Hey everyone! I will start by apologizing for not posting in a long time.
Sheesh, these past couple of months have been a ride!
I went through some of the most stressful weeks I had ever been through, all during one of the busiest times of the year for my family — dance competition season. Yes, my daughter is a competitive dancer and late March to early May is anyone’s guess as to the level of sanity of a dance mom.
In light of these past few weeks, I thought I would write a post on how I handle things when life goes to the dark side for a while. Hopefully, one or more of these will help you when you hit a rough spot during your life and/or freelance journey.
1. Step Back
Stepping back is good. Unfortunately, when things get really bad, instead of stepping back a little so I have a good view of the situation, I tend to withdraw deep into the shadows and hide there for a while. Hence the no blog posts for a few weeks.
No, this is not good, and I know that.
Part of trying to not go there again is to have this open conversation, something I think we don’t do enough of. I know for a fact that when I am struggling, I am damn good at hiding it behind a facade of “Hey, I’m totally fine. I’ve got all my shit together. How are you?”
And I doubt I am alone in that.
Do you have times when you are feeling awful or are going through a really bad time, whether that is with finances, family, or something else, and you put on your facade? You know it!
The key is to step back a LITTLE. Despite what I have said thus far, most of the time, I am good at doing that. I have gotten better at being able to assess things without running away from them or the world. And when I can do this, things get better faster.
When I do this, I can tap into my support network. I can find joy in the little things. And I can bounce back stronger than ever.
2. Let Myself Have a Crappy Day… Or Two
OK, even when I have it all together, or when I can step back a little without withdrawing completely, I still have those days. You know the ones I’m talking about. You cannot people on those days. Most often, these days are also PMS days for me. Go figure. And I’m deep in the thicket of peri-menopause, so these days can be nasty.
Sometimes, during those “step back a little times,” I still need a day to hide away. Regardless of the reason for these days, when I feel down, tired, and just blah, I let myself feel it!
If I have client work that needs to be done ASAP, that can be tough. But if I need a day off and I have no pressing deadlines, you bet I’m taking it. Mental health day, here I come! One of the perks of being self-employed, yes?
I take this day and do what I want. I have a nap. I watch a movie or binge a TV show. I go to the coffee shop with my book. I indulge in junk food. I take myself to a movie or a drive to a lakeside town for the afternoon.
I let myself be how I need to be. No judgement. No scolding myself. Just acceptance and love.
Then it’s done and I can get on with life — and work.
3. Channel My Energy
This is perhaps the biggest thing I have learned to do over the past 10-15 years. I have learned to channel my energy. I have had plenty of times during my freelance career when things weren’t where I wanted them. In particular, finances were often a struggle.
And I became really good at NOT wallowing in my own darkness and self-pity.
Instead, I learned to channel my emotions into doing what I needed to do to get myself out of whatever situation I was in. Oh, I’ve got this one down!
You see, I don’t like complaining. Complaining has no place anywhere at anytime. You can either do something about the situation, in which case stop complaining and do what you need to do. OR you can’t do anything about the situation, in which case stop complaining and get on with life.
It’s one or the other, folks.
Besides, I know that wherever I end up in my life and my career, no matter what is going on, I am responsible for it. No one but me creates my life.
And I am creating the BEST life ever!
Now it’s your turn. I invite you to share how you deal with life and your freelance career when things go south. Post in the comments section below!