Self-doubt is a prickly old thing.
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There may have been a baby blizzard outside, but our Work + Wellness pop-up at Topshop in Soho was still packed with panelists, audience members, knowledge, and some fab outfits thanks to Topshop Personal Shopper.
We took it to the audience at times-- asking who felt burnt out, who had cried in the last week, and despite decreased visibility outside, inside the store it was very clear: we all felt the same way-- a little burnt out by the 24/7 nature of work and life, the tech tear, and that no one can do it alone.
Here are six of our favorite takeaways from last night.
START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT
But know that means different things to different people.
“When I first started working, I was so eager to impress my boss,” shared Colleen Wormsley of Shine. “The sun would go down, I would still be working, and I missed being outside. So in the morning I made the conscious decision to walk. To take the subway farther away, so I could have that 15 minutes in the morning to clear my head. To start my morning that way.”
Nicole Loher, who works a full time job, trains for triathlons and is a wellness influencer, says that she is constantly taking small steps to get it right, but echoes the idea that ‘right’ and ‘well’ are subjective— a word that host, model, and dancer Ally Love brought up.
Case in point: the morning of our panel Nicole woke up at 4am to train with her swim coach. “Every day is a work in progress for everyone,” she shared.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO FULL TIME/ PART TIME & BE HAPPY
Ally Love, who is a part of the “slash generation,” works best when busy. But doing five jobs and attempting to give her one hundred percent to all of them, was proving too challenging. Doing everything for the multi-talented woman meant she had to realize she wasn't going to do it “all” alone. “If you’re going through divorce, you go to a really good lawyer because you want it to end well. If there’s something wrong with you, you go to a good doctor because you want to live. The same thing goes for your career," she explained. "If you want things to go well, outsource to really great people.”
“I had to ask for help,” she told the audience. “I created a team knowing I had to trust other people who knew what my end goals are and how to leverage opportunities.”
“Burn out is real,” shared Nicole, piggybacking on that idea. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” “Find what you love to do in your full time job and try to make sure that your full time and part time job can merge,” explained the wellness influencer who in her full time job likewise manages influencers in the wellness space.
Or know what you do best. “I made the part time, the full time,” said Jessy Fofana of La Rue PR. Speaking of:
Keeping up with the web and social is a struggle for everyone— from the most seasoned influencers, to those who appear to have their content game on lock, to the women on panel.
“You have creativity," said Ally, "but creativity comes in different ways. I get creative when I get exhausted. That’s when I find new effective ways to grow. So know your energy type. I need to get depleted to sit down and have a great idea.”
“I need to use a lot of my unnecessary energy to tap into the power within in,” Love told the crowd delving in a little deeper. “Other people have that direct connection. Your success level is not established by how active you are, but how productive you are. Trust that inside of you.”
“For people who are working weekends and nights and feel like there is an expectation that they put in a lot of time— there probably is that,” said Rebecca Willa Davis, Deputy Editor for Well + Good. “But I also think that even in our downtime we are taxing our systems. We’re watching Netflix while we’re on our phones, while we’re eating dinner, while our friend is sitting next to us,” she said. “We're not fully embracing our downtime."
Rebecca understands that the content game is 24/7. “When you send out a newsletter seven days a week, there’s no way to get around that.” But she qualified, “There are ways to make sure that free time feels like downtime, so when I am working, I’ve had some relief.”
It other words: unplug, get outside, and pay attention to the friend sitting next to you.
“Think about how your non-work time will benefit your future work time,” added Colleen. “Some of my best ideas that I never would have thought of happened because I turned off, went and saw a friend and had a conversation.”
AND ALSO BE A CONSCIOUS BOSS
Rebecca shared that she typically sets aside nights and weekends to get emails out, but even though that schedule works for her, it wasn’t the healthiest for her team.
“When I was sending out these emails late at night or on the weekends, the people on my team felt like they had to be on at all times because their boss was on at all times.” Adding, “I think of work and wellness as not only wellness for myself, but wellness for my team.”
So what did she do? She downloaded an add-on that schedules when her emails send. “It’s so simple,” she explained, “but allows me to work within the schedule that works best for me, without imposing on other people.”
ON AT ALL TIMES?
Do we need to turn up or turn off?
Millennial burnout is real. Nicole shared that a few years ago she was working for a company she was so passionate about, but spread too thin. “It was a taxing, emotional rollercoaster,” she said. She was crying every day, working 15 hour days, and she was only 23. “I wasn’t able to focus on myself, get in my workouts, or even see my friends and family.” She left that job, without anything lined up, and then wrote about it openly on the internet. She credits this as her own “personal point of becoming well again and moving on.”
“It took a lot to admit to myself that I was burnt out. It was a really scary moment to quit my job. But I think 2017 is a great year for millennials and the slash generation because you don’t have to be one thing anymore. When you let go of something good, you’re only making way for something great.”
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