Thursday, 18 April 2013

How to Stop Panicking and Stay Happy

Building a creative career is hard. Especially when pesky money is involved, which it always is. I mostly feel really good about where my career is going... except financially. If I didn't have to pay rent and feed myself I would be doing great - but wouldn't we all? 
Last night I had one of those "I need a day job" panics. I got out my scatter gun and started frantically looking for jobs online with no real focus or direction. All that happened was that I turned myself into a little stress ball and I was no closer to achieving anything job related. 

Anyway the gist of this is that we all hit that moment of career anxiety from time to time, but it's the way we push through it that defines our success. As a naturally anxious person, I thought I'd share a few motivational pick-me-ups that I use (and should use more) in those "I can't do this" moments. 

1// Look to others for inspiration. My classic choice for a bit of happy motivation is A Beautiful Mess - those girls never fail to inspire me to keep pursuing my goals. Another new favourite of mine is Brittany from The House that Lars Built, an endless source of motivation! Remember that coveting someone else's career doesn't have to come from a place of jealousy - I find that looking at people who are really succeeding helps me to imagine myself succeeding. 

2// Make a dreams timeline. Start with where you want to get to and work backwards to now, adding the big steps and baby steps that will get you there. This definitely doesn't have to be a linear plan - it can be a tree with lots of branches and doodles. make it light hearted and work for you. 

3// Take stock of what you have achieved already and reward yourself! Everyone needs a pat on the back sometimes, and who better to give you one, than you? 

4// Plan your time efficiently. I find that time management keeps me calm and that the best way for me to stay on task during the day is to make a timetable for myself. I make a list of everything I need to do and how long each thing will take me, then I make a timetable for the day with scheduled breaks. This works for me because it's those moments when I am left wondering what to work on next that I fill with panicky thoughts! 

5// "Put the glass down". As Jake always reminds me; sometimes you need to stop worrying about whether the glass is half full or half empty and just put it down on the table - it's heavy! This always helps me when I get into anxiety mode. 

Here are some more resources that have helped me in the past:

>>> Alan Watts - what a man. This animation always puts things into perspective  for me! 

Are there any fellow panic-ers out there? How do you deal with stress and anxiety?

x Rachel


  1. Love your tips :) I definitely tend to stress out more than I need to and worry I'm not good enough. I need to just sit down and breathe a bit more! xx

  2. thanks for visiting my blog! yours is beautiful as well! I cant wait to read more... I really relate to your writing.

    this post speaks so much to me as well! I was working as a waitress full time and miserable because it wasnt my dream and I didnt have the freedom to do the creative things I wanted because by the time I got off I was too exhausted to even pick up a pen. I had to compromise so now I'm only working 2 days a week at my old job while trying to start my design studio and vintage shop. If I didn't have to pay bills I would quit completely but ya know.. haha your tips are very helpful... specifically in looking what you've already accomplished since its so easy to get caught up in what you HAVENT accomplished yet.

    happiness and doing what I love pays off more than having a lot of extra cash coming. (sorry this comment is wayyyyyy longer than I intended it to be haha)

  3. Omg thats so true! We have to sit and dont be tu hursh to ourselves so we can move forward, Beautiful post! Im from MEXICO and I think your blog is amazing!! I would be so happy if your could check out mine and say what you think?!

  4. Amazing tips, thank you very much. I love your blog :-*.
    Kisses from Vivi

  5. I like the idea of making a dreams timeline! When i read "put the glass down", for some reason i thought it was going to be about whiskey :P

  6. I'm a bit of a panicker too, especially when things take me longer than I expect. I love the idea of a dream timeline though, sounds like a great way to work my head around all the stuff floating around in there xo

  7. Love these suggestions. I can panic when I get overwhelmed... I always have to step outside and get some fresh air to calm myself down. Being outside is the best way for me to declutter my thoughts.

  8. Love that quote, thanks, I totally needed that today.

    Kristiina @ Typical House Cat

    PS you should open up commenting to those of us who are not on blogger :)

    1. Thanks Kristina, I didn't realise my comments weren't open! haha can't believe I've gone so long without changing that setting - what a school-girl error! xx

  9. Great blog post and read.
    Thanks for sharing tips <3

  10. wow, great post :) this is so relevant for all of us, I think. Trying to build a creative career is a challenge I'm constantly struggling with, lol.

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog, I'm following you on bloglovin and twitter now. Your blog is beautiful, I love the design and the drawings around your picture :) xoxox


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