THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING TIME FOR YOURSELF
Someone very close to me gave me some very wise - and necessary - advice recently. He reminded me that I'm the protagonist in my own movie and that I should simply just adjust the script in order to make it as good for me as possible. It left me with a lot to think about it...
This year has been pretty damn monumental for me, particularly so because of this blogging journey and all of the opportunities that have arisen from it. However, one reality that's become more and more apparent over time, even more so since pursuing blogging full time, is that when your life is technically your work, it can be very very difficult to create a separation.
When you tell people you're a full time blogger, they automatically assume you're living your 'dream life' and to an extent I definitely am, but this multi-platform thing is challenging. Really challenging in fact. This very blog was the start of everything for me, and it’s developed into an Instagram profile, complete with Instagram stories, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and countless other bits and bobs. Sometimes I feel like I'm not only a juggling act, but that I'm running the whole goddamn circus.
When a channel, or all of your socials are going so well, the problem is, you really don’t want to take the foot off the pedal because you’re enjoying the success and growth and everything it brings with it - okay, bar the stress. You tell yourself that when you hit a certain goal post, you’ll relax a little bit, but when you hit it, it inspires you to work harder because you know exactly what you can achieve when you put so much time and energy into it. If anything, it becomes harder to take your foot off the pedal, and you find yourself putting the pedal to the floor instead - coincidentally driving yourself at lightning speed to Burnoutsville. I've been there once and its definitely not a place I'd like to revisit. I've come to acknowledge that I thrive off surpassing the expectations I set myself and, if you asked me when I’m feeling my best or when I feel the most exhilarated and alive, I’d say it’s when I feel like I’m absolutely killing it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely work obsessed. I am not Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada and I try really hard to not put my career ahead of the people I care about, but, the one person I do tend to neglect at times is myself. The past 9 months have consisted of countless late nights (early mornings) glued to my laptop whilst eating cereal for dinner - and well, as much as I do love a big ol' bowl of Crunchy Nut, that's not particularly healthy, is it?
Right, the above moan leads to the conscious decision to start prioritising time for myself. Making time for the real Jasmine, not the 'influencer' Jasmine, because she sometimes need some love and attention too. I've taken the pressure off and am doing things that make me happy because essentially, an unhappy, stressed and overworked Jasmine produces shoddy, un-inspirational content - or worse, no content at all. *see no evil monkey emoji*
*THIS WATCH WAS GIFTED TO ME BY THE LOVELY PEOPLE AT CHRISTIAN PAUL.
I know that the world can be a stressful place for everyone at times, so whether you're a #girlboss juggling loads of projects at work, a single mum who is rallying her kids to here there and everywhere, or just someone who needs to take a second to breathe, I thought I'd jot down a few things that are making me happy right now, in hope that they'll inspire you to take some time out for yourself.
SINGING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS
Judge me all you like but there's nothing I love more than sticking on a bit of Kisstory and rapping along, ridiculously, to some old school R&B jams. In specific, No Diggity, Ignition or One, Two, Step. So whether you're into a bit of Taylor Swift or something a bit heavier like Slipknot, pop on something that you know will instantly lift your mood. Spotify has some really great playlists that just scream happy:
GETTING THAT APRON ON
I know I said above that I've spent countless nights eating cereal for dinner, however, I actually adore cooking. It's one of my favourite things to do and I love rustling up something delicious for myself - or for someone else to enjoy too. Whether it's baking a batch of cookies or meticulously timing a roast dinner, I love doing it all. There's something so satisfying about creating something that, hopefully, people enjoy. I have a couple of go-to cookbooks that I delve into when I need some inspiration:
PUMPIN' IRON (ha)
I know you've probably heard this a thousand times but it's so true, working up a sweat is not only beneficial to your physical health, but also for your mental health too. I've been very naughty recently and have put exercising on the back-burner, in favour of work and other commitments, which has not only had a negative effect on my body, but also my overall outlook. I notice a real change in myself when I'm working out; I'm more alert, much more positive and am generally pumped to smash the day. I prefer working out at home because I then have the flexibility to fit it in around my schedule and luckily, there are loads and loads of free Youtube videos with some really great and effective routines:
DELVING INTO A GOOD BIT OF LITERATURE
Reading is most certainly my downtime; it's one of the very few times where my phone goes away and I can just lose myself in the words on the page. I make sure that there are always a handful of books on my bedside table for easy bedtime reading but I'm also guilty of spending hours flicking through Glamour magazine whilst soaking in the bath. Reading, in any form or medium, has the ability to be so stimulating and it's definitely something I aim to do more regularly. Here are the books on my bedside table right now - yes, a couple are work related... *rolls eyes*:
JUST LAYING DOWN ON THE SOFA
Ideally with someone to spoon, but if you don't have that special someone at hand, a cuppa tea will suffice - kinda. There's something so underrated about well, just laying down. If ever I'm having a stressful moment with work, or life generally, there's nothing I love more than just taking a few minutes and just popping my feet up on the sofa. It's sometimes so easy to forget about the little luxuries like that, and how at ease they can make us feel. When I'm wrapped up in several blankets, drinking a cuppa with my favourite person, it truly is pure bliss.
I really hope you're all well and that you're finding the time, in this somewhat crazy world, to do the things that make you happy!