Avoiding Burnout Through Imperfection | Erin Joyce Photography
This is my 6th season as a photographer. With each season that has passed, I have suffered the inevitable burn out and “I’m so busy” syndrome. For some reason, we seem to really romanticize this in our society and offer badges of honor disguised in, “You’re super mom,” and the ever cliche backhanded compliment, “I don’t know how you do it all.” Hearing these things always made me puff out my chest with some pride which only ever ended up being a fleeting feeling that ended with me crying myself to sleep in an anxiety attack while I drowned in my to do list.
It doesn’t have to be like this does it? Is this even a question or is it a matter of it CAN’T always be like this. Living like that was simply not sustainable for me. I could see the stress on my face, I saw my body responding to the lack of attention I gave it, I saw my kids behavior changing due to the lack of their mama’s attention and connection. Something had to give.
While nothing will ever be perfect, including me (like, ever, ever), I found a sustainable, manageable way to manage my schedule this season. In my “busy” season this year I:
made it through wedding season without burning out
my daughter started full day K (big transition)
I started a podcast
I have continuously been building and managing a community Same Boat Huddle along with creating and running a 4 week course.
My mind, body and soul has been consistently nourished through meditation, daily movement, good food and an amazing network of people around me aka friends & family.
And while I have done the unthinkable for myself, there are always things that have to give. This season it was a lot of family sessions and mini sessions. (along with slower replies to e-mails and texts because holy, moly I can’t live on my phone all day!).
First I found a date in November that I wanted to be able to do mini sessions and before I could lock this date in, I was offered a really great opportunity that would fulfill me and open up more opportunity. And then it turned into, should I give away one of my Sundays (my only day I allow myself to have “off”) or part of our holiday break to do mini sessions. No, I couldn’t. I was falling into an old habit that would turn into burn out.
And thus I was faced with this awful tug of war of ‘do I disappoint myself or my clients?’
While I’m not 100% certain if I’ll be offering mini sessions in December or not, I had to choose me and my family. Did I go about this the right way? No, I don’t think so and this is where the imperfection lies. I can truthfully say that while it’s imperfect, I put compassion and love forward first, always. I have my stories of what my amazing clients may think of how I shared mini session details, but the truth of the matter is I was as surprised and in the dark of whether or not they were happening. Hindsight. I now know how I can handle this in the future.
So, for those of you still hoping for Christmas tree minis, if they happen, I’ll put it out there and hope to see some of you! And I encourage you again, to go ahead and hire any other of the amazing photographers out there who have organized fall and holiday mini sessions.
Check out my newsletter (sign up at the bottom of the website!) for upcoming session availability. With wedding season winding down, portrait session availability is more! Think newborns, milestone sessions, documentary sessions, lifestyle branding sessions for my entrepreneur friends, etc.
And so I end this blog post with the most immense gratitude to my loyal, faithful, loving clients who are always interested and ready to have me document your lives. You are appreciated beyond measure and I simply adore you. Thank you.