Ahh it feels good to be back! Season 3 of the podcast is officially here and I can’t wait to share these episodes with you. To kick us off I wanted a big-old catch up after my break from the podcast and break from everything Blue Jay of Happiness.
In this episode I share a bit more about the hiatus, why I’ve decided to stop coaching for now and what content I’ll be sharing moving forwards. I’ll be taking things a little slower this season, so expect episodes every two weeks instead of weekly.
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This week’s episode is a big old catch up after a break from the podcast and – as it turned out – everything Blue Jay related. I’ll be sharing more about why I took the break, why I decided to stop coaching for now and what to expect moving forward.
Well hello there stranger, long time no speak, how are you doing? So at the end of the last episode I recorded I mentioned that I would be taking a longer break from the podcast than normal to focus on other projects. What I wasn’t expecting to happen was for me to reach a point of burnout and needing to hit pause on everything.
Now I want to start by saying when I use the term burnout, this is really just me self-diagnosing. I basically felt the culmination of spending over a decade sharing my life and creating content online just suddenly weighed on me so heavily that I couldn’t take another step forward.
I seriously considered quitting everything and burning all evidence of my online life to the ground. But thankfully, I didn’t follow that urge. Instead I took the wise advice of my partner Dan to take a break instead.
So to kick off this break I had one full week where I did zero work, no day-job, no Blue Jay, no social media. I filled my days with reading, watching movies and playing a lot the Sims. But it was exactly what I needed. After that I returned to my day-job and I thought I would return to social media, but honestly – I was enjoying the quiet so much I decided to stay off. I ended up off social media completely for a month I think before slowly coming back.
Now for this hiatus, I had two goals in mind. One to really relax and lean into things that caught my attention that weren’t work-related and another was to figure out what I wanted to do with Blue Jay of Happiness and whether or not I wanted to continue trying to build a coaching business. And of course, the first goal pretty much led to the second.
So when I gave myself the space to lean into what caught my attention, I found myself signing up to Skillshare, which is an online platform where you can take part in courses and tutorials and I did it because I wanted to learn botanical illustration – which is a bit random, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try so thought why not? Now is the time. I also quickly bookmarked courses on writing and creativity and it all just made me realise that this was what I’d been missing.
Because when I was so busy trying to build a coaching business and sell my services, everything I created, whether it was an Instagram post or a blog post became very… strategic. I was trying to loop everything I did back to marketing my coaching. And of course, when you’re trying to build a business, this is how you should be thinking about your content. But I realised this pressure I was putting on myself to be a successful coach was drowning out any enjoyment or creativity in what I was making. I think that’s why I was feeling drained rather than replenished every time I felt I *had* to create content.
So with all of this in mind, while I’m very glad I have coaching qualifications and I do hope to use them again in the future, for now I’ve decided to take down my offerings.
I still have the same goal and mission, I still want to help people value themselves more, but I want to do it in a way that feels natural and, honestly, in a way that replenishes me. So this will mainly be done through online articles, my newsletter, this podcast and e-books.
SO let me talk you through all of those things. In terms of online articles, I’ll continue to publish to my blog, but less often than before. These posts will likely be updates from me and some of those how to/educational style posts I love to write.
I’ve also set myself up on Medium which is a platform for writers and my plan is to publish more personal essays over there and I’m really excited about this new medium… ha, this new medium which happens to be called Medium! But yeah, I’m excited to go somewhere new and I’ve already written my first article called ‘How ghosts made me brave’ which… I’m really pleased with that headline, not going to lie! So definitely go and check that out.
And of course my newsletter is where I share all the behind the scenes bits. And yeah that’s always been my safe place when it comes to writing, I kept it up while on my break so yeah, that will always be going I believe.
And with e-books, so I’ve already published one (in case you haven’t seen!) Before my hiatus I’d finished writing my first e-book called Growth Spurt: Seedling and Sprout which is all about identifying limiting beliefs and taking those first steps towards growing your self-worth. So one of the first things I did when coming back to Blue Jay work was design the book and share it.
I was originally planning on selling it, but I didn’t have the energy to figure out the logistics and I just wanted people to enjoy it – I’d already written it, I loved designing it – I just wanted it out there. So I’ve actually made this my new freebie for my newsletter so if you subscribe to my newsletter you will get it as a welcome present. I do have plans for more books in that series so I hope to continue with these.
I really enjoy doing this podcast so I knew I wanted to continue with this and I’m really excited for some of the topics I’ll be covering this season. With my new slower way of working however, I’ve decided to release episodes fortnightly instead of weekly. This will help me stay consistent without burning myself out and running myself ragged!
The other educational medium I want to look into is online workshops. I’ve done a few both for Blue Jay and at my day-job and I really love supporting people in this way and having discussions with people about these subjects I care so much about. So I’m excited to think about this more and what I can offer in that space.
The key thing for all of this really though is for me to take it slow. Even though I thought I had a good balance of not letting Blue Jay work eat into my self-care time, I was still working two evenings a week outside of my day-job and often tasks I planned for Blue Jay Fridays would spill over into the weekend.
So now I’ve reaffirmed my boundaries – I won’t be working any evenings, I’ll be enjoying slower mornings on Fridays and focusing on one or two tasks only, keeping my weekends totally free to rest and learn. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the stress bucket concept but basically it suggests that we all have a stress bucket that we need to attach valves to in order to release the stress with things like self-care. And the thing is, we all have different sized stress buckets and I think I’ve just come to realise my bucket is smaller than I thought and I can reach my limit really really quickly.
I also recognise how important having space to learn and feel inspired is to me. After this hiatus I felt so creative and excited about Blue Jay work, I was desperate to keep it that way, but I can only do that if I take it slow. So there won’t be as much content as there was before, but what you will get will be more authentic and more, me. Not me ‘the coach’, just me.
And with all of this in mind I thought it would be helpful to talk about this idea of coming back from burnout, so that’s what I’m going to be talking about in the next podcast episode. For now though I think I’ll leave you with this thought – it’s OK to rest, it’s OK to change your mind, it’s OK to explore. Nothing in your life is set in stone and if something isn’t feeling good you have permission to change it.
There we go, thank you for listening and for sticking around during the break. Let me know how you’re doing, I’m back on Instagram @katbluejay and yeah – I would love to catch up if we haven’t already.