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Life Update: Burnout, Mental Health & Side Hustles


Life Update: Burnout, Blogging & Side Hustles

With World Mental Health Day this past week and I'll be honest, I've been feeling burnt out, a tad stressed and after a conversation with friends, I realized I might need a break. On top of it all, it doesn't help that I am sick with a cold or perhaps the flu which has been out like a light. With a full-time job, a side hustle, balancing both, making plans with friends, finding the time to visit parents in another province and spending quality time with my partner (and dog!) gets pretty overwhelming.

Personally, I struggle to speak up about my mental health and sometimes blame being tired on a bad night of sleep or a long week. Whether that's because of my upbringing, my South Asian roots and the community viewing mental health as a taboo or personal weakness, I can't say but it's something I want to bring up.

Lately, I've been fatigued most of the time to the point where I don't have energy or motivation some days meaning creativity goes out the window. I know it's partly my own fault (maybe? an excuse again? urgh I don't know), I haven't been eating properly, exercising or getting enough hours of sleep. Let's just say self-care has been put on the back burner.

MY 9 TO 5

Could this be due to my day job? Partly. If you weren't aware, along with having a blog and being a freelance content creator, I manage multiple social media accounts and digital platforms for various tourist attractions in South Eastern Ontario. Well, social media never sleeps (it's always on) and when you work with various people in different locations and properties that deal with customers first, let's just say my schedule has been a hot mess even though I'm supposed to work a certain amount of hours a day. Thankfully I'm able to be flexible with my schedule but trying to take even a day off, use a lieu day or a vacation day has proven to be difficult (unless I go to a remote island or off the grid).

When your job requires you to be online, all the time, it can be hard to simply unplug. The job might seem easy with the perception of scrolling on Facebook and posting pretty photos but it takes planning, research, strategizing, analyzing data, getting content along with attending meetings, keeping on top of emails and dealing with requests from colleagues. But it's also not fairies and pixie dust, there are days where you have to also manage bad reviews, respond to upset customers and deal with trolls.

Let's just say being a marketer, social media manager or creator is not all hunky-dory.

"We're expected to be marketers, creators, analysts and customer service people. We're stressed out." - Thea Neal

While being called a 'unicorn' from those in your industry is a compliment, it's also a sign that one person can't do it all. I'm passionate about the work I do and the stories I share that create engaged communities, it keeps me going on a daily basis. But it's hard to complain to people who don't work in social.

"Social media managers, entrepreneurs, and influencers have a unique set of mental health challenges because they spend their days in the trenches of the internet. Self-care is an important part of mental health, and sometimes that means taking a break from social media, our phones, and technology." - Taylor Loren

Positivity has played a huge role and having support from my partner at home has been crucial to staying afloat along with a supportive team at work backing me up. So remember that next time you comment on a brand page, there's an actual person behind it.

STEPPING AWAY?

So have I thought of taking a social media hiatus? Of course, I have. Giving your mind a break from screen time is important and the truth is, stepping away from social media when your side hustle and full-time job both focus on it, is hard taking a complete hiatus. But I have found things that have helped me a LOT to stay sane:

TIP 1
This one has been my saving grace! Remove all notifications on your phone and put social media apps into folders where they're hard to reach.

TIP 2
Set boundaries with colleagues. Let them know it isn't appropriate to message you on your personal channels about work. Make it clear how you would like to be contacted. I say this because there are some who forget to communicate via proper work channels. No thanks, I don't want to do work while I'm having dinner on a Friday night that I'm not scheduled.

TIP 3
Use a social media management tool at work if you manage multiple accounts. You don't want your phone dinging every five seconds. My absolute favourite is Sprout Social!

SIDE HUSTLES AKA BLOGGING

 This blog started out as a creative outlet to deal with the stress of my post-secondary studies when I was studying Computer Engineering (shocking right?!). Though my love for the city I lived in - Kingston, Ontario while attending Queen's University slowly grew on me and eventually, I escaped the campus bubble. I married my hobby of writing and my foodie knowledge to share my favourite local eats, weekend adventures as well as go-to events. Fast forward today and I am fully committed to my passion.

WHY? Because it is my voice when I feel like I don't have one.

Being a blogger definitely challenged me to learn new skills from social media, photo editing, networking, the ability to market myself and simply getting outside my comfort zone. (All key things that have contributed to where I am today!) I've been thankful to have been exposed to different types of knowledge and ways of thinking which have helped me become unique in my main 9 to 5 career.

But there's a downside...with blogging comes negativity as well where people will find a reason to project their insecurities and their fears onto you, your life and your creative work, and you’ll have to deal with it. I've learned the art of not caring as I can't do anything other than changing my own perspective. You should never have to second guess the content you put out to the world. Rather use it to fuel your passion and go that extra mile. I am so proud of what I have achieved, the connections I've made and how my creativity has blossomed. Though this has come with struggles of burnouts, criticism and negativity on a local level.

The other downside to being a blogger is if your day job already uses some of the same skills, it’s too easy to get drained. And that's me right now!

Lastly, the one thing I want to make clear about blogging is that it isn't all fun and games or the next hot trending thing to do. There's a business side to it, there's research, content to be planned, negotiation, taxes, and the list is never-ending. It's full time in itself if you take it seriously. When I'm asked if someone should be a content creator, travel writer or blogger, I ask them, why do you want to do this? In my mind, I'm thinking to myself, please have the right intentions. The glamorization of the side-hustle economy seemingly glows with possibility. There's definitely an allure to being a blogger where you get the opportunity to go to cool places and meet interesting people. But what people don't realize is that a lot of hard work goes into building and fostering relationships and a lot of behind the scenes tasks that take time and energy.

Remember, while I may seem like I have it all together, yeah I don't. I'm slowly figuring things out one day at a time. But my one piece of wisdom is when I'm struggling internally, getting outside whether it's watching a sunset or strolling along a waterfront, definitely is at the top of my list for improving my morale.

Life Update: Burnout, Blogging & Side Hustles

Life Update: Burnout, Blogging & Side Hustles

Life Update: Burnout, Blogging & Side Hustles

Life Update: Burnout, Blogging & Side Hustles
Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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