I have been a content creator for over 7 years now. And committed to it full time about 2 years ago. As a lifestyle blogger, a major part of my life also serves as content for Cherry Cross – from makeup experiments to keto fails, and everything in between. Unless I am unwell, either physically or mentally, I engaged with my audience, sharing life and it’s many facets, on a daily basis.
When Covid’19 hit us, both the frequency and pressure of creating content increased as we were all quarantined in our homes and consuming twice the digital content than we used to. My numbers nearly doubled, which made me happy, and want to create more and more. I expanded my horizon even more and included successes from my kitchen, personal trauma of being fat shamed, retrospective accounts for #MeAt20, and even got N onboard to make a couple of videos together for my YouTube channel. Yes, I have a YouTube channel, with almost 200 videos.
What also increased with engagement was the number of messages, and in typical Shaheen style, I responded to them all and started chatting with some as well. Those conversations were precious because not only did they appreciate my content, they also took out the time to write to me (writing isn’t easy for everyone), and share both fun as well as personal accounts. I remember how touched I was with messages about caring for plants, when I all but killed Gulabo while repotting her.
I love creating content and engaging with my audience, but this increase had me exhausted in about 4 weeks. I was scramming my brain for ideas but there was only run of the mill and been there done that kind of suggestions. My creativity was struggling to find room to bloom under the increased frequency of creation.
So, I decided to take a day off. I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t in a bad mood or depressed. Everything was good, and I had a day off. It seemed like such a novel idea, a luxury. The plan was to not create ANY content for Cherry Cross – no Instagram, no Insta Stories, no blog post, no videos for YouTube, no Facebook posts, no photos, no emails, no responding to direct messages, and no content planning.
Come to think of it, when I worked in a corporate environment, I did get two days off every week to recharge and refresh my mind and body. Why didn’t I give myself the same time to relax, now that I was self-employed?
Hence, I decided to take every Saturday off from content creator duties. Last Saturday was my first, and I was actually looking forward to writing this post after the break. It wasn’t a chore anymore. It once again became something that I loved and was fortunate enough to do.
People who decide to go down the entrepreneurial route often make this mistake. The downplay the importance of R&R, burning midnight oil, and eventually getting exhausted before they reach the finish line. What’s the point? Work hard for 6 days a week, take a break, and then come back.
Same goes for home makers. Wives and mothers hardly ever get a day off (Mother’s Day is once a year, and that is far from enough). It would be fantastic if they can enforce a day off for themselves, where all other members of the family distribute her chores. Heck, start with half a day. Sundays, until 4PM, lady of the house is off limits for chores. Breakfast and lunch ought to be served, and couch and remote are her sole property. Brunches with girls shouldn’t stress her out and the partner is on children/house/pet duty by default. A woman can spend 10 hours out of 168 a week solely on herself, right?
And you, Ms. Corporate Hotshot, please don’t check your emails on a Sunday. Disconnecting, even if it’s for a day, will make you appreciate Mondays. Unless there is a fire somewhere, it can wait. If you don’t put your foot down and set boundaries, know that no one else will do it for you, and I say this from my personal experience.
I understand the need to hustle, to push boundaries and work hard (because we are all young and if not now, then when?) but I also think that taking a break, once a week, is what your mind and body needs to function at its optimal efficiency level. Also, the day off will help you be grateful for all that you don’t have time to notice otherwise .
So, take a break, try not to feel guilty about it (its hard but you got this) and appreciate your mind and body for the wonders it can do.