Hello and welcome back!
I must apologise for the serious time lapse in-between posts at the moment. I hate to be complacent but for the last few weeks I needed to scale back my workload. I was heading towards serious burnout. I was losing touch with friends and family and some of the things that matter most to me and so I took a little time off to reflect. Thats not to say I went on an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ journey (although I’m planning on it soon) nor did I go on some spiritual re-awakening with Tibetan monks (that too is on my bucket list). I simply turned on an automated: out-of-office notification on my email (first time I have ever done so in my life) and it felt so good! I stayed in London and carried on with my day to day work activities but I scheduled in days ‘off’, giving myself time to catch up with my sister and nephews (three of them now!) and time with my girlfriends, on a weekday I might add. If you follow me on Snapchat (emmamilleruk), you might remember seeing me enjoying drinks on a sunny roof terrace, relaxing as the sun went down without any sense of guilt! Yes, I’m fortunate that as I’m self-employed, I can do this: I’m the boss and I make the decisions. But with that independence comes responsibilities, the kind of responsibilities where it’s not possible to shut down your computer at 6pm and call it a day. You’re never really finished – when you’re not writing, shooting, researching, editing, making updates on your site or packing for the next trip, you’re attending PR and work events. It’s non-stop. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my job and I’m very lucky to be given the opportunities I have but there are times when I honestly feel like packing the whole thing in!
So many of us millennials are self-employed and whilst it seems to be a great option in terms of flexibility and freedom, it can also place a lot of pressure on the individual. If something goes well you can take full credit but if something goes wrong, the onus is on you. There’s also the pressure of social media – the need to capture the perfect shot in that gorgeous dress, or that special moment without really being able to just sit back and enjoy it. Yes, I love creating – whether its photos, videos, writing or editing – and of course, that sense of reward when its complete. But it comes at a price and can become a chore if your work starts preventing you from having any time to relax or do other things, such as spend time with family, friends or simply yourself. Taking this time out gives you the opportunity to reflect and to think about the bigger picture. Once I’d made time for this, I felt I had a better handle on things. After two weeks ‘out of office’ I was able to return and things that before seemed stressful have become far more manageable.
Again, if you follow me on Snapchat: emmamilleruk, you already know I love to use exercise as a way to combat stress. However, surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones is just as important! Remember: making the decision to take a break from work or reducing the pace doesn’t mean you’re failing or falling behind it means you’re changing tact. Sometimes it’s not about working longer or harder but working smarter. That is, being more time effective and knowing when you need to take a break.
I hope this resonates with those of you who are struggling at work or school and if you’re able to make some positive changes, you can thank me later!
Here are my top tips for keeping your inner calm:
- Download the ‘Headspace’ app and take ten minutes a day for yourself.
- Turn off your phone and leave it in another room before bed. Don’t be tempted!
- Sleep is so important. Try to get into a routine; get to bed before 11pm and wake up early. Getting those 8 hours can really help improve overall mood and energy the next day.
- Try to find what works for you: Yoga, Running, Meditation, whatever you find therapeutic, do it!
- Take a massage, it might be the last thing you think about doing when stressed but if you pen in a date in your diary for this little treat it can make a whole world of difference! If you can’t get to a nearby spa (or, if it’s just too expensive) use a foam roller! (I often use one after exercising, see here)
- Make your time off count; put in your diary/iCal, time you will dedicate to yourself and time for family/friends; make sure you’re not working during that time.
- When you are working, take regular short breaks rather than staring continually for hours on end at a computer screen!
- Get into the green. Whether its a nearby park or the countryside, become one with nature!
- Whatever you do, do not take your lunch break at your computer desk. Just no.
- Nutrition: Certain foods help eliminate the free radicals given off when stressed, these are specifically foods packed with antioxidants such as blueberries, almonds, walnuts. Also, foods such as avocados, salmon and spinach all contain nutrients that help minimise the effects of stress on the body.
- Last but not least…have a cuppa! Its been scientifically proven, that tea-making (the act of putting on the kettle) can reduce stress by up to a quarter!
Now, with a clearer mind and more enthusiasm than ever! I give you my PFW roundup:
P.S. Leave me a comment in the box below and let me know if you find this post useful (or not?!) and also of course, which outfit you liked best! If you have a blog/Instagram account make sure to include the link so I can check it out and return the comment!
1. Barbara Bui show
Day one of my PFW I attended the Barbara Bui show wearing a relaxed yet elevated outfit. I balanced the oversized cashmere knit with a form-fitting skirt and matched the grey with my shoes. The monochromatic look was enhanced with a touch metallic fringing. This detailing was just the right amount to take this look from day to night! Perfect, no outfit change needed!
Buttoned back sweater by Joseph
Wool & metallic chainmail skirt by J.Crew
Suede sandals by Gianvito Rossi
Petite Malle clutch by Louis Vuitton, shop similar here
Unisex silver sunglasses by Ray Ban
Onyx gold-tone necklace by Pamela Love, shop similar here
lensed by Anna Sandul
2. Isabel Marant show
As soon as I saw this jumpsuit I knew I had my look sorted! This spacesuit is everything and as it turns out it’s versatile too. Check out below how I made this look more relaxed!
Lensed by David Nyazi
3. After show drinks at Hotel Costes
Voila! Two looks in one! This white knit changed the look completely and I love the make-shift belt!
Lensed by David Nyazi
4. John Galliano show
These denim pants by Marques’Almeida are by far my favourite jeans that have come into my life thus far! I contrasted the preppy look on top with a distressed look on the bottom, I am a Gemini after all!
Lensed by David Nyazi
5. Sonia Rykiel show
This is the first time I’ve ever worn Monique Lhuillier. I used to pass by her boutique in LA (on Melrose) several times and would gaze in the window at all the exsquisite designs! So it was such an honour to be dressed in one of Monique’s dresses for my last day in Paris.
Lensed by Mike Miller