If, like me, you run an agency you’re probably aware of the constant state of overwhelm. The endless to-do list, the constant battle with time, and the inner creative vs business person conversations which quarrel in your head 24/7.
March 2020 amplified these overwhelming thoughts to the point where something had to change. Those early days of the pandemic were tough. At our agency, Reward, we had clients cancel contracts in a state of panic. My anxiety increased as the sales pipeline began to dry up, mixed in with worry over the impact of my own health, being HIV positive and on the clinically vulnerable list. The first UK lockdown was quite a dark time.
To combat it, home workouts, sunny walks along the canal and self-care all became routine. You know, all that looking after yourself to try and counteract the anxiety and worry. But old habits die hard, especially as things settle and start to return to some sort of version of normality. At this point, I felt the need to push whilst the sun was shining. Businesses who had never thought they needed to adapt were turning to digital strategies, our focus at Reward. We were in high demand, growing like crazy. Oh hi, overworking and “the grind” there you are again.
As we headed into 2021, I couldn’t get to the end of a full week without a mini-meltdown. Tuesday afternoons were a particular favourite. Intrusive thoughts of “I’m not doing this anymore” or “I can’t cope with it all” shouted over any kind of Headspace session I’d put on in an attempt to climb down from the latest mini mental breakdown. Enter the four-day working week.