When Fear of Missing Out, Turns to Burn Out

It’s safe to say I’m on the older end of the age spectrum compared with most of the bloggers I come across. I’m still shocked when I hear bloggers I follow talk about taking their GCSEs.

I guess it’s only a shock because way back when I was doing my exams, it was really really geeky to own a computer, let alone admit that you used the internet.

These days everyone appears to have a background in marketing. Kids know how to brand themselves from 16, so as soon as they’re allowed an instagram account, they’ve got their ‘thang’ going and they’re hitting all the likes, follows and they just *know* how to maximise hashtags.

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But one of the things I’m noticing on twitter more and more, is young bloggers asking how people manage to blog, maintain their social accounts AND work either full-time or complete a degree, without burning out or one of these aspects suffering.

I work full-time, I run a blog full-time, instagram and YouTube, as well as managing two twitter accounts. And it’s not easy. But I realise where things need to give in order for me to maintain a balance.

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And I put that insight into knowing how to manage these things, down the different kind of world I grew up. When I was growing up FOMO (or Fear of Missing Out) didn’t really exist for me. The world wasn’t so accessible. You couldn’t find out anything and everything just by picking up a device. As a result you missed out on things. Most of the time I didn’t find out about the thing I’d missed out on until after the fact – I just didn’t know they were happening.

And so now, with knowledge at our finger tips, it’s easy to be tempted into things. Notifications on Facebook telling us that people we know are off to events nearby. Twitter telling us about fun Blogging meet-ups and events. Twitter chats every night – sometimes so many, I’ve been known to participate in multiple chats at once.

But it’s knowing where and when to step back.

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My full-time job is more important that my hobby. It’s how I pay for a lifestyle that allows me to blog, buy fun things and attend awesome events. For a while I was trying to do it all; twitter chats 4 times a week after a full day looking at screens at my job, blogging every weekend (including photos), posting a YouTube video weekly. It all got too much and too tiring, and the schedule that I’d set for myself became a chore. I could feel the first inklings of resentment creeping in.

So I took a step back. I decided to schedule multiple blog posts ahead of time, so I would be able to have weekends off. I decided it was time to reduce time spent on my older twitter account and just focus on one. I stopped YouTube altogether, and decided to take a break until things at home settled a bit. I stopped taking part in ALL the Twitter chats, and only did the ones with subjects that really interested me, or when I was at a loose end.

The result was a more relaxed, less tired Erin. I was also able to spend more time with my husband, who is TOTALLY supportive of my blogging hobby btw. But I realised on nights I was taking part in twitter chats, I was totally ignoring him. I missed him, and we’d been sat right next to each other.

Taking this step back meant that when I was writing articles, I was enjoying it more. I was able to take more time in what I was writing, and I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of hitting a schedule.

It’s so important to remember you don’t have to do it all, in order to feel part of something. If you’re at University and you’re not able to post according to a schedule you’ve set, then change your schedule. If your IRL social life interferes with taking part in a twitter chat, so what? We’ll still be there next week – go live your life. No one worth following you is going to mind if you miss a normal posting day. Plus you’ll have fun stuff to write about next time!

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So, if you’re one of those people who sits down at their laptop and wonders how you’re going to stay awake or motivated enough to write AND live your life – go live it. You’re not going to be missing out if you’re taking YOU-time. Sit and smell the roses, and then come back when you’re ready.

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You’ll feel amazing for it, and you’ll realise that life carries on without you – in the best possible way!

MK Half Marathon Training

I wrote this post yesterday. I wrote it yesterday and scheduled it to post whilst I’m running my first half marathon, so if you’re reading this around the time it’s published you might like to think of me slogging away out there somewhere.

The idea of running a half marathon is epic. At the end of my first 10k I thought to myself it’s absurd anyone would complete that distance and then continue to run it again.

The training plan for this half marathon has been strict and well planned out. Eat the right food, have the right hydration, train with energy blocks to see how I react to them. The following of the plan hasn’t been all that strict. At the point of writing this the furthest I have run is just shy of 8 miles. I have suffered with injury in both my left hip and right knee. It’s gotten to my brain and made it so hard to focus and motivate.

I’m frightened I haven’t done the training I need, scared the injury will come back and worried that I won’t make it. I have no doubt that I will complete this. I do however want to enjoy it.

I know it’s going to be tough – running always is. I know I will have aches and pains but I also know I can run. So far my friends and family have raised over £200 for Macmillan Cancer Support and I have to remember I’m running it for them and for my Dad. He overcame cancer once, and was recently told they have found some more. I have an amazing circle of people who are coming to cheer me on and support me throughout the race. I’m running for them and I won’t let anyone down.

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The fear of the unknown is huge with this, and with all of my previous races I’d trained the distance I was running at least once. I can’t say the same now so it’s both scary and exciting.

See you on the other side. Wish me luck – I think I’ll need it!

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This Week & Thoughts

Since I last posted, not a huge amount has ‘gone down’ (see how ‘with it’ I am).

  • I went out to dinner with two of my best girls and had a wonderful time. Laughing hysterically and always having about 3 conversations at a time. We apparently enjoy tangents.
  • I met another friend for lunch on Saturday which made for a very enjoyably 1 hour lunch break. Every little helps on a Saturday in retail!
  • I wrote a tweet about Justin Bieber which got over 40 retweets from little teeny boppers – I found that hilarious.
  • I started reading “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green, which I’m really enjoying. As much as I’ve been enjoying reading the Moomin books, I was starting to feel my brain going to mush so it’s nice to read something a little more adult.
  • This week Jenny Lawson released the paperback version of her amazing book “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” – despite the fact that I already have the book in paperback.
    see, it's a paperback! confused.com
    see, it’s a paperback! confused.com

    Apparently my copy is a lie and this new edition is its paperback release. Colour me confused. Anyway, I really want this new edition because it has an additional chapter in it – but only in the US version. Annoyed much?! (p.s. Jenny I love you!) Anyway…..

  • I have rediscovered Damn You Autocorrect and it’s iPhone app, and spent many hours wetting myself laughing over it. So what if some of them are faked? They’re still damn funny!
  • So many of my friends are getting married or planning their weddings, and I’ve been getting so excited over it all. One of my best friends has asked me to go dress shopping with her next month and I CANNOT wait. G Man and I have also been invited to a wedding reception in June – I need to find an outfit!! I love weddings!
  • I’ve been enjoying saying ‘Yes’ rather than freaking out and saying ‘No’, of late. It’s been refreshing to say yes and mean yes.

And here are a bunch of thoughts that have come to me over the last week:

  • Why is there a fashion for girls to wear foundation coloured lipstick? It looks like no one explained what a foundation stick was and they accidentally put it on their lips. It makes them look ill.
  • Leggings as trousers – this one could run on and on.
  • So many young people I know have ‘health’ problems which they use as excuses not to do stuff. They act like old men and women and when they get to adulthood they’re going to regret not making the most of the freedom they had before responsiblity.
  • Too many young people wishing their lives away waiting for a day in the future when they could be making every day amazing and every day count. (Do I sound old and bitter yet?)
  • One of my tweets from last week: “My mantra used to be feel the fear and do it anyway. Since doing that, I feel the fear a lot less. I don’t miss it! #progress
  • What’s with this trend of not using ANY capital letters in blog posts? No where. None. Nada. These are educated, well spoken ladies, who should know better.

So that was my week! I’m off to finish reading my book now……

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