We all need a healthy balance

1 May 2018

When I started writing Tattooed Tealady I was just 24, starting my second year of University and still navigating the world of adulthood. My responsibilities were few and far between, I still went out clubbing at every given opportunity and festivals were my holidays, as many as I could get myself to each summer. I lived a care-free lifestyle and made the most of every chance to make happy memories and have the best time possible.

A picture of high end makeup palettes
Tattooed Tealady started as nothing more than a beauty blog, somewhere to ramble about my makeup obsession and share my latest beauty purchases, a very different space to the one it is now, which features more than just beauty, a place I shared my first pregnancy and now my experience as a first-time mum with regular parenting features, memories of days out and favourite family recipes, restaurant reviews, books I've been devouring and everything in between. Tattooed Tealady has changed a lot in six years - and so have I.

Six weeks ago I decided to take a break. A break from blogging, a break from some social media channels and a break from online life in general. In April I should have been celebrating six years of writing Tattooed Tealady, but realistically, I was working my way through a difficult time with severe anxiety and depression consuming my everyday life and generally not being very physically well. I didn't feel like celebrating very much. 

After the unexpected and sudden loss of one of my younger brothers in September 2017 (this is all very serious, isn't it?), I simply was not in the right headspace to give this blog the devotion I had shown it over the previous six years. Life, in general, felt like a juggling act and let me tell you, I cannot juggle to save my life, and so things became a little too much and I had to prioritise; family, myself, trying to work through the grief of losing my brother and 'offline real life' had to come first.

So I took a break and it was a much-needed break, my first proper break from blogging since I started this blog six years ago and most importantly, it has done me the world of good. I spent the first week trying to relearn how to function without blogging and all the social media channels I was used to using all day, every day. I was so used to every day having 'blog work' to do and forcing myself not to do anything took some getting used to. 

Instead? I spent every day doing as much as I could with Willow, which has been much easier with the start of warming weather meaning fun trips to the park and lovely days out making memories with family. I put down the books for a while, not quite in the right mindset to concentrate on a plot and characters, instead opting to binge watch as much TV as possible. I've watched endless movies, devoured TV series's (if you haven't watched Big Little Lies yet, get on it!) and even cracked out the old Buffy the Vampire Slayer box set. 

I found my love for cooking again, trying new recipes and enjoying new flavours and I indulged in more early nights, getting as much needed physical and mental rest as possible. I spent time with good friends, there come rain or shine for trips out, letting me get things off of my chest and even there to keep me calm whilst I cried through the many feelings I wasn't able to process properly by myself. I went out for walks and soaked up any sunshine we were lucky to have, I spent time in the garden and I made exciting plans for the summer ahead. 

Taking a break really was the kindest thing I could do for myself and it has helped me find a balance to better manage my anxiety and depression, it has given me the time to better come to terms more with the loss of my brother and manage my grief on a day to day basis and it has, rather wonderfully, reminded me of who Sophia is. Not Tattooed Tealady, not the blogger, not the online social media addict, but the Sophia who I had forgotten how to be.

And so here I am, slowly dipping my toes back into this online space I like to call home. I can't deny I'm a little nervous to post here after so long, but I know that the changes I have made over the past six weeks - and continue to make each day - will benefit this space and the content I share here.

Thanks for sticking with me, for all the lovely messages of support on Instagram (@TattooedTealady - the only social channel I stayed fairly active on!) and for continuing to come back to Tattooed Tealady after all these years.

Let's see where the next six years take us, shall we?