Author: ShaniceSingh

5 Symptoms of Burnout (and How to Combat Them)

Not every day at work is going to be perfect. Trust me- I love my job but there are days where I just wish I had stayed in bed. That being said, if you’re having more bad days than good, you might be suffering from burnout. Here are a few symptoms that I use personally to tell when I am burning out and tips on combating them. Note that this is to fix symptoms. Fixing burnout itself takes time and effort. This is basically my band-aid solution until you are able to take time off for yourself to heal.

1. You’re irritable or impatient.

You might be incredibly cynical or critical at work. This is one of my personal triggers and the second I start losing patience with colleagues, I start to question if it’s just a bad day or if I am on the way to burnout.

The Fix: Notice when you keep getting more annoyed than usual and track your triggers. I do this by keeping a journal. When I know it’s burnout season, I try to be kinder both to myself and others.

2.You lose interest in your job.

You feel like going to work is a huge effort and so is doing your job itself. Again, everyone has bad days but if this is happening more often than not, you might be experiencing burnout.

The Fix: Make a list of all the things you like about your job. You wouldn’t still be at your job if there wasn’t something positive about it. This is also a great time to start gratitude journaling. I remember one coworker who was having a tough time at work and her gratitude list started off with “Sushi”. (TBH the work environment was super-stressful but I loved that she could find a positive aspect).

3. You’re struggling to sleep

This one is probably the most tricky to fix. Maybe you’re having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Maybe you’ve been using your bedtime as a form of revenge procrastination, pushing it further and further until it’s 2AM and you realise you have work in a few hours. Whatever it is, sleep is vital for your performance as a functioning human.

The Fix: Try to keep similar sleeping and waking times. Keep your bedroom dark and cool. Come up with an unwinding routine that brings you joy. I absolutely love tea followed by 30 mins of reading.

4. You’ve developed unhealthy coping mechanisms like food, alcohol or shopping

This is another one of my trigger items and honestly all I can say is keep an eye for it. This is another tricky one but helps if you have a partner to hold you accountable.

The Fix: Try to get a buddy to monitor when these get out of control. I work virtually but my friends and I have the habit of checking on each other when it comes to lunch because we’re guilty of skipping meals when things get busy.

5. You have physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or body pain

Physical symptoms can either result from you working too hard or in an uncomfortable position. Or it can be a result of the stress.

The Fix: Again, track what your triggers are. Are you taking regular breaks away from your desk? Are you sitting in one position for too long? Does your chair need an upgrade?

The best way to combat burnout is to analyse what is going on, what is causing your symptoms and fix the root of the issue. But if you can’t or you’re not willing to put in the time (talking to myself there but the year end is right around the corner), treating the symptoms will help…up to a point.

The faster you treat burnout, the faster you’re able to be you again.

5 Tools I Wish I Knew as A Beginner Blogger

I remember starting my blog and being so proud of myself. I had a little piece of the internet that belonged to me. But as time went on, I started realising things about my blog that were off. For starters, I had no pictures. Or links. How were other people doing that? Was I a bad blogger? As with most things in life, blogging is something where you learn by doing (or lots of Google). I am hoping to save you some time by sharing the 5 tools I wish I knew about as a beginner blogger.

1. Canva

Canva wins first place because I had zero clue how I managed as a blogger before Canva. Canva can be used to create design assets for your blog, email, social media and so much more. I use Canva for work, for blogging and even for wishing family members on special days. If you don’t know what Canva is or haven’t tried it yet, GO NOW!!!! This is an excellent way for non-graphic designers to create designs.

2. Planable

Soo full disclosure…November and December posts have been planned on Planable- which I have only just discovered. I’ve been blogging for over a decade. I do not know why I am only finding Planable now (hey, we live and learn, right?)

3. Buffer

Buffer is great for scheduling social media posts. And if you haven’t started scheduling social media posts, I strongly suggest you look into this. It is SUCH a game-changer. Simply draw up a social media calendar (or decide how often you want to post), and use Buffer to schedule these posts in advance. Not sure which social media platforms you should be using? Here’s a few steps to choosing your social media platforms.

4. WordPress App

Using the WordPress App is a quick and easy way to draft out blog posts. While I don’t typically post live from the app, I do love using it to write on the go (some of my more emotional posts are done on the app while the content-heavy blog posts are done via laptop).

5. Google Analytics

Google Analytics gives you access to cool information such as where is your audience located, what devices are they using to access your blog and which are the most popular blog posts or pages on your blog. By simply signing up, Google will walk you through the steps for connecting your blog and voila, instant access to user demographics.

Do you use any of these tools or do you have your own set of blogger tools that you’re obsessed with? Let me know below!

5 Signs Your Job Might Be A Bad Fit

Not every job is for every person. And that’s okay. You’re going to spend a huge chunk of your life at your job so it’s important that your job fits you and vice versa. Here are a few signs that your job may not be a fit for you:

1. You Feel Disconnected From the Job

Early in my career I came across someone who “didn’t value their job” (I’m quoting management here). At the time I couldn’t explain what the issue was but basically they did the bare minimum. They didn’t even open their email. Since this was someone I knew for a few years, I asked her about it. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the job. She just didn’t feel like it was for her. This made perfect sense to me. I knew at the time that not every job was for every person (I had left one call center during the training stage just to go work for another call center based on “it just feels right”). I ran into this person a few years ago and she’s working in HR and loving it. Being disconnected from your job isn’t a bad thing. It just means there might be something else out there for you.

2. Everything Feels Overwhelming

When opening an email- or even just replying to a message- feels like too much, this might be a sign that your job is a bad fit for you. Back when I worked in Customer Care, there were so many emails that I eventually stopped opening them all. Only to then be faced with “I sent you an email. Did you get it?” (Yes but which one of the 100 is you?)

3. You Dread Waking Up and Going to Work

I used to wake up and my first feeling was dread. I used to actually think “Oh dear God, why me?” It’s okay to not look forward to a day at work or even a few days (long-term stressful projects do take their toil on you) but if this is your primary state, it might be worth looking for a new role.

4. You’re Living for the Weekend

If the only thing getting you through the week is the thought of the weekend then your job is definitely not the one for you. Yes, weekends are amazing but if that is the only thing pushing you through. this is a major red flag.

5. You Lack Passion for the Job Itself

It’s okay to not be passionate about your job. Lots of people are able to work jobs they’re not passionate about. But lots of people are also unable to work jobs they’re not passionate about. If you feel like you lack passion combined with the other signs listed above, it might be time to update your resume and start looking for a new job.

Book Review: The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found a copy of this book in my local bookstore. I wasn’t looking for thrillers. In fact I had accepted that I was a book buyer and not a book reader. But the synopsis pulled me in and I did not regret it.

The Writing Retreat tells the story of a group of hopeful females who win a place at a new writing retreat with their favourite author, Roza Vallo.
Roza Vallo, while a celebrated author, is incredibly odd. Her moods change quickly and her behaviour is unpredictable. I was scared of her from the second her character appeared on the page. Her books are also incredibly twisted. But the girls adored her and this is made clear throughout the book. They are just a few steps away from full-on obsession. This adoration causes them to miss a few red flags at the retreat until it’s too late.

This was a well-written read that I could not put down. I don’t remember the last time I read a book but for this one, I needed to know what was going on. Such a compelling book.
If you’re a fan of thrillers, give this a go!

View all my reviews

How to Create a Content Calendar for Your Blog

A content calendar helps you plan and organize your blog posts ahead of time, ensuring that you always have fresh and engaging content to publish regularly. It’s an excellent way to stay organised as a blogger and prevent burnout or writer’s block. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a content calendar for your blog:

1. Determine your goals and target audience

Before you start creating your content calendar, you need to determine your blog’s goals and target audience. Who are you writing for? What topics are they interested in? What type of content do they engage with the most? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create a content calendar that resonates with your audience and supports your blog’s goals.

2. Choose a content calendar tool

There are many content calendar tools available, ranging from free to paid options. Choose a tool that suits your needs and budget. Some popular options include Trello, Asana, Google Sheets, and CoSchedule. You might even prepare to use a paper planner (which, when combined with sticky notes, is an excellent way to see your posts and reschedule if necessary)

3. Brainstorm content ideas

Research popular topics in your niche, then brainstorm ideas that align with your blog’s goals and target audience. You can also look at your competitors’ blogs for inspiration.

4. Create a content schedule

Once you have a list of content ideas, it’s time to create a content schedule. Decide how often you want to publish blog posts, and then create a schedule that fits with your blogging frequency. For example, if you want to publish two blog posts per week, you’ll need to create a schedule that outlines which blog post will be published on which day.

5. Assign tasks

Assign tasks to yourself or your team members for each blog post. This includes writing the post, creating graphics, optimizing for SEO, and promoting on social media. If you’re the only blogger, you might want to consider batching tasks to help with your productivity.

6. Track your progress

It’s essential to track your progress to ensure that you’re meeting your blogging goals. Use your content calendar tool to track each blog post’s progress, including the date it was published, the number of views, and engagement metrics.

7. Update and adjust your content calendar as needed

Your content calendar is a living document that should be updated and adjusted as needed. If you find that certain topics aren’t performing well, adjust your content to focus on more successful topics. If you have an unexpected event or breaking news, be flexible enough to adjust your content calendar accordingly.

Do you have a content calendar or do you just wing it? Let me know below!

7 Steps to Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms

Choosing the right social media platforms for your blog is a vital decision. While there are many social media platforms available, not all of them are suitable for every blog. Here are some steps to help you choose the right social media platforms for your blog:

Step 1: Define your target audience

The first step in choosing the right social media platforms for your blog is to define your target audience. Who are you writing for, and where do they spend their time online? Different social media platforms attract different demographics, so it’s essential to understand your audience’s preferences and habits.

Step 2: Determine your goals

What are your goals for using social media? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your blog, or engage with your audience? Different social media platforms excel at different goals, so it’s essential to determine what you want to achieve with social media before choosing which platforms to use.

Step 3: Research social media platforms

Once you understand your audience and goals, it’s time to research different social media platforms to determine which ones align with your objectives. Some popular platforms for bloggers include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Each platform has unique features and strengths, so research each one carefully.

Step 4: Evaluate the platform’s features

When evaluating social media platforms, it’s essential to consider their features. For example, if your blog is highly visual, you may want to focus on platforms that emphasize photos and videos, such as Instagram or TikTok. If you’re looking to build a professional network, LinkedIn may be the best platform for you.

Step 5: Consider the platform’s engagement levels

It’s also important to consider the engagement levels of each social media platform. Some platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, are highly interactive, while others, such as LinkedIn, are more focused

on professional networking. Choose a platform that aligns with your blogging goals and audience preferences.

Step 6: Start small

It’s okay to start with one or two social media platforms and then expand as you grow. Don’t feel like you need to be on every social media platform from the beginning. Focus on platforms that align with your audience and goals, and then expand as needed.

Step 7: Be Open to Trial and Error

Maybe you start on a social media platform and change your mind. It’s okay. Be sure to give your platform of choice atleast a few months as a trial run. If it doesn’t work out, you can move on to something else.

By understanding your audience, goals, and the unique features and strengths of each platform, you can choose the best platforms for your blog and start building your social media presence.

Life Update: I Made My Bed

You’re probably thinking: “Who cares?” or “That’s a little too personal- why weren’t you making your bed to begin with?”

Let me explain.

For a little over a year, I stopped making my bed, convinced that it was the reason that I burned out in the first place. I had been reading Atomic Habits and the first positive change I made was to make my bed. That small win gave me a little thrill. And so for the rest of the workday, I would chase thrills. I would walk in at 7AM and immediately start working. When the rest of the team came in at 8, I was halfway done with my list for the day and would just start doing additional work. If there was work that needed to be done after 5, I would stay in and do it.

It didn’t last long. I can’t pinpoint how or when but eventually I took on too much. I was making small mistakes. I had brain fog, migraines and body pain. I was losing patience with anyone and everyone who didn’t match my speed of work or anyone who I saw as slowing me down. What do you mean we still need approval for this? YOU’RE HOLDING THE PROJECT UP!

This line would play in my brain in a constant loop

Eventually I reached my breaking point. I would cry constantly but did nothing to change my job. It was nearly the end of the year. I just needed to push through. Everyone struggled this time of the year.

But when a random person messaged me on LinkedIn asking me if I was interested in a content writer position, I agreed to speak to them.

I wasn’t in the job market and until I got that message, I never thought about content writing. Sure, I ran a blog but I was training to be a copywriter.

(At the time however, my workload consisted of a combination of different things).

The job was perfect. So I took it. It was a WFH role and I loved it. But for months afterwards, I refused to make my bed.

I automatically associated the bed with the source of my burnout. So I would wake up, go on with my day and then make the bed before I went to sleep for the night.

Yesterday marked 11 months in my new role (something I didn’t actually realise until now). Today was the first day I made the bed. I didn’t do it as soon as I woke up but I was passing the room and saw the bed wasn’t made. I made it and went on my way. And then realised what I had done… I had made my bed.

It took a few months for me to recover from the burnout and I was grateful that I was still able to work through it. But until I made my bed, I had no idea how much the whole thing weighed on me. It felt like leaving a chapter behind me. Like by making my bed, I was finally okay.

Book Review: Exes and O’s by Amy Lea

Exes and O’s by Amy Lea

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I really did enjoy it. But I missed Crystal. Tara reminded me a little too much of myself and I couldn’t help but cringe at her antics. Nonetheless I did love this book and I loved getting a look at the bookish world (I think I got this copy from Netgalley and just haven’t read it because I didn’t have “Set on You” at the time).
Exes and O’s tells the story of diehard romantic Tara Chen as she revisits her ex’s in an attempt to find The One.
What Tara doesn’t realise is The One might be closer than she thinks…like her hot room-mate.
This was a cute read that I enjoyed immensely. I have immediately started reading The Catch. I love how fully fleshed these characters are. If you’re a fan of cute romance books, give this series a try. These books can be read alone but I feel like you get the best experience if you start from “Set on You”.

View all my reviews

5 Tips on How to Deal with the October Slump

October is crappy month. Most of us agree on this. But whenever I question the reasoning behind it, all I get is “it’s just that time of year”. So I consulted my trusty friend, Google who confirmed that there is something called “October Slump”. Google seems to associate this with teachers but I am stealing this term for this post. Here are 5 tips to help you deal if you’re suffering with the October Slump.

1. Be Gentle with Yourself and Others:

Remember that this time will pass. I know that every October I hate everyone and everything. And every year I have to remind myself to take it easy. Also, the one time I DIDN’T take it easy, I got severely burned out, severely ill and ended up leaving my job. It worked out in the end but what happens if that pattern repeats itself? That is why I am reminding myself this year to be gentle.

2. Make Time for the Things and People That Bring You Joy:

During the October slump I am careful to protect my energy and only share it with those who bring me joy. Whether it’s meeting a loved one for a meal or binge-watching an old show, these months are for me and me only. If someone drains you, this is the time to stay away from them for a bit. Trust me, you will feel so much better!

3. Be More Active:

Okay this is something that I absolutely detest but it’s necessary for my mental health. Make sure you’re finding time to exercise. Take up a new gym class or try a new workout routine. Your body will thank you for it.

4. Take Up a New Hobby:

As adults we can do whatever we want to. But we rarely do. Use this time to start a new hobby whether it’s painting or biking. Start something new and fun.

5. Plan for the New Year:

You’re in a slump because it’s been a long year. So why not look ahead to something exciting? Think about your future goals, plans and resolutions to help you get through this last stretch.

Do you have any tips for dealing with this icky part of the year? Let me know below!

On Losing Your Sense of Self in A Job

I’ve hit rock bottom enough times to know what it looks it.

Even so, each and every time I’m surprised when it happens. Like, this again? I thought I was done with this nonsense.

This time, I knew for certain it was my fault. I had felt it building up. I felt The Dark Place calling. And I ignored it. I pushed myself harder, worked more, made more lists, tried to push for productivity.

When I realized that I was nearing burnout and that pushing myself wasn’t yielding results, I stopped. It wasn’t supposed to be a permanent thing. It was supposed to be a break.

But one week turned into two and then three months later, I was curled on my couch with a glass of wine, bawling my eyes out and contemplating taking allergy medication just so I could feel all nice and fuzzy instead of miserable.

The trigger? My father being rushed into hospital after showing signs of a mild heart attack and a meeting with someone that forced a mirror in front of me and the way that I had been living my life.

I felt lost. This wasn’t me. I was the girl with all the goals and the to-do lists. I was the girl who studied, ran a blog, wrote online, worked on a novel all while still working in a toxic environment. HOW did I get here?

I didn’t know it at the time but I was the problem. I was so excited to be working in Marketing that I had neglected my mental and physical health. I wish I could say that I fixed it but I didn’t. No, instead I moved from Performance Marketing to Event Marketing and a few months later, had the same issue. I had thrown myself headfirst into learning everything I could and (again) neglected my own health. So when a job opportunity to be a content writer arrived, I took it.

Can you guess what happened then? Yep, another six months and I felt myself getting sick again. This time I refused to let it get me. I had worked for years! YEARS! All I ever wanted was to be a content writer and I was not going to let me stand in the way. I took a few days off and actually did disconnect. I stayed away from work email and messages. And when I logged back…there was nothing waiting for me. It was an actual break. I was appalled. I had never had that happen to me before.

Moral of the story: Take a break if you need to. Always put your health first. ESPECIALLY if you can tell that burnout is on its way.


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