Phew! I literally took a deep breath before typing this first sentence. I’m currently struggling with seeing my desktop clearly as I’m typing this right now because my glasses broke. It’s really a struggle but I think I’m in the right frame of mind to write this now. I guess by now, you must have noticed that I am a very private person. I protect my space (mentally, emotionally, intellectually and so on) rigidly and uhmmm…sharing this was a very courageous step for me to take. Lol! I just took another deep breath. Lol! Yeah! This is ‘Part One’ because i have decided to start sharing my journey with y’all. I’m human too and i also have my own fair share of life challenges. Many parts will come later as i move on with life. I’d love to break these struggles into bullet points and then give you tips on how I’m currently overcoming each struggle. This will help a lot with the clarity of this post. I hope this inspires you as well.
Mental Exhaustion as A Content Creator: It got to a point these past few months, I was so mentally exhausted. Very exhausted. I was having a serious creative burn out. Well, I didn’t know it was a serious one till I started coming out of it. I was finding it hard to create content. It didn’t flow as before and this made me really anxious. I was just trying to see if I could jump on any trend in my niche just to stay ‘relevant’ but one of the good things I love about myself is once something doesn’t appeal or speak to me no matter how in vogue it is, I won’t react to it regardless of how hard I try. The state where I live here in Nigeria wasn’t making things easy for me. I couldn’t and still can’t find other creatives like me to lean on for mental support till I get my inspiration back. You know, I’d always see fellow content creators on social media organize hangouts or workshops in places like Lagos or Abuja to share ideas together and help each other grow but yelp! there is none here in Awka (well, that i know of). Lagos is where everything happens you know. It almost seems like I’m the only creative here especially in my niche so there was absolutely no one to share ideas with and discuss these kind of challenges creatives encounter and I was almost being swallowed by it. It gets even worse when someone asks you what you do and you say you are a content creator. Oh my! That even adds to the discouragement as they’d see you as someone who is unserious and has no ambitions. Yeah! I could feel the contempt in their reactions most times. I don’t know if you can relate to this but it was really a dark place for me. I felt alone in this whole creative stuff.
So, how am i getting out of this? I started taking intermediate or random breaks from ‘creating’ contents and instead ‘curated’ contents (Mark the difference between the two words). This helped me a lot mentally and is still helping me till now. I had to come to the hard truth that I just had to keep moving even when I felt like stopping and it is helping me a lot. I encouraged and still encourage myself by following and listening to people I admire and inspire me on social media. If you are at this place of mental exhaustion, I suggest you try this and please let me know if it helps your personality type in tackling this challenge.
The Rush Of Social Media & The Feeling of Irrelevance: Whether you like it or not, consciously or unconsciously, social media has a lot of impact in your mental well being. If you are not careful or self reflective, you can fall into the comparison trap especially as a creative. You’ll rush yourself and mount unnecessary pressure on yourself unknowingly and that my dear friend was what I was unconsciously doing. I rushed myself so much that I almost broke down. I didn’t know that was happening honestly. The constant fluctuating algorithms were not helping matters so I always told myself I needed to constantly create to stay relevant which is true if you analyse it critically though. What I didn’t realize was how much it was affecting my growth process and pace which should be allowed to flow naturally. I felt I always had to post all the time to stay relevant but No! I realized that my relevance as a content creator depended on me and what pace I could effortlessly cover personally without working myself out. I started calming down and really started taking life one day at a time. If I’m strong enough to create today, fine! If I’m not, till tomorrow then, when I can finish it up. If you are currently battling with this, just like my best friend would always tell me, FLOW WITH LIFE. You are not trying to impress anyone but instead impress yourself because the people you might want to impress as a priority might not really prioritize your efforts like you do. So my dear, start flowing with life. YOU ARE RELEVANT EVEN WITHOUT ANYBODY’S VALIDATION.
Enjoying The Process and Taking It One Day At A Time: I’d always tell people this but I never knew I personally didn’t understand this for what it really is. Recently, I’ve discovered the breath taking beauty in totally embracing my process, the growth and lessons. For Goodness sake, what is the essence of rushing?? If you think about it, most of the things that have made you wiser these past few years are your past experiences. So why rush them? To where exactly? I told myself I’m going to calm down and experience my experiences and that my friend, is PEACE ITSELF.
Focusing More On My Mental Health: I remember putting up a poll on my Instagram Stories asking people about their mental health. The turn up was so low and I wasn’t surprised at all, mental health is so under rated here in Nigeria. A lot of people do not take care of their mental well being and I feel a lot of sensitization needs to be done on that. I remember educating people during my Radio Show on Wednesday mornings on this and a lot of people appreciated that. Deciding to focus more on my mental health has helped me gain balance emotionally, socially, physically and health wise. I advise you do the same. Ask yourself what seems to be threatening you In the aforementioned areas? Sit down and tackle it with yourself. Don’t ignore this point. It is very important and will determine your sanity in this crazy world where people are beginning to act like robots and a lot of mentally unstable people are roaming the streets dressed in fancy suits and blazers.
On Realizing It Is More Important To Share My Journey Than My Success Stories: This is so important I tell you especially in this age where everybody seems to be sharing the highlight reels of their life and how successful they are. It makes you ask yourself if life is so rosy for them and not you. Lol! However, I understand the vulnerability of sharing your journey especially one that means a lot to you in this age where most people feel they have a right to judge you. But you see, sharing your journey brings like minded people to you and together you can grow. It inspires others to know that they are not alone in their present trials and even though you might always look well put together and coordinated all the time, you still have one or two things you are battling with which makes you human. Sharing your journey and not just your success stories will also help people who look up to you not to give up and this will in turn inspire you to keep on moving against the tides. Now, how did I know all of this? I’m a very reflective person and I’ve been encouraged a lot as well through other people’s journeys than their success stories. This has helped me embrace myself and my path in fullness and that was and is still so peaceful.
In essence, what am I trying to bring out in this point? As part of my lifestyle contents, I’ll be sharing my journeys with you and also learning from you as well so expect more lifestyle contents from me. I’ll be posting it more often on my YouTube Channel @’Viola Ekene’ so I plead with you to subscribe so we can all grow together.
Like the title of this blog post rightly depicts, this is indeed the first part to so many i’ll be sharing with you; the lessons and everything in between.
Phew! Wow! I just heaved another sigh of relief. I can’t believe I shared this part of my life with you and oh! I feel lighter? So tell me please, how are you? How has life been lately for you? Let’s talk in the comment section. Love you!
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