The Real Truth About
I feel before we get into the nitty gritty of this topic below, I should preface all of my thoughts and personal experience with the fact that I consider myself so very lucky to have the opportunity to support some of my favourite brands during fashion month events.
The inspiration on full show, the lovely people I consider colleagues, the excitement surrounding the events, the ability to travel to beautiful cities - it all feels like the epitome of career highlights. I don't think that any of my feelings and discoveries on my own mental health could ever take away how grateful I am as a fashion lover to be able to enjoy these fashion moments in time.
When it comes to all things blogging, content creating and the opportunities that have become available to me over the last almost 10 years, it stems primarily from the fact that I am a fashion lover first and foremost. I adore all things fashion, spending both work time and non work moments lusting over what's new, what's on trend and what brings me joy.
I love fashion but I've finally realised that around fashion month, my mental health most definitely takes a hit.
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You may have seen recently both here on the blog and over on YouTube too, that I've been trying to acknowledge when my mental health isn't at its best, rather than gritting my teeth and waiting for things to get back to normal. It's most definitely not the most comfortable thing to experience but I'm finding that sitting in my feelings for a little while without indulging them too much, has been a real eye opener. Not only in working out just why I might be feeling a certain why but also how to work my way through those feelings. It may not always be that simple I know but these first steps have been a real learning curve in being honest with myself. I've always taken the time to celebrate the great things and although I've thought I've been just as kind to myself when I've not felt my best, in hindsight I haven't given myself the grace and time I've deserved. Of course it's all a work in progress but I know that like anything I try, it all takes time and that time in turn, equals positive change.
As someone who writes and shares about my current life, current travels, current fashion and what's currently on my mind, mental health has always been a part of my content but more so as I grow older, surrounded by friends and family who are also learning to be more open about their hurdles; I'm realising that there are times during the year where I struggle more than usual. And unfortunately for this fashion lover, however hard it is to admit, fashion month is most definitely a trigger for a dip in my mental health.
I know every season, before fashion month is even really on my mind, that those 2 times in the year will be hard to cope with. I've previously seen them as stressful work weeks where I don't often sleep well, I can't undertake my usual routine, my food and fitness preferences fall by the wayside and in general I tend to feel incredibly stressed. What I've never realised until now, is that what I've considered to be stressful working weeks, are actually times in the year that I find myself quite depressed. I feel overwhelmed with work, I feel guilty at missing out on time with friends and family, I become a victim of self doubt when it comes to my creativity and I also indulge in far too much comparison. Surrounded by individuals who are successful, beautiful, hard working and seemingly have it altogether even though ironically that's likely never the case! The fact of the matter is the comparison, the uncertainty and the self doubt quite quickly take over and what once felt like events full of inspiration, can easily encourage imposter syndrome like you'd never imagine. I know each of our situations is so unique and that others would thrive in the same way that I struggle but I'm starting to realise that our uniqueness is also why I need to acknowledge that not all aspects of fashions weeks, benefit my mental health.
So I guess there's decisions to be made on what the future of my fashion month involvement looks like. I feel incredibly torn as I know that even the most confident and secure individual would also feel burn out during such a hectic time. With so much travel, last minute plans and jam packed events sometimes back to back to back it might feel inevitable but I feel there's likely ways I can approach such an equally stressful and exciting time with more care. More planning where it's at all possible, more care taken to be aware of my capabilities, more grace given to myself when things are out of my control and more time to acknowledge my feelings are not permanent and that I'm always able to take a clear step back. I guess part of my growing up and into my feelings will always involve these sorts of decisions as I continue navigating the balance of priorities, work, life and mental health.
A huge thank you to the wonderful team at Tod's for this gorgeous outfit to wear to their SS '22 show in Milan this season. I consider myself incredibly lucky to get to be invited to spend time with the team and to style the brands beautiful looks.