Breaking Point

Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

 How do you manage it all?

A phrase that I hear on a regular basis, and a question that I have no answer for. Balance is the “holy grail” of the modern working world at the moment, and it’s probably one of my greatest struggles. I am painfully aware of it, and the people around me are too. I’ve got this stupid habit of piling things on my plate – when I already had plenty on there, to begin with. This is both a metaphor for my life and my approach to all-you-can-eat buffets.
If I could sum up life right now in one world it would be hectic. My world has been flipped on its head over the past few weeks, pretty much since the moment I got home from my trip to Barcelona. This time of year was always going to be hectic for me, with the end of college fast approaching and a mad rush ensues to get my work handed in on time so that I can get the grades I need to go to university. April and May are nearly always stressful months, thanks to the joys of education, but this year a spanner was thrown in the works.

I don’t want to go into it too much, because it’s not really my story to share, but my dad isn’t well at the moment and hasn’t been for a while. He was hospitalised mid-April and will hopefully be home by the end of May. It’s been difficult for my family, and fitting in our daily visits into what was an already packed calendar has been a bit stressful.

Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Despite this, I’ve still been throwing myself into anything and everything that comes my way – to the point that I’m probably moments away from burnout. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I thought it was a good idea to launch a brand new website before my busiest two months of the year – instead of waiting for my summer break from classes – whilst also writing this blog, running my business, finishing my degree, keeping my own health in check and dealing with the change in my family situation. Yeah, I don’t really know why I do this to myself, either.

I do this a lot, and I think it’s a kind of distraction method that I attempt to use when I’m feeling particularly anxious about things. Whenever things are getting that little bit more stressful I try to distract myself by throwing myself into something new and exciting, whilst simultaneously ignoring all of my more pressing responsibilities to the point that I get even more stressed out about them.

It’s a habit I’m trying to kick, and in an attempt to start reigning things in a bit I made the decision to go to my doctor to discuss going back on medication for my anxiety. It was hugely terrifying, but I’m really proud of myself for recognising my own behaviours and having the strength to admit that something had to change. Being back on medication has been weird, but I think it was a necessary step to get me through this period of my life without a full-on breakdown like I had last year.

The next part of my “journey” to balance is recognising when I need to take a step back, and unfortunately, I realised that my blog had to be pushed to the bottom of the pile for the next few weeks whilst I prioritise my degree – for my own sake. I need to focus on the crucial things right now, so that I can still have time for myself without forcing myself to sit at my desk and fire out a blog post after spending my day writing essays or finishing up client work.

Work Life Balance Burnout Student | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I don’t think my habit of putting undue pressure on myself will ever change – it’s hard-wired into my brain now – but my approach to dealing with it certainly has so far. I’m the kind of person where as soon as I have an idea that I think is viable I rush into bringing it to fruition, but I’ve realised that as impatient as I am, this has to wait for the moment.

So, whilst I may be desperate to bring all of my ideas to life right this very moment, I’m trying to teach myself that I need to wait until I have the proper time to dedicate to things in order to make them the very best they can be. Yes, the next month or so will suck and I’ll be moaning about deadlines all the time, but then I’ll have a glorious two months of freedom from classes and lectures which I can use to bring my passion projects to life.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, being busy all of the time has taken it’s toll on me in the past and is trying to do a number on me right now. But I’ve grown. I’ve become a stronger person in the last year and I’m trying to put myself and my sanity first. I love working hard and seeing the results of said effort, but there’s an invisible line that I need to be aware of so that I don’t push myself past breaking point yet again.

I cannot wait for the end of term. How will I cope in the “real world” when I don’t get summer holidays? I mean, I’m going to be working all summer, but at least it’s on projects that I am genuinely excited about.

What steps do you take when you feel yourself reaching breaking point?

Photos by Claire White | Post contains gifted items – read my full disclaimer here