write down all the things I’m grateful for. Even when I’m in a really low mood, I can always find a pretty long list of things to jot down, starting with the fact that I’m alive, healthy, well-fed, clothed, and safe. It’s an especially important reminder when there are so many tragedies going on around us, from natural disasters to mass shootings and violence happening around the world. No matter how bad you’re feeling at a particular moment, remember that it can always be worse. If you need a cute gratitude journal to get started, try this one!
Give Yourself A Makeover
Never underestimate the power of a good haircut or good butt jeans. If you’re feeling blah on the inside, sometimes making some small changes on the outside can be a huge boost to your mood and confidence. There’s a reason why some people choose to get a totally new hairstyle after a breakup – it totally switches up your energy. Clear out your closet, sell (or donate) what you’re not keeping on apps like Poshmark, and use the extra cash to buy yourself a new outfit, get a manicure, a facial, or trim. It may sound superficial, but it works!
Get Out Of Town
Sometimes a little escapism is in order. Personally, I find nothing more invigorating and motivating than travel. It puts everything in perspective and reminds me that there’s life beyond my little bubble. If you don’t have the time or the funds to jet off on a vacation, consider taking a road trip somewhere nearby, or even taking a staycation at a hotel in your hometown (just make sure it has a pool or spa). Take two days to catch up on sleep, relax, journal, meditate, read – and hit the ground running when you get home.
Top | & Other Stories
Jeans | Closed
Bag | Naked Vice
Photos by Gabriel Bienczycki