Andy Williams was not wrong when he sang “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. The festive season has always been my favorite time of the year! I love Christmas films, Christmas music and all the sparkling and decorating. It makes me happy to see everyone in such a happy, festive mood. I squeal with joy when I see toddlers dressed up as reindeer, elves or Christmas pudding. And, as an extrovertI love the fact that there is so plenty to do and see so many people.
Last Christmas, however, I was absolutely miserable.
Throughout 2019, I have tried to make my career crisis as open as possible. And it was around this time last year that the cycle really started. It started as a bad case of Instagram insecurity …
Over the course of the Christmas season I constantly compared myself to others; and I felt that my Instagram engagement and following weren’t impressive enough. I spent hours on the platform every day digging deeper into this hole. (The big irony is that my followers were actually 1k higher in December 2018, and my engagement was probably 3x better than now.)
Ultimately, this Instagram insecurity was just a sign that I felt incredibly unhappy and unchallenged in my career. I’ve never tried to make a living on a photo sharing platform, but in 2017 and 2018 my professional life turned in that direction.
This lack of fulfillment made itself felt around Christmas last year. But it took me a good six months to unravel the emotions that suddenly made me feel burdened. Christmas 2018 was just a blast!
I didn’t feel festive at all. I could hardly enjoy it Eleven – My favorite film of all time (which I can quote from start to finish). I didn’t feel particularly sociable. I wanted to hide, but when I spent time alone I felt worse. I couldn’t snap out of the radio and I could hate Being a negative Nancy (apologize to everyone called Nancy), in addition to everything else, I beat myself up and felt guilty for being so miserable / ungrateful.
Overall, it was not my nicest hour. And that’s why I hope to make up for this with the best Christmas this year. So I plan to make December 2019 great …
How I do better this Christmas:
– Delete Instagram for Christmas week. Last year I deleted Instagram from my phone for a few days over Christmas. And it was so liberating! I was still under a lot of pressure to create and share content until Christmas Eve. And I just realized that I don’t owe it to anyone (and nobody would miss me if I didn’t). This year I plan to delete IG for at least an entire week. Maybe longer. I just want to be in the moment and disconnect.
– Kitten cuddles. My beloved cat, Mr. Twiggles, died this summer at the age of 17. It was so heartbreaking and since then there has been a cat-shaped hole in our family. Last weekend my parents adopted two adorable kittens that are soooo cute and cheeky, and I can’t wait to enjoy all of the kitten cuddles when I go home for Christmas!
– 24/7 Christmas playlists. Christmas music always makes me happy (sometimes I listen in September – don’t judge me!). I play it this year Anthropologie Christmas Vibes playlist on loop, together with John Legends Christmas album.
– Spend more time with friends and family, work less time. I still have some content to share, but then I’m off to the year. This time I’m not putting any pressure on myself to continue producing content until the 19th or 20th. Instead, I filled my diary with social commitments. It is very unlike me to prioritize fun over work, but I have finally reached a place where I can see my own limits. And I know that I have no creative juice or inspiration left in me for 2019.
– Give me the headroom to find out what’s next. The main advantage of taking a break over Christmas is that I can think about what I want from 2020. This year has been difficult, but I’m learning to trust the process. There are A brilliant quote I found on Instagramthat I have visited again and again throughout the year. It says: “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. If life pulls you back with difficulty, it means you are drawn into something great. So just concentrate and keep aiming. “
How do you want to make this Christmas great? And for all of you reading this and having a challenging time this season, please trust me when I say things are getting better. Stay tuned – you got that!
Photos from Victoria Metaxas
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