We talk slowing down + hustle culture with The Weekly Woman

We love The Weekly Woman, ‘Weekly Life Lessons. For Living Your Best Life.’ Tell us, how did it begin? 

Thank you so much for reading! When I was younger, I used to love channelling my creative energy into writing but as I got older and into my late teens/early twenties, this is something that fizzled out. 

I started journaling again a few months back and fell back in love with the whole writing process. I wanted to start writing more consistently and have an online base that I could work on consistently as I’m a big believer in doing small regular practices to improve your skills. I’ve really enjoyed venturing further into the social media world, particularly with blogging and running the Instagram page.   

We are inspired by all businesses launched in Lockdown, what challenges have you had to overcome? What made you ‘take the jump’? 

During the first lockdown, I started a side business on top of my 9-5 and studying for my law exams, which was an amazing experience as I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but the pressure of trying to keep everything ticking over led me to feel overworked, stressed and burnt out. I wasn’t taking care of my body, was always distracted and my sleeping pattern was non-existent. This naturally had a huge negative effect on me. 

In the past year alone through the pandemic I’ve learnt so much (and made a ton of mistakes too) so I thought it might be useful for others to read about some of the ‘life lessons’ I’ve taken from situations that might be perceived as negative. I wanted to take my health and wellbeing more seriously so I’ve been on my own wellness/self-help journey the past few months and over the course of this, I’ve been exposed to some amazing content (through books, podcasts, videos) which has helped change my outlook on life completely. 

My biggest realisation has been that in taking any risk or trying something out of your comfort zone, one of the biggest challenges people face is trying to overcome the fear of failure or rejection. I realised that when I’ve taken risks in the past, although they might not always have paid off, these experiences have taught me so much about myself so I was really excited for this new challenge.   

Do you feel that social media has had a crucially positive impact in your journey? 

I think social media overall has had a positive impact on my wellness journey and provides a great platform to connect with other people, particularly within the wellness community. Social media in itself can be a great tool for promoting yourself, your brand or your business and I think it’s amazing in its ability to help people create something out of nothing. 

On the flip side, I think there is always going to be the risk of it negatively affecting mental health and that the concept of social media in itself profits off of people’s insecurities, particularly young girls. I know from personal experience in starting my blog, I would often compare what I was doing to other people’s journeys or content, and sometimes get disheartened that I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I wanted to be. I think in these circumstances it’s important to re-align what you’re doing with the why behind it; be clear on what your message is and why you’re doing what you’re doing rather than just looking for that next dopamine hit through likes and notifications.

There are days when I sometimes feel social media can be a huge burden, so I try to have at least one day a week where, for the majority of the day, I’m screen free. This gives me the opportunity to detach myself from the digital world and try to do something that is hopefully going to nurture the soul, whether that’s going out for a long walk in nature, reading (instead of bingeing Netflix), or doing something practical, like working out, cooking, catching up with a friend (post Lockdown). 

One of our favourite pieces written was surrounding ‘The Hustle Culture’, for our readers… in a nutshell… what are your thoughts? 

From my own experience, I know I’ve felt validated in the past from trying to be seen as ‘busy’ or always ‘on the hustle’. During the pandemic last year, I was studying for exams, working a 9-5 and then took on a side business, which in essence was the peak of my ‘hustle period’. The expectation I had in doing this was that I would feel the most successful and validated I’d ever felt. In my mind previously, my level of busyness equated to productivity and success, whereas I think it creates quite the opposite effect in the long run and can lead to detrimental outcomes instead, like stress and burnout. 

I think the promotion of hustle culture on social media has been a big thing and on some level I may still be propagating the idea of it in starting this blog, but I’m now trying to be more aware of my reasons for doing what I do. I’m doing it as it brings me personal satisfaction, rather than doing it for external validation and I’m really trying to slow down rather than always needing to have something to do.

Are you a night owl or an early riser? 

If you’d have asked me a year ago, there was no way I’d say I was a morning person. 

I’ve slowly been cultivating my mornings to enhance a slower pace of life, so I usually start the day around 5.45/6 and avoid the temptation to check my notifications first thing. I think it’s so key to carve out some ‘you’ time without external interference or influences, whether that’s reading a book, journaling through your morning thoughts, doing a workout, going for a morning walk or even just quietly enjoying a hot drink to yourself. I find the mornings so peaceful and my morning ritual really helps set me up in the right mindset for the day ahead. 

It can be quite tricky to start getting up early but if any readers want to do this, I’d recommend waking up 5-10 minutes earlier each day until you get to your desired wake up time (and try to get to bed slightly earlier too). 

What are your top productivity hacks? 

Before anything else, I prioritise my sleep. Sleep is such an important part of our lives and without good sleep, our brains find it more difficult to function and it can also create hormone imbalances within our bodies. 

Working a 9-5 during the pandemic has been a big adjustment – I now work solely from home and save the 2 hour commute each way to work I used to do pre-pandemic. At first, I would be rolling out of bed 5 minutes before I was due to be logged on for work, but I found that this made me feel chaotic so I try and have at least 30 minutes to myself at the bare minimum. 

My key productivity tips for working throughout the day are:   

  • Keep your phone on airplane mode or in another room (out of sight, out of mind and all that);
  • Set designated times to check your phone if you need to throughout the day; 
  • Set timers for tasks – so when I start my work day, I’ll set a 90 minute timer of intense focus, and then have a 20 minute break and repeat. You could vary this with different intervals, like the 60/10 rule;
  • Do your most important task first thing in the morning when you’re most energised;
  • Make sure to stay hydrated and take regular breaks. 

Staying on top of a thriving blog like The Weekly Woman must be so exciting, yet how do you stay on top of the latest trends? 

For me at the moment I’m trying to focus more on topics that resonate with me most and things that I feel have been my biggest challenges in the past, rather than staying on top of the most recent trends. I think in doing this, it will hopefully make The Weekly Woman relevant long term, rather than just for a snapshot in time. 

With Lockdown easing, I’m hoping to be able to centre some written pieces on my more adventurous side or doing more solo activities and trips – I love to travel. I’ve found the past year has been an amazing opportunity to reconnect with myself and have learnt to enjoy my own company again, which is something I think every woman should focus on. As cliché as it sounds, the relationship you have with yourself is going to be your longest relationship in life so it’s important that you have a really good one. 

We love that alongside cold showers + power napping, you have also taken up new habits like skating – do you have any new hobbies you’d like to attempt? 

Lockdown 3.0 has been a time for exploration for me, especially when it comes to new hobbies. I’ve been using the downtime to get back in touch with old hobbies I used to love when I was younger, like painting and drawing. I’ve recently taken up boxing and with Lockdown starting to ease and gyms re-opening, I’m really looking forward to trying a Muay Thai class. I’ve also been practicing yoga daily from home over the past few months and would really like to get out to an actual class post-lockdown. 

What’s next for The Weekly Woman? Where do we see yourself in the next year? 

Without giving too much away, I’m working on a few projects and ideas that I’d like to develop and launch over the next few months but for now I’m really focusing on consistency and writing more often. I’m a big believer in making daily progress towards your goals and trying to ‘announce’ what I’m doing less; before I would get so carried away with my ideas and tell anyone and everyone, and then lose momentum in actually carrying them out. 

As a long term goal way way in the future, I’d love to be in a position to launch a podcast for The Weekly Woman and interview other entrepreneurial women, but baby steps for now. 

As fellow Female Founders, we wish you the biggest success in your new venture. Which other Girl Bosses are you loving? 

Thank you so much, that’s so kind of you! I’m massively inspired by Sophia Amoruso, the original founder of Nasty Gal. She created a podcast called Girl Boss Radio, which is solely dedicated to interviewing entrepreneurial women (I would definitely recommend listening to a few episodes of this if you haven’t). I also love the women from The Receipts podcast, and really admire the drive and enthusiasm Maya Jama has.

In my personal life, so many women I know are winning, especially when it comes to building their social media profiles. I’m really loving Cait Mansfield’s make up page (@caitm.makeup), and my friends Emily and Beth run their own skincare accounts which are doing really well too (@emily___skincare and @face.norm). I just love how many female owned businesses are popping up and how many women are actually pursuing their own side projects at the moment. 

Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self? 

This is something I’ve been reflecting on a lot recently. I would definitely tell my younger self not to take life so seriously all the time, or wish away the time you have now. I was so focused on growing up and living a fast paced life when I was younger that I don’t think I took as much time to actually enjoy each moment. If we’re looking for silver linings to take from the pandemic, slowing down is something I’m particularly grateful for and I would tell my younger self to do the same.   

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