Trying to meet the expectations of others is a rather tiresome business, isn’t it?
Maybe I should explain. When I made the decision to leave teaching, I could never have foreseen the true impact my choices would have on my life and, more importantly, the lives of others. Of course, I knew the financial implications and the knock on effects of living on a limited budget but I was blind to how my relationship with some of the people I’m closest to would change. Some for the better, some for worse.
Since leaving teaching, there were people in my life who I thought were true friends but haven’t been in touch at all since. People who always have their phones in their hand, you know the type? Then, there are the people who I know I can depend on, the close friends who have rallied round to make sure I’m okay with the change. After that, there’s the constant anxiety that I’m disappointing my parents by leaving a respectable profession.
When I look back, it was such a bold move to leave a stable income to complete a social media role on minimum wage (if you missed it, click here to read about why I left the teaching profession). So many of you got in touch after I posted my reasons to leave, that any doubts I had simply dissipated. Two months on, I’m so grateful for your words of encouragement and shared experiences- please keep them coming!
What I’ve lost in money, I’ve certainly gained in happiness and most importantly, experience. I’m genuinely enthralled by social media and love it when I can see the result of my work in the growth of each social account or when I discover a truly geeky fact. For example, did you know including an image in a tweet can increase engagement by 55%? As you know, social media is a fast-paced, constantly changing environment, which suits me- life is never boring!
Take time away as regularly as you can
Hang on, a thrifty blogger encouraging regular trips abroad? Yes, if you can afford it. Travelling abroad for a short break may be more affordable than you think. Seeking out cheap flights using sites like Skyscanner means you can easily see when cheap flights become available or select the best times for travel. Finding flights for under £50 in affordable countries means you can bag yourself a three-night stay somewhere for under £200 per person.
If a trip abroad is out of your price range, even a short trip out of suburbia can have a positive effect on your mental well-being. Take a short drive, or even train journey, to see somewhere new. Get out, see new things, do new things: make memories.
And, if you can’t get away…
Make time for yourself
My best friend’s dad is a retired psychologist, called Lawrence. He’s very flamboyant and an all-round good guy! During our teens, especially during exams, Katie would say how her anxious behaviours would be explained to her by her dad. During my teenage years, I would procrastinate by tidying things away, sorting out drawers and having a clear out. Apparently, you’re helping your brain to put things in their rightful place by acting out this ritual.
Sharing is caring
Twitter chats like #lbloggers that make me realise just how much I missed regular blogging and being involved with the community. Some chats I dip in and out of, but discovering new blogs that I genuinely want to shout about makes me giddy! When I find these blogs, I can lose myself for hours just reading. Sometimes, I stumble across personal posts and it definitely helps to put things into perspective. Reading about Julia and Roger’s battle against cancer these past few weeks have made me realise just how lucky we are. Even though I’ve never met Julia, I shed tears on Saturday when I learnt about Roger’s passing.
Tackle what’s worrying you the most
So, even after all my calming tips, if you’re still stressing you need to figure out what’s bugging you, make a list and tackle it head on. I’m guilty of pushing things under the rug, a giant rug, and will only tackle what’s worrying me when I absolutely have to. I can leave what seem like the smallest things to the very last minute, like sending an email or making a phone call, if I don’t want to do it. I’m learning that going through a moment of awkwardness can instantly relieve my worries.
There you have it, five ways I manage to make myself feel better when my mind’s working overtime. I would absolutely love to know…