Let’s take a minute to talk about mental health…
This week I planned to take Monday off (which I NEVER do). Mostly because we’d had a wedding Saturday (9 Hours) and we had to drop the photo booth off and pick it up at another wedding venue location. Then Sunday I had 2 high school senior session and a wedding consultation. On Monday I still had some commitments to fulfill (volunteering at a golf awards ceremony) so I didn’t get a full day off but staying in my pj’s for part of the day was the plan. I felt a bit guilty for not going to the studio because on Monday people are supposed to go to work. But gosh darn it, I was taking the day off.
All went to plan (sort of) and I got to stay in my jammies for part of the day. I did the dishes, caught up on some laundry, washed the dog, made lunch for my husband, and even watched a movie. All while doing a bit of editing, checking my emails, responding to Facebook inquires, and planning for the weeks ahead. Admittedly, it’s really hard for me to take a ‘true day off’. I am so committed to my business, my friends and family, my clients, and my deadlines that even 12 hours away stresses me out. I know people are counting on their images coming back on time and looking forward to them.
You know what? I am never late with deadlines. In fact, most of the time I deliver much earlier than promised because I am just as excited as you are to get you your photos. So why do I still push myself like crazy to work, work, work and hustle, hustle, hustle? This is something I asked myself today, on Tuesday, after taking a second ‘day off’.
Gasp! The shock! The horror! Two days off! Who am I becoming?! I’d like to tell my inner voice to take a seat and zip it. I DESERVE a day off! Just like you do! September was an absolutely insane month for us. I had 9 weddings, 19 consultations/meetings, 1 viewing and ordering session, 2 expos, 4 nights of staff training, 17 photo sessions (school sports, families, headshots, etc.), 1 doctors appointment, a ton of travel time, and I worked 9 shifts at the Loon (waiting tables). I worked roughly a total of 195 hours of actual physical work. That does not include my travel time, time spent editing, culling, uploading, creating, designing, and delivering. I’m not totally sure I want to know what the final number for September was. What I do know is that I spent very little time with my family, husband, and pets, and also that I was exhausted Sunday evening. So yeah, I took two days ‘off’ to rest, recoup, and regain a bit of mental strength. I think that honestly, we all need to do that from time to time.
The reason I felt the need to sit down and write this today (at 11:30pm on Tuesday) is because I really want to stress the concept of kindness, compassion, and patience. I know you’re excited to see your gallery and receive your prints. I know if feels like it’s been forever. Trust me, it feels like forever for me too when your names are written boldly on my whiteboard. I know that you have a lot going on, and that having an immediate response to an email, message or text would be helpful. But please understand that if I don’t get back to you right away it’s because I am super tied up with something else. I am not ignoring you, mad at you, or ‘never going to deliver’. Any of those responses would eat away at me and I would feel guilty for ages. So next time to want to check in with someone (be it me, another vendor, or a friend that borrowed your hoodie) please think about doing it kindly.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to your loved ones, and be kind to others in this world. Lord know’s we could all use it. Mental health is important. Take a day off from time to time, and don’t let it eat away at you. (Ok, that last bit was for me but maybe it’ll help you too.)