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CREATIVITY ∙ FREELANCE ∙ WELLBEING

Progress Journal | Reflection Required

Portrait by  Ami Ford

Portrait by Ami Ford

As I opened up the Calendar app on my phone, and spied today’s date, I wondered where the heck the month had gone. I soon got to penning and posting this Progress Journal entry, and quickly realised that I hadn’t gone back to my previous post since the day I scheduled it to publish. It’s helpful to review them, or use them as a marker to move forward from, but I felt so far removed from it. In fact, the feeling of disconnect has been a common theme this April.

From the posts I’ve seen online, the friends I have spoken to, and despite my intention to create a positive thirty days, this month has been a dry one. I turned twenty-five, had a mini existential life crisis about where I am in life, and then proceeded to float my way through on a cloud that introduced itself by saying “Hello, I’m Absolutely Drained”.

It almost felt as though the driving force I felt in January, February and March had popped off on its Easter half term holiday. Leaving me with all the tools, but the energy of a gnat; only permitting me to engage in work related to my full-time job, watching YouTube videos, and relaxing with Gregg. Of course none of this is bad, and although I have said that I need to go at my own pace multiple times, my GOODNESS did I feel bad for resting...

Portraits by  Ami Ford

Portraits by Ami Ford

Sian

I’ve known for a while that I struggle to switch off completely. I’m always writing tweets whilst watching Netflix, or searching for Instagram hashtags on my phone, whilst flicking between various internet tabs on my laptop. Whilst I don’t think multitasking is necessarily a bad skill to have, it’s one that requires the awareness of knowing when to use it… And during downtime is not it.

Shoehorning myself into constantly doubling up on activities has led to all work and no play. For the longest time I underestimated just how vital play is in being my most creative, effective and fulfilled self. Not throwing myself into reading books, watching films or TV, getting out and about to exhibitions and museums, or just taking some time to watch the world go by wholeheartedly, has ultimately led to this detachment from myself.

So, slowing down this month was exactly what I needed. Acknowledging that I’m yet to actually establish a balance and find a routine that works for me, something that will give me a good mix of rest and time to be productive, has made me see that this needs to be a priority for May - and beyond. If I’m going to get anywhere in this career, and life in general, I need to look after myself whilst keeping on.

Portraits by  Ami Ford

Portraits by Ami Ford

Sian

All was not lost in April though! It did see me work on one shoot, with the wonderful Holly, who kindly bestowed some of her life coaching wisdom upon me. I left our post-shoot chat feeling heard, validated and accepted as I was. I didn’t feel like I was in the wrong place, that I wasn’t doing enough, or that I needed to work on projects I didn’t want to. From this I have been far more on top of my emails, have reached out to clients for testimonials, and am reconsidering my current rates to be more reflective of the service I provide.

With all of the above in mind, my plans for May are…

  • To plan my days to include three tasks and a relaxing activity for an hour or so.

  • To be intentional and thoughtful when sharing on social media, by engaging with others through comments on Instagram posts and tweeting in Twitter chats.

  • To take the time to reflect on the highs and lows of the week, and create a plan to face the next seven days.

I’m hoping that through breaking bigger projects down into daily tasks, making my time online more enjoyable, and scheduling specific slots to check in with myself, will not only allow for me to make progress, but in turn make me feel like a more content human.

Here’s to April and here’s to May… Yeet.

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