Blogger burnout wasn’t a term I had heard of before I attended an event a couple of months ago, and since then, it has stuck with me as something that I definitely experience from time to time.

Burnout, in general, is a big thing in my life. When I was younger, I never wanted to be at home and spread myself across a few different social groups so I would have plans almost every night. I would spend all of the money I earnt from my part-time job on going for dinner, going to the pub, nights out, shopping trips and anything else that people wanted to do, and it floored me.

Looking back, I definitely think this was a reaction to my anxiety (as it hadn’t been diagnosed at the time) and the wanting to be out every second of the day was a coping mechanism for dealing with what was going on in my head.

I used to only have about 5-6 hours sleep a night and would rely on coffee and red bull (my two worst nightmares now) to keep me awake for work and university – but to me, that lifestyle was what I wanted and what I craved.

Now I could think of nothing worse.

I need time spent at home. I need nights in. I need time to rest and recuperate. I need to act my age all in all.

To me, staying in for an evening is a chance to regroup, spend time with loved ones, write blogs, scroll through social media and generally relax, which is something I never used to do properly. Now if I make plans for more than a few evenings in the week, I feel incredibly overwhelmed.

We spend the majority of our week at work, in meetings, on the road, and the last thing I personally want to do when I get in every night is head back out again. How the times have changed hey?

And then there comes blogger burnout.

Writing a blog is something I have done on and off for the past 6 years, but only recently have I decided to stick to a rough schedule and publish relatively the same number of posts a week. But with having such an intense hobby that can easily take up most of your time outside of the workplace, burnout can be even more prevalent in the blogging world.

When I spend time at home, sometimes I feel as though I should be writing content, planning, taking pictures, scheduling social media and learning new things to help me with my blogging in general in any spare moment that I have. And although I absolutely love writing, sometimes there is nothing more that I want to do than to put my laptop away and just be me for an evening.

Until your full-time job is being a blogger, you will always have to find the time to fit in writing posts around all of the other areas in your life, and it’s easy to not give yourself any ‘me’ time because you are so preoccupied with everything else.

I started to feel as though I was burning the candle at both ends back in December, as there were so many social gatherings, blogger dinners and visits to other cities that I felt as though I didn’t have any downtime – I barely even got chance to buy and wrap my present which is always something I look forward to around Christmas – and after all of that, it left me feeling as though I was at a loose end, trying to please everyone.

And what did I gain from that?

Well, although I spent time with some of my favourite people, I also felt like a shell of myself because I was so tired and out of it from constantly being in and out of the city after doing full days of work, so the person that was attending the events and trying to keep up with everyone’s conversation was just a worn-out version of me.

I’ve learnt that there are more important things in my life at the moment than trying to please everyone, and although my blog is up there at the top of the list of what I’m passionate about, I also don’t want any of my relationships to fall by the wayside because of it.

I now know my boundaries and when I need to take some time away from the online world, and that realisation is one of the most important lessons that 2018 has given me so far. Pinpointing when to switch off and when your mind needs a break is something I am going to take forward into the rest of the year and hopefully, all the areas of my life will work soundly together.

So yes, if you were to ask me, I would 100% say that blogger burnout is a real thing, and maybe not one that a lot of people realise they are experiencing.

If you take anything away from this, it’s to listen to yourself, your body, your mind, your loved ones. Even if you feel guilty for not ticking things off your to-do list, you are only human and taking time for yourself is incredibly important.

And on that note – I’m off for a day away from the internet!

xx

Top marks for creativity on the title eh?

Anyway, tangent aside, back to today’s post.

I wanted to dedicate a whole blog to Stylist Live, what the hell it is, whether it’s worth the trip down south and what I personally thought of it. In short, Stylist Live is an event hosted by Stylist Magazine in London, this time at the Olympia, which brings together brands, speakers and a whole lot of inspiration.

You might know Stylist Magazine from your commute (it comes with the Metro newspaper if you live in Manchester and the Evening Standard if you live in London) as it is a free publication full of travel, lifestyle, beauty and fashion articles. I’ve been reading Stylist for a few years now, one and off, and have a subscription to their daily sister newsletter, Emerald Street. For a free magazine, I think it’s brilliant, and the content in it is completely relevant for the average working woman.

When my Mum suggested a few weeks ago that we should go to Stylist Live, I thought, why the hell not – I love London and I love the magazine so it sounded like a pretty win-win situation. We bought the Silver tickets which meant that we got access to one of the shows on the ‘Thrive’ stage and entry into the rest of the festival.

We arrived in London mid-morning and headed over to the Olympia on the tube (stopping at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush for a quick Christmas shop) before heading on the overground to the venue. I love the Olympia as a venue as it is so grand, and I thought it was the perfect place for this as its only getting bigger every year.

After getting a shot next to the shimmery gold wall, we headed inside to our first talk, ‘Meet the women shaping the wellness industry’ with Annie Clarke (Mind Body Bowl), Pandora Symes and Claire Missingham. They spoke about the importance of taking time out of your body schedule for yourself, which is something I really want to take on board for 2018, and the secret to intuitive eating, which I am totally on board with after reading up on what it is.

When the talk had finished, we had a wander around the stalls which were a mixture of brand activations, fashion and beauty and an amazing Kikki K stand, where I reaffirmed my love for slogan stationery. I loved that there was a mixture of brands that I’d heard of with some new discoveries and the overall flow of the exhibitions was really well curated.

The second talk we went to was ‘How to break into an industry you know nothing about’. The speakers were Pippa Murray (founder of Pip and Nut), Steph Douglas (from ‘Don’t buy her flowers’) and funeral director, Poppy Mardell. I thought this talk was absolutely brilliant: All of the women came from completely different background to what they ended up doing but found a gap in the market to enter.

Pippa used to work in theatre production when she realised there was a lack of variety in the supermarket for another kind of nut butter and came up with Pip and Nut. Steph had just had a baby and was inundated with flowers from friends and family to only be overwhelmed with keeping more things alive, and thought there must be better presents for new mums so she created a place for people to buy more thoughtful, rather than traditional, gifts for a whole host of different occasions.

The one that stood out to me the most though was Poppy Mardell: Her story really struck a chord with me, and I thought she was so engaging and such a natural speaker to a quite large audience. She started her career at Sotheby’s Auction House, working her way up to senior auctioneer, when both her parents became ill. After seeing a conveyer-belt-similarity in the male-dominated, funeral business, she decided to give it a go on her own. She developed a product that was more affordable, personal and simple, yet gave the family a beautiful service for their loved one.

This talk was incredibly heartfelt, and I thought the women chosen all had really interesting stories of how they became their own boss even though they were on a different career path. It just goes to show that anything can happen when you least expect it and that you might find something that you are so passionate about, that you are able to turn it into a career.

The next talk we had was with The Step Up Club about how to get the most out of your career, learning your worth and be the ultimate Girl Boss. The session was taken by Alice and Phanella, who run the program ‘turn your life around in a year’, and had some really good tips for knowing your rights in the workplace as a woman.

After this talk, we caught a little bit of ‘Reclaim the week’ which I really wanted to see as Emma Gannon and Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka) were on the panel, who I’m a huge fan of. They both had really interesting takes on the importance of work-life balance and how having a side hustle is incredibly valuable when your career path isn’t as creative as you might like.

One of the things I was really looking forward to during the day was the fashion show. I was following the Stylist account on Instagram throughout the day and caught some of the updates of the show, which is where we went next. We managed to get seats on the second row (can I coin the term s-row?) which gave us such a brilliant view of the catwalk. All of the outfits came from high street stores, which was refreshing as it was actually things we could afford.

The last time I was in London at the Olympia in September, my friend went for a drink at the Kensington Roof Gardens, which is just down the road, so I suggested we have a wander there before coming back to the exhibition a bit later on. We got there just as the sun was setting, which gave such a beautiful sky to admire from up high, and they have real life flamingos, which was just really surreal.

When we got back, the last talk we went to was ‘The influencers we can really trust’ with Hannah Witton, Alice Liveing and Jayne Crabbe, where I fangirled about seeing Hannah Witton in real life. They all came across really down-to-earth, and it was interesting listening to the talk as a blogger myself, and how they come across in the online world.

We had to leave shortly after this talk to get our train home back to Manchester, but by this point, my head was so buzzing from the great talks and industry experts we had listened to, and I felt so motivated after being in the presence of such inspirational women.

Overall I would highly recommend Stylist Live, whether you’re a blogger, working in the online work, or just want to feel in touch with your career, mind, body and attitude towards life.

xx

Have you been to Stylist Live before? Would you recommend it? 

Whenever I meet someone new in the blogging world, one of the first questions I get asked is what I write about, to which I always answer, a little bit of everything.

Back when I first started out blogging, I never wanted to be restricted to what I write, and although I mostly tend to focus on travel, food and recommendations these days, I like the thought of not being tied to a particular genre; it makes me feel freer with my writing, allows me to change my content up when I feel like it and gives me a bigger scope for the future.

To the blogging world, my posts would fall under the ‘lifestyle’ category, therefore making me a lifestyle blogger, something I used to feel quite discontented with because of the sheer amount of others in the same category, whose blogs, I felt, were much more substantial than mine.

But once I got more into the groove of writing posts, I became much more proud about what I was producing and the opportunities I was been given and being a lifestyle blogger was something I was honoured to be called.

You might have heard the term ‘Lifestyle Blogger’ banded around over the years, but what does it actually mean? Well, in Layman’s terms, a Lifestyle blog is best defined as a digital representation of its author’s everyday life and interests, which, when I think about it, definitely describes Eleanor Graceful.

For a lot of bloggers I know, they fall nicely into a niche, whether its fitness, fashion, beauty or travel, but the beauty of not having one is that you aren’t confined to what you can write. Obviously, there are no rules when it comes to blogging and creating content, and that is what is great about the industry.

With blogging, there are two ends of the spectrum – those who have been doing it for years, where it’s their full-time job and the main source of income, and then at the other end are the people who are just starting out – and everyone in between.

I fall somewhere in the middle on the scale – I’ve been blogging for a few years now, but I also class myself as a much small blogger in comparison to others. In an ideal world this blog would be my full-time job as I adore putting posts on the internet, but at the minute, that is just a pipe dream.

In some ways, you could say it’s harder being a Lifestyle Blogger because you have to keep your content fresh with lots of different topics but also different to the other Lifestyle Bloggers out there; whereas, when you have a niche you become an expert in one category. That said, the more things you can talk about on your blog may also increase your audience reach, so there are pros and cons to both.

For the future, I personally can only see the Lifestyle category getting bigger and bigger. I think we’ll see more Lifestyle Blogs coming to fruition because of the scope of people they appeal to and the number of different topics we have to talk about.

Do you write a lifestyle blog? How do you feel about the industry? 

xx