Around this time each year, I experience this strange cocktail of early summer bliss vs. spring time anxiety. No matter where I’ve been in my life or what my work situation has been like, May has always been a month of extreme workload. Combined with the classic fear of missing out and hence a jammed packed schedule of social activities as well. Not the most ideal situation for a highly sensitive person like myself. When I was younger it was graduation that stressed me out, then Art school application processes for several years in a row, then pre-vacation-closing-projects kinda work.
I’ve dealt with this intense season in different ways throughout the years. First it was panic attacks (not the most productive coping mechanism I know). The heat and pollen saturation in the air used to trigger it for me, when I had particularly anxious days. That suffocating feeling, ya know? When you have an achievers’ mindset and identify too much with your accomplishments, it can be very hard to think beyond the final goal or end product. This can easily trigger an impossible thought loop of endless reviews of tasks and musts and shoulds. I had to get good grades, or I was a failure. I had to get into Art School, or I would be doomed to a mundane life (which I probably thought I stood above. Such a little brat!).
In early May I went to the most dreamy Babes in Boyland workshop at Gotland!
Later it was a serious case of fear of missing out. Whenever the sun was shining, it was impossible for me to work or study. I felt like the sun was that annoying friend tirelessly begging you to come out and play when all you wanna do is getting to the end of the latest harry potter book: “Come oooon! Don’t be such a spoil sport!”. Though I of course love to be out and play in the sun, it’s not productive time. And I have a hard time doing stuff that I don’t see a clear value in. Again, achievers’ mindset. Rainy days were my favorite. No distractions and no suffocating heat. Just a clean, boring chunk of time that I could fill with my writing or studying or painting.
It’s like all of my feelings are amped up to 200% at this time. On the one hand I float around in a dream-like state of almost being in love: the air is full of possibilities and you just wanna drop everything and join the celebrations. On the other hand the mere idea of doing that overwhelms me. And then I get into obsessive planning and loose that spontaneity and playfulness that signifies this season. I think I’m that kind of person that simply can’t have too much of the good stuff. I need my boring, rainy days in between.
Photos from the Babes in Boyland workshop.
Now it’s major high-season for influencers and recipe developers. For the first time since I started freelancing, I’m experiencing what it can actually look like to do this full-time. I realize that I have to find better ways of dealing with a tight schedule and multiple deadlines. After all, this is the work I’ve been dreaming of. When I think back to how I imagined my ideal work situation 2 years ago when I registered my business, it’s pretty damn close to how it is now.
And I don’t wanna rush past it. If you follow my insta stories, perhaps you’ve seen glimpses from my work day lately. Tranquil moments at my desk, listening to some dreamy music, sipping coffee and editing photos. Shooting a recipe at times, and arranging all the ingredients nicely on the kitchen counter. It probably looks more peaceful than it is. That’s because I am consciously trying to enjoy the process and not get too wound up by the approaching deadlines.
Focusing on one task at a time will get the job done faster, even if it feels like working at a slower pace.
If I’m gonna continue doing this freelance lifestyle sustainably, I have to learn this. My default approach is otherwise to always look ahead towards the end product, which can be good in some ways because it means that I have a clear direction of where I’m going. The downside however, is that I sometimes get overwhelmed by the project before I’ve even started, and get stuck in a state of paralyzing stress.
Would you be interested in following me along on a typical workday btw?
I’m thinking something like a-photo-an-hour or short videos on insta stories throughout the day. Let me know if you’d like that and I can create a more in-depth post on what it is that I actually do for a living!
I bought a new camera lens!! And made a seriously rad no-churn cardamom nice cream with spicy almond butter swirl <3
The spring time anxiety that I experience these days are mostly stemming from not being enough and not having enough time to do everything I wanna do. So practicing acceptance and to be gentler on myself is key in dealing with it. Also learning to say no to some commissions during this time. Keep my schedule airy.
Cause when my schedule is too full with work or chores or social activities, the first thing that goes is the self-care. And that is something I just can’t afford sacrificing. After this rough winter and spring with my relationship ending, being new to the full-time freelancing life and my back-and-forth hormonal/stress/diet/health issues that I’ve talked about here before, finding time to take care of myself should be my number 1 priority!
Do you also experience spring time anxiety? How do you deal with it?
I have done one very significant change in mindset this month when it comes to my health and hormones, which I’m writing a bit more about further down in the link love section.
This makes for a nice transition to the links of the month, don’t you think? :-)
May Link Love
Two months ago, a girl named Lydia reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try her online program called Balanced Babes. It is an email series designed to help women reclaim their menstrual cycles, be aware of the different phases one goes through and learn about what they mean. I’ve already read quite a lot on this topic since I was diagnosed with PCOS 2 years ago, yet somehow I’ve managed to completely suppress it and once again moved through life without the slightest awareness of my cycle. So Lydia definitely caught me at the right time!
I’ve gone through this course twice now, and I’m convinced that I will keep coming back to these emails and journal exercises every week until I know them by heart. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it has felt, coming back to this awareness of my body! Now I can even feel the shift in my body when I go from one phase to the next. I know when I’m the most communicative, when it’s a good idea for me to plan social activities and when it’s not, I know when I need rest and I know exactly when I’m fertile (without looking at my period tracker app ;-).
It’s so obvious to me now that I can’t move through life and expect each week to be the same, with the same levels of energy and productivity. This week for example, I’ve gone through PMS and I’m approaching my period. So instead of beating myself up for not having enough energy to workout or produce content in the same speed as I normally do, I’ve taken some extra time off, spend most of my evenings alone and practiced being OK with taking things down a notch.
To remind myself of where I’m at in my cycle, I’ve scribbled down a note along with some keywords in my bullet journal each week. Last month, follicular phase (the first one after your period) was “movement, play, new beginnings”. Ovulatory phase was “shed the old, work, connect”. Lutheal phase week one was “nesting, introspection, evaluate, self-care” and I think this week my mantra has simply been “it’s okay” ;-)
Ok this was a long first link love note! If you wanna read more about Balanced Babes, head over to Lydia’s site Lunar Nourishment! <3
During those tired evenings at home when I’ve needed to distance myself from work, I’ve been hooked on The Handmaid’s Tale. Seriously!! It’s. So. Good. The acting, the story, the mood, the thrill. Watch it now, if, you haven’t! I’m a huge fan of Margaret Atwood’s writing, but somehow The Handmaid’s Tale passed under my radar.
As it’s full on cold brew season, I’m craving refreshing creamy drinks like this Groovy Brew from Renee of Will Frolic for Food. I still haven’t gotten around to stock up on those adaptogens yet, but given the self-care theme of this post, it will probably happen very soon!
I also really liked this very informative guest post on adaptogens over at Local Milk!
This post (in Swedish) on shedding the old that doesn’t serve you anymore I found so inspiring. Johanna is one of my biggest role models when it comes to minimalism, and her decision to end a part of her business that she loves but that’s weighing her down I think is so brave. We’ll all get there some day, and it’s important to not hold on to things jut because you once committed to it. It might be that it’s not right for you anymore, and in order to move forward that part of your life or business needs to go.
Just love the look of this skillet lasagna with almond ricotta mmyes! From The First Mess. Though I should probably crave refreshingly crisp salads and other summer foods, I just wanna dig into a big bowl of comfort food right now. Hey pms!
My friend Rania started a northbound travel blog!! I’ve always loved her nature photography so naturally I’m thrilled about this. Also, it’s in English so all you none Swedish speakers can finally take part of her inspiring minimalist lifestyle in the north. She’s btw also a huge role model to me when it comes to downshifting and designing your work and life according to your core values.
That’s all for this month! Hope you’re not too exhausted after this massive post haha.
If you wanna leave a note in the comments on how you feel about this whole spring time anxiety/self-care thing, it would mean a lot to me. Always love to connect with you!
Remember to hit the heart button if you like this post, so I know what you wanna see more of!
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