Inhale. Exhale.

The blogger life isn't always pretty. In the midst of the perfectly selected outfits, beautiful latte art, stylized brunch plates, and posed "candids," lies unneeded stress, insecurity and plenty of (gasp) flaws. They're the reasons why so many bloggers take those months-at-a-time hiatuses, to step away from it all and rediscover why they were so passionate about their personal brand and what it's grown into.

I can't speak for every blogger out there, but if there's anything that I've personally learned from blogging, it's to periodically allow myself to let my hair down, take my make-up off and be candid - indulge in the occasional "real talk," if you will.

Lately, I've been really focusing on self-care, like, reallllly focusing on it. Anxiety is definitely a thing in my life, and although it's a force of habit sometimes to allow it to control my mood and my level of motivation, I've been actively working to re-wire my brain and practice healthier, more positive habits:

  • Real rest and relaxation: And by real, I mean that no one really has to know that you treated yourself to a mani/pedi, facial and 50-minute Swedish massage on Sunday. Because you know who it should really matter to most? You, and only you. Treat yo'self without feeling the need to prove it to the rest of the world - your body and mind will thank you, and that's all the praise and "you-deserve-its" you need.
  • Constructive envy: Sure, bloggers often get matched to the same sponsorships and ad campaigns, and we're always looking for ways to set ourselves apart from the rest. But that doesn't mean it has to be a dog-eat-dog world (cue the "community over competition" phrase heard reverberating through the rooms of every blogger event). We all started at the same place, and we're all walking down similar paths to the same goal - don't ever be afraid to ask for tips and don't you dare ever act like you're too good to give advice.
  • Owning your hot mess-ness: It's okay to take your make-up free, unfiltered self to wherever the hell you want to, for the sole purpose of being lazy and uncommitted to living the blogger life 24/7. I can see it in the local version of US Weekly now - "Bloggers, they're just like us!" "They wear hats to cover their three-day-old hair!" "They forgot to put on a bra!" 

The unneeded stress and feelings of insecurity are just that - unneeded. Sure, easier said than the beginning. But once you start to feel comfortable and confident in who you are as a blogger and what you do as a blogger, I guarantee you'll feel free from those chains. There is no status quo - only the one that you set for yourself.