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Why Are We Burned Out 1 Month into 2023?

If you are trying to do *all the things* but find yourself feeling exhausted one month into this new year, this advice column might help you feel less alone while also inspiring you to create better habits with commentary from @madisonshaffer, full-time influencer manager and founder of Good Child.

I am going to start this piece with a confession. It's not even one month into 2023, and I can't remember when I felt more burnt out. How is that even possible? I used to think the clock struck midnight on January 1st, and everyone was supposed to feel like a glittery and shiny new version of themselves. But as I've gotten older, I realized that isn't the case. And this year, that didn't happen for me at all. I woke up on January 1st not refreshed but tired af from the year I had just experienced and the holidays. So how do I (we) fix this feeling?

I have noticed by chatting with other young professionals in their twenties that I am not alone. *Shocker* After two years of talking to post-grads, I'd know by now that I am not alone if I am feeling a certain way.

If you also connect with the tale as old as time that is trying to do all of the things, you will relate to Madison Shaffer- I know I did the first time we got drinks together this summer. Madison, I instantly clicked and connected on wanting to juggle our careers, passion projects, and personal lives, but we both still need to figure out the magic equation to succeed on all fronts. Spoiler alert, we did not figure it out by the end of cocktail hour, but I did know I needed to include her advice on DD.

"I think our generation is experiencing serious burnout because we have been trained to believe we must be doing a million things all the time. It starts in high school...You are told to be doing XYZ clubs and sports to get into college. Then in college, you have to be doing XYZ internships to get a job. Then by the time you enter the workforce, you are constantly watching people's highlight reels and successes on social media, and you feel like you still aren't doing enough." "I think if we are doing enough to take care of ourselves, that is enough sometimes. There is this toxic idea that we all have to hustle 24/7, but not everyone wants to do that or is built to do that, and that is OKAY! I also think we feel burnt out easily because it seems like people have overnight success, but the truth of it is we aren't seeing everything that goes on behind the scenes. We don't see all the mistakes and learning curves it took for that new business endeavor to become successful, etc."

Truer facts on burnout have never been spoken, especially for 20-somethings in 2023. Like Madison said, we are constantly being fed the success and a highlight reel of others, which makes our own accolades feel less than, creating a toxic cycle of never feeling like we are doing 'enough' and burning out while trying to achieve unattainable perfection.

With that sentiment in mind, I asked Madison how she juggles her passion project, her small business Good Child, and her booming career.

"I came up with the idea of Good Child in April 2020 when I was deep into quarantine. I knew I always wanted to have my own thing, but I wasn't exactly sure what, and then it hit me. I LOVE branding, I love coming up with an aesthetic + vibe and curating things, and I had some experience as a buyer in my past job; 'just give it a shot! I know how happy jewelry can make people, so I thought to myself, What's the worst that can happen?'" "To be honest, I need to juggle my passion projects better. On top of my full-time job and Good Child, I also do some freelance graphic design work as well as Shopify management. I try to spend about an hour or 2 hours a day once I am done with my full-time job working on those things since they are usually time-sensitive, and Good Child has taken a little bit of a back seat the past six months. My goal this year is to put more energy into it because my passions are just as important, and I sometimes forget that. "

Our passions are just as important as how we make money (whether you call that your career or a job); you have to make time for those things for your soul. I have also found it's a slippery slope. Once you feel like you're behind and you start comparing yourself to others, it makes it hard to get back into the swing of things. So I asked Madison for advice for someone wanting to make time for their passion projects or start a new one.

"I think my best advice would be to just START. It doesn't have to be perfect right away. Everything about having a business is a learning curve. Your ideas, style, and how you will run things will constantly be evolving, which is totally okay. If you wait for things to be perfect, you'll never start. So start and figure it out as you go!" "My resolution this year is about building healthier habits for myself. Mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially. I would also say not to compare myself or my path to anyone other than myself. When I compare myself to others, I feel discouraged and defeated, but when I compare to myself 5 or 10 years ago, I feel so empowered, grateful, and inspired to see my growth."

A DD resolution and challenge for us all is to see taking care of ourselves and building habits as the best measure of success of all.

(Visit @letterstodeardiary or @goodchildcollection on IG to enter a giveaway for a chance to win Good Child pieces)



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