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Episode 103: Managing Anxiety In Times Of Stress With Deborah Thompson

In episode 103, we chat with fellow food blogger, Deborah Thompson, about managing anxiety while being a food blogger, especially in really difficult times.

We cover information about what the magic trinity is that should work together to help you through a stressful period, why routines open up mental space for you to be productive and successful and remember that comparison robs you of so much joy.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Savvy Bites
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio Deborah is a professional chef turned food blogger. She began her first blog about 4 years ago and really struggled to gain traction. She didn’t know who her audience was, who she was creating for. Deborah just kept moving forward because giving up just didn’t “feel right”. Then she came up with a niche and has been able to grow. Deborah discovered that motivation and dedication becomes much easier when you know who you are creating for and why.

Takeaways

  • The holy trinity is sleep, diet and exercise. They should be the first set of things you assess when you’re dealing with anxiety or stress. They are all important individually, but also they have to work together to be effective. 
  • Be a master at catching your thoughts – you don’t want them to run away and get faster otherwise you get snowballed by negative overwhelming thoughts. 
  • Routine is important. Be intentional about setting a routine for everything from when to wake and sleep to planning your key work activities for the day.
  • There’s no guesswork and you are forced to use the hours you have and be mindful rather than evaporate away your day.
  • Eliminate anxiety about wasting time on things you don’t feel like doing but know you need to do.
  • The more you can automate your routine, the less you’ll spend your energy on things that aren’t important.
  • Keep your eyes on your own paper.
  • Your mind is in a foggy state and will latch onto any thought you give it when you wake up. If you’re prone to self-comparison and anxiety, then get yourself grounded for the day, complete your morning routine, then you can think about socials. 
  • Be online as a content creator vs content consumer; it changes how you spend your time.
  • Try to intentionally think in a positive way. What if this is the best thing to happen to us today rather than preparing for the worst?
  • A hustle mentality came into play at the beginning of Covid so know it’s ok to mute people who make you feel like you are falling behind by not doing so many big things. This drives the anxiety up and that’s not something you should feel pressured into. Fall out of love with a hustle mentality.

Resources Mentioned

Waste No Time app

Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. We’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Food bloggers. Don’t forget to check out the food blogging forum style community that we started over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. Finally, there’s one place that we can all convene and talk and that isn’t scattered all over Facebook. Here are the things that I am loving about it. It is free. It also allows for categorized discussions on all food blogging topics, and there’s a category for sharing successes, AKA self promotion. So no more holding back about discussing your big wins and things that you’re promoting. Also, everything is in one single spot. So no hopping around from group to group, and there’s an amazing opportunity to network and really get to know your fellow food bloggers in a single place. So come join the discussions that are going on over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Don’t forget, forum.eatblogtalk.com.

Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. The podcast made for you, food bloggers seeking value for your businesses and your lives. Today, I will be having my second chat with Debra Thompson from savvybites.com. We are going to talk about how to manage anxiety during stressful stretches of time. Debra is a professional chef turned food blogger. She’s been blogging for about four years now. Anxiety has been a part of her life and blogging journey, and she considers herself an expert in managing it. Debra, I’m really excited for our second chat today, but first, what is your second fun fact?

Deborah Thompson:

Second fun fact. We’re coming into strawberry season here in the UK as well. Absolutely love, love, love, fresh strawberries, detest anything strawberry flavored.

Megan:

That’s so funny. I always think it’s funny when people have that, it’s almost like it’s the concentrated variety that people don’t like. You hear about people who can eat an orange, but they can’t drink orange juice or those same lions. But yeah, that’s really funny. There’s nothing better than a fresh strawberry though. Am I right?

Deborah:

Especially in England when they’re in season. Absolutely amazing.

Megan:

So juicy and delicious. I love strawberry season. So glad it’s almost here. I know. Oh, that was fun. Thank you for sharing that. So we are here to talk about anxiety. As most people listening know, if you are in the blogging game long enough, every food blogger unfortunately encounters times of stress and anxiety. So when we’re hit with external stressors, like we are now with this pandemic and quarantine and everything that comes along with those things, we can so easily just get nailed and maxed out on the stress and anxiety, making our already stressful lives, even more challenging. So that’s why you’re here, Debra. You and I have chatted a little bit about how we both share that tendency toward anxiety, which I hate that I do, but some people just do. For me, it’s not making this time much easier. You would think that it would. When I went into it, I was like, oh good. I’m not going to be doing anything. So maybe my anxiety will get better, but actually it’s gone the opposite way. Unfortunately. So talking both in general, so for everyday life and also for our current situation where we have that extra stress piled on top of us, what are some of your strategies for helping you manage your own anxiety?

Deborah:

I think the first thing for me before sort of I even look at anything else, sleep, diet and exercise for me. I always refer to them as the holy Trinity. Obviously we know exercise and sleep and everything, but how they work together to even sort of bolster each other up and make such a big difference. Those are always the first points of call for me if my anxiety really starts to kick up a notch. I need to make sure I get plenty of sleep, go for a run, do some yoga, whatever, and really watch my diet.

Megan:

That’s great that you pointed out that they all have to work together because you can get one or two of them right. If you’re not nailing that third one, then you can still be so off.

Deborah:

Yeah. You feel it don’t you. You think, I got a great sleep last night, but something just doesn’t feel right. Of course, I’ve been sitting at my computer for six and a half hours already. You just think I need to move now. Instantly, as soon as you do, you start to feel so much better, don’t you,

Megan:

It’s true. Or you can have the exercise and the diet down. But if I got a bad night of sleep, for whatever reason, if I woke up in the middle of the night and didn’t get back to sleep, I can tell. I’m more anxious. I start having thoughts that I normally wouldn’t have. Then I have to check myself. Okay, you didn’t sleep well, here’s what’s going on. Because you can go down that hole of just worrying about everything. So unfortunately you get good at that after you experience it a lot. You can see those triggers or those symptoms.

Deborah:

I think it’s such a special skill though to be able to catch those thoughts. For so many people, they just kind of start to run away. Obviously as they run away, they get faster, faster, don’t they? It’s like trying to catch smoke, isn’t it? They just become so elusive. I think when you become a master at being able to catch those thoughts and be able to sort of go, okay, hang on. This isn’t the way you normally think. This might be down to a bad sleep last night, or no sleep last night or whatever. Whatever it is that’s going on at that time. But yeah, catching those thoughts is a huge one.

Megan:

I love that line. Just being a master at catching your thoughts. Because that is such a great analogy chasing smoke, or trying to grab smoke. You never will get there. Like you said, it just goes faster. It builds momentum. It’s crazy when you think back, you’re like, oh my goodness. I can’t believe I got caught up in that. It’s not even possible to catch smoke. I couldn’t do it. But when you’re in that, when you’re in the moment, it’s so easy to do that and just to keep running and running, ahhh!

Deborah:

Yeah, absolutely. You think, I can get there. I can catch it. I can’t! Then before you know it, something happens to break the pattern. The phone rings or something happens. You sort of snap out of it and you go, oh my God, how long was I on that run for?

Megan:

Yes. That’s a good first kind of way to catch yourself or call yourself out. So catching your thoughts. Just the more you practice, the better you’ll be on it, but what are some other ways to stay on track with the Trinity? So sleep, diet, exercise.

Deborah:

I might sound like a bit of a self-help junky, but for me it ties into routine. I get up at the same time every single day. I go to bed at the same time every single night. Especially in times when we’re all experiencing some pretty stressful situations like we are now. Depending on, for some of us, if we’ve monetized our blogs, thank goodness. We’re still making an income, but you know, whatever else might be going on, your stress right now and your anxiety is probably going to be heightened no matter what your situation. It can sound really quite boring that I go to bed at the exact same time. I get up every morning at the exact same time and I do the exact same things.

A lot of people think that sounds really rigid. That for me is the thing that there’s no guesswork then. There’s no anxiety of, should I finish this? Should I just pull an all-nighter and get this post done? There’s no guesswork in that. It’s like, Nope, you stop now. You do your wind down routine and you go to bed. It forces me then to use the hours that I do have and be really mindful of them rather than just letting them evaporate away. Then having that routine of, nope, this is the time I go to bed and this is what I do before bed. Then I get up at this time and I spend an hour in the morning doing these things. There’s no, should I do this now or should I do this now? When all those things that add to the paralysis, is knowing what to do and managing time.

Megan:

I love routine. I just love it.

Deborah:

I’m so glad you’ve said that because I think for so many people, I always think people must think they are stuck in the mud. 34 going on 40, what is wrong with you? But yet, oh no, 10 o’clock. Going to bed.

Megan:

Oh, I don’t think that at all. You know what? I kind of get the same thing from certain people because not everyone is as rigid as I am. I love that you use that word rigid because I often feel that. I feel like I am so rigid with not only my routine, but with my boys’ routines. I always have been, because I think there’s such value in it. One of our sons has sleep issues and we just knew early on that this boy needed a really rigid routine when it came to sleep. So we stuck to it and we would do it no matter what. I’m talking about holidays, birthdays, and parties. We would leave the party ridiculously early every time because we just knew that is what he needed. It has paid off. He’s 13 now. I am so glad that we kept up that rigidity because it was just a gut feeling, I think at the time. Then I do the same thing with my morning routine. I get up at the same time every day. I do the same thing. I give myself a few days a week to play with time a little bit. But most mornings I have a super rigid routine. I work out, I do breakfast and all of that and journal. There is something to it. I love that you use the word, I think you said there’s just no room for guesswork.

Deborah:

There’s no room. Yeah, exactly. Because how much time do we spend trying to decide what to do? It creates those thoughts of, is this the right thing at the right time? Maybe this is the right thing at the right time. I don’t know. Then before you know it, you’re on the slippery slope and it can really bleed into all aspects of your day.

Megan:

Yeah, for sure. It’s almost like it takes out the option of debating with yourself. I don’t wake up and think, should I work out today? I don’t know. I kind of don’t want to. That’s like 15 minutes of stress right there that I can just completely eliminate by knowing that I am going to get up and I’m going to work out. So it’s almost like it preserves your mental bandwidth. It just preserves your energy so that you can use that energy for other things like working and taking care of your family and thinking about what food you’re going to get at the store.

Deborah:

That’s the thing. You said that so perfectly. It preserves your bandwidth. You only have a certain amount of decision-making power in the day.

Megan:

It’s true. I don’t feel like a lot of people really believe that, but it’s so true. You get to that point at two. If you’ve just been tapped out, worrying or stressing about something, you can feel it. You’re like, I am done. My mental capacity is at its limit. You don’t want that. You want to extend that so that you have energy and capacity all day long.

Deborah:

That’s exactly it. We are in some uncharted waters here and especially in times like this, there are going to be things flying at you. Depending on whatever your situation is work-wise, family-wise. The last thing you want is to spend 20 minutes debating whether you should get up now or if you can lay in bed another 20 minutes, or if I should actually work out or whatever, and you’re like, no. I’m going to have to make a lot more decisions today. I don’t have time for those.

Megan:

I know, routine is awesome. I think it just takes away, love that word that you use, guesswork. So much guesswork out of your life and your day. That goes with personal and I think work. So the more routine you can get in with blogging and with your work, the better too. Just automation, it’s almost like thinking about automation software. The more you can automate yourself and your mind, the less you’re going to have to spend your energy. So that’s so great, Deborah. I love that.

Deborah:

That’s brilliantly put. It’s like automation. If you had to distill it down to one sentence, that is it. It is like automation. Amazing.

Megan:

That’s the reason I love automation software so much for my job. I tap into every single thing I can in order to do that same thing to preserve my time and my energy and my VA’s time and her energy. There are so many great options for doing that. So I was just going through my business plan yesterday and I was like, okay, that task, I pinpointed one task. That I am not automating, but I can automate that. So that’s on my list today. Every little thing I can automate, I do it.

Deborah:

It’s happening. Absolutely.

Megan:

Okay. So your trinity: sleep diet, exercise. I love all of your thoughts about that. I think that’s such great advice and something just food for thought for all of us. How can we improve all of that? Keeping in mind that we do need to do all three of those things. We can’t do two of them. We can’t do one of them. We’ve got to hit all three. So what else do you have for us for managing anxiety?

Deborah:

A huge one as well. Keep your eyes on your own paper. I think I just saw the quote again from Eleanor Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Everyone has seen that quote probably a thousand times on Instagram and Pinterest.

Megan:

Love that one.

Deborah:

It is so, so, so true. There is nobody else in the world like you. There is nobody else in the world that is going to blog like you blog, or run your business the way you do. So stop looking at other people to see what they do. Unless it is like mechanics. You talk about automation. Unless it’s something automation where it’s like, no, no, I actually need the nuts and bolts of that. But when it comes to style, flow, creativity, stop looking at other people.

Megan:

Oh, I love that.

Deborah:

Just keep your eyes on your own paper. This is your race to run, your tests to write. Nobody else’s. Nobody has the answers that you’re looking for. Nobody.

Megan:

Yeah. Look at yourself. There’s kind of a gray area here though, because there are so many of us and we are on social media a lot, I don’t know. It’s tough because you want to go there for inspiration and to keep up with your peers, but then it can cross over so easily into that really unhealthy territory where you’re comparing and you might not even know it. Her life seems so perfect. Why is homeschooling and everything going well for her? Then you start thinking those thoughts that you don’t even really know what you’re thinking. Then that can just start like coming out. So how do you recommend dealing with that gray area? Limiting social media time or I don’t know?

Deborah:

I limit social media time. So I do not even hop on any social media until at least 11:00 AM. So in quest to get my anxiety under control and to learn how to manage it, I’ve read, if I had a dollar for every self-help book I’ve read. But one of the things is that when you wake up first thing in the morning, your mind is in one of those foggy states where it will latch onto any thought you give it because it hasn’t woken up itself yet. So if you are prone to comparison, stay off social media until you’ve done your morning routine. Until you’re feeling sort of grounded and centered in yourself and plan your day. So you know what you’re doing and then hop on social media by all means. Chat with friends, but you already know what you’re doing for your day or your week.

You already have that planned out. So you’re not going to see something and compare and go, oh, maybe I should be doing that too. Oh my goodness. Maybe if I did that and then you go, oh no, hang on. I already have my plan for today and I’ve already done that. I’m not great at it, but I try to limit my social media time to an hour a day. I’m not great at that. Some days it’s two hours a day, some days it’s more even, but I’ve got these little screen notifications on my phone. So it’ll time out after an hour on Instagram. I can hit remind me in 15 minutes, remind me again in 30 minutes. Even though I’ll hit, remind me later that I’ve spent enough time. It’s a mental marker for me that oh, okay. So it’s 2:00 PM and I’ve already reached my Instagram limit. Maybe I should cool it for a minute. Maybe I’ll go on after dinner rather than three more times between now and whatever.

Megan:

What do you use for that? Is that something inside of your phone or do you use a specific app?

Deborah:

It is. I think it’s just on the iPhone. I think it’s just screen time. So if you go into your apps on your iPhone, you can just hit screen time. Set app limits.

Megan:

I need to do that.

Deborah:

Yeah. There’s a great laptop one called Waste No Time. Actually I heard about that on the Food Blogger Pro podcast years ago. Say you decide to write posts between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. You put all the websites you go to for distractions. So the news websites, social media, whatever you can put them on there. When you feel that nudge, you think, oh, I’m a bit stuck. I’ll just check Facebook for a minute. It won’t let you.

Megan:

Oh, good. I love that.

Deborah:

it’ll come up with sort of an inspirational quote about how, I don’t know something about the rabbit and the hare or something really kind of motivating. You think, yes. Back to it, I can do this for another couple of hours. So stuff like that, just automating, taking the guesswork out of it.

Megan:

Isn’t it funny that we need those really stringent rules for ourselves when it comes to social media and phones? We’ve just fallen into that hole of just being sucked in and we can’t get out of that habit of just checking. I have for sure been in long stretches of time where I’ve done the same. I was like that with Facebook for a long time. About a year ago I took Facebook completely off my phone. I have never brought it back. Since this pandemic chaos started, I have very limited access to Facebook, even on my desktop. So I never have it open, but I do have those groups that I am a part of that I need to check in weekly. So I’ve been going on there literally one time a week just to get that information. I grab it and I go, and it has been so amazing.

Deborah:

It’s liberating, isn’t it?

Megan:

It is! I love it. I actually kind of hate having to go on there just for that group time. But I’m like, okay, I can do it once a week. It opens so much time up in my life and looking at my phone right now, the only thing I have on there that could be a distraction is Instagram. So I’ve recently started just trying to do what you’re doing, but I don’t use an app. I probably should, but I’ve tried to limit myself to 30 minutes a day. It just seems like so little, but you know what, if you’re intentional about it, you can get in and out and get what you need to do in 30 minutes. You can browse through a few other people’s posts. You can even leave a few comments. I do all my Instagram scheduling with a scheduler, so I don’t have to do that. I can comment on things that people have left for me easily. All of that can easily be done in 30 minutes. So it’s just that whole intentionality thing. Go into it, knowing what you’re going to do. Hopefully you won’t be sucked in.

Deborah:

This is an aside really, but when you think of going on Instagram as a content creator, rather than a content consumer, it changes how much time you spend on there and what your intentionality is, doesn’t it?

Megan:

Yeah. That’s true.

Deborah:

We all get sucked into the black hole with Instagram, for sure.

Megan:

It is true. It’s not bad to go in there and be a consumer for stretches, if that’s your intention. If you say, I’m going to go sit on my couch and I want to browse Instagram for 30 minutes. That’s fine. But just don’t go in with one intention and then do another. Then you come out just feeling gross and that you shouldn’t have gone in there at all.

Deborah:

Yes, exactly. Then it starts because you think I shouldn’t have gone in there. Yeah.

Megan:

Social media guilt. That should be a term because I think we all feel that so often daily.

Deborah:

I think that is absolutely true. A thousand percent.

Megan:

I’m going to look into the screen time and Waste No Time, because I think that’ll just keep me on track. As I’ve told you, I’m very rigid with my rules about my life and my work. So I think that would just be what I need to just 30 minutes is up, you’re done. Go do something different. I’m the kind of person that would follow that. I’d say, okay, sounds good, I’m done.

Deborah:

Exactly. I think just having those mental markers of knowing, you’re going to have a timer go off in a second, you know? We’re conditioned to respond to timers of all kinds.

Megan:

When I’m preparing my boys when we have to go somewhere, I say, we have to leave in five minutes. I’m getting their minds prepped and ready to tackle putting on your shoes and getting out the door. It helps them. If I don’t do that and I say, okay, it’s time to go. They’re like, what? No! When I feel like we’re the same way. We need that prep time. You have 5 minutes left.

Deborah:

It just creates that sense of urgency. Doesn’t it? It focuses your mind and creates a bit of a sense of urgency. It brings that intentionality back to the forefront of your mind of why am I here? Why did I come on here in the first place? What am I looking to achieve?

Megan:

It is okay, like we mentioned, it’s okay to have that mindless scroll time. I am not saying that it’s not, but just don’t mix the two.

Deborah:

Exactly. We probably need it more than ever. I just wanted to check out for 20, 30 minutes, a couple of times a day even. Who has not found themselves on the We Rate Dogs Instagram account.

Megan:

Gosh, my son’s there. He put our puppy there and he’s obsessed with it. So funny.

Deborah:

When I need a bit of escapism and a bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling. We Rate Dogs, it’s my port of call.

Megan:

Oh, that’s hilarious. Cat videos. My boys are into cat videos right now. We have a cute little cat. So they’re like, mom, you gotta watch this cat video. I get sucked in and like, oh, that’s so cute. Then 30 minutes later, I’m like, wait a second. I need to step away.

Deborah:

One, two-minute cat video turned into 30 minutes kitten videos.

Megan:

I watched one. I said, okay, I need to go. They’re like, this is a series. So I had to watch every single video and see how this cat was in a cat rescue situation. Yeah. 30 minutes of my life.

Deborah:

Because after the first five minutes, you’re invested now, aren’t you?

Megan:

Exactly. I have to know what happens to this cat.

Deborah:

No, that’s always the way, isn’t it? You’re like, oh now, I’m invested. I need to see this through.

Megan:

That’s so funny. So something else I’ve been doing recently, this is very recent. So I just read this book. It’s called The Five-Hour Workday. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.

Deborah:

No, but I saw you share it the other day. So I took a screenshot.

Megan:

It is so good. I too love self development books. So I’ve read pretty much everything out there, but it came to me because I just recently bought a tower paddleboard. The owner of that company wrote the book and he included a book with my paddleboard. Otherwise I never would have thought to. I’ve never heard of this before. So I looked at the cover and it was right up my alley. It was like increased productivity, live better life. I was like, yes, yes, yes. So I immediately started reading it and I love it. It is so right up your alley too, Deborah. I think you should read it, but it’s just so encouraging. You can get so much done in such a short amount of time if you’re creative and if you’re intentional. Then he talks a lot about what you do on those off hours.

Are you dipping into your social media when you don’t want to? Are you thoughtlessly doing things that you don’t want to do? So I have been, for the last few days, just super intentional about my time. My free time. So I’ve been setting my phone down at five and my computer. This is big for me. This is huge. Both phone and computer go down at five o’clock and I do not open them up until eight. If I have something to do and if I don’t have any projects I need to check on, I don’t open it at all. I work all the time. So this has been, as I’m going through it, it’s giving me anxiety doing it, but now I’m on day four or five. I can see where it’s changing from having anxiety about not having my computer and phone to having less anxiety, because now I’m actually enjoying my evening. I can sit with my boys and not work and I can have dinner with them. I’ve been sitting with my husband and watching TV in the evenings, which we never do without phones or computers. So it’s just been really liberating. So I highly recommend that book.

Deborah:

I will be picking it up today.

Megan:

It’s been a game changer for anxiety. For me, just relieving that stress of, like we talked about earlier, having that debate. Should I do work right now? Should I look at Instagram? So I’ve been just giving myself a little window of time, outside of that, after 5:00 PM to get stuff done. Yesterday I did this. I said, you have from nine to five to get this list of things done. Normally I would’ve said, I don’t want to do this. I’m going to do it tonight. But yesterday I didn’t let myself do that. I was like, Nope, you have the night off. So you need to get it done. I did, I got everything done. So a total game changer.

Deborah:

I absolutely love that. I think as well, it’s exactly like you say, I don’t feel like doing it, so I’ll do it tonight. Now all of a sudden you’ve just, you’ve just totally stretched your day out when you probably didn’t have to.

Megan:

Exactly. It was so easy to get what I needed to get done, finished. I just did it because I’m preserving that extra time. But I think we all need to find those strategies like you and I, Debra are rigid with our lives and our schedules and our routines. I know not everybody is like that, but I think everybody does need to find something that works, that opens up mental space and time for them to get through this, especially this time that we’re going through. What are your thoughts on this? Some people are like, I don’t feel it. I don’t feel extra stress. I don’t feel anything extra. I feel like everyone is taking it on and maybe they just don’t know it. Maybe they’re gonna feel it later because there’s so much going on right now. There’s no way I feel like someone could just be flying through this.

Deborah:

No one’s getting out of this.

Megan:

Totally unscathed. Right. I feel like you can be really positive and I’ve tried to stay away from all the negativity on the news and Facebook. Yet I do still feel like I’m carrying a little bit of the worry and the stress and what’s going to happen when we come out of this.

Deborah:

Yeah, absolutely. You hit the nail on the head. Some people seem to be flying through it and I actually read on Instagram actually somebody that I follow and they said that for most people, the the full impact of it won’t be felt until after, because so many of us, there’s something in your brain that doesn’t allow you to process traumatic situations while you are in them.

Megan:

Amen. That is so 100% true. My husband and I have been through some traumas with our oldest son. He had a few really scary open-heart surgeries and other surgeries when he was younger. During the time that we went through that, it was a breeze. When I look back, I was like, oh, I did great. Before we learned this whole equation that you’re talking about, I was like, oh, this is no big deal at all. We’re going to come out of here unscathed. We’re going to be great. Every single time we went through a trauma, we would get home and I broke down. I absolutely cannot function.

Deborah:

It’s part of your survival mechanism that’s hardwired into us, is that we don’t process it when we’re in the middle of it because it’s too dangerous.

Megan:

We have to survive. We have to get through.

Deborah:

You have to survive. You’re hardwired to survive it. So all the uncertainty people will feel stressed because of uncertainty, whether people have lost their jobs or are worried about family members or it’s generalized anxiety. People will, I’m sure, be feeling that to varying degrees, but it’s only after. I would even say a year from now even, because I think once we come out of it, there’s still gonna be so much uncertainty for the next few months. I think it’s only going to be nine months to a year down the line and people sort of take stock and go, oh my gosh. I think it will probably come out in ways that people don’t expect.

Megan:

I completely agree. What we’re going through now, I think, is nothing compared to what we’re going to be dealing with soon. I think it will be different for everybody and we don’t know what that’s going to look like, but I think just be prepared for that. Because if you’ve never been through a trauma, this is so common. I’m so glad you brought that up because I’ve been saying this to my husband since day one. We’re all gonna fly through this. This is going to be fine. But when it finishes, we are going to be a mess in different ways.Having been through traumas, he said, yeah, look at our history.

Deborah:

Absolutely. It’s going to look different for everybody. I simply know from myself as well, that I have never been more productive probably in my life. I know for me, that’s my coping mechanism. When I start to get really stressed, it’s block it all out, put your blinders on and just literally plow through it. Get to the other side. Don’t look. I couldn’t tell you the last time I turned on the news.

Megan:

I haven’t watched the news in so long. I block it out.

Deborah:

I said to my brother, when there’s some big sort of announcement, when we’re allowed out, when the locked down eases, I’ll hear about it. I don’t know. There’ll be shouting from the rooftops and my neighbor will be excited and I don’t need to tune in every day to the five o’clock news.

Megan:

I know it. I just feel like that’s so damaging to fill your mind with that. But I mean, everyone has a different strategy. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t, but for me personally, that’s just not productive for my mind and my body. I was gonna mention this equation that I came up with after we went through some stuff with our son. It was so predictable for me going through it. I’m doing great. So I came up with this equation because I knew the aftermath was coming. So for every day we spent with him in the hospital, a week of aftermath happened to me. So there were a few times when we spent a couple of weeks with him in the hospital. So that was, it was like months for me to recover and every time it was almost to the tee.

So if that’s the same now, like you said, it’s going to be a year. I mean, we are going to struggle for a while and it’s going to be on different levels for every person. I know my husband didn’t quite get to that level that I did. So he didn’t take as much time to recover from our son’s traumas. But for me, I feel like I’m just like an emotional person. I take a lot in, I’m kind of sensitive. So I think I had that aftermath probably to an extreme. But what are ways that we can combat that? So we’ve talked about a lot. So keeping up with routine, sleep, diet, exercise. When we come out of this, we want to be in our best shape mentally and physically. We don’t want to be comparing ourselves to others constantly, staying off social media. What are some other ways to keep that positivity up and that encouragement up and also staying connected with people right now?

Deborah:

I think one of the big things for me is commenting on my friend’s blogs, my friends’ Instagram posts and stuff, and not necessarily reaching out, but just sort of a gentle, hi, I’m here. I’m thinking of you and I see what you’re doing. I just want to support you. I was in really quickly today in one of the Facebook food blogging groups because someone tagged me in a post. So I was just there really quick. Apparently Google’s released an algorithm update today. The comments on there were sort of, oh gosh, one more thing. Oh my goodness. One more thing. I sort of default to positivity fortunately, and I just thought, oh amazing. Because what if all of a sudden you jump a whole bunch of places. What if this is the best thing to happen to you this month instead of the worst thing. I think when you kind of have that outlook of yeah, we’re in a really stressful time, but what if on the other side of it, we’re all a lot gentler with each other. Keeping that positivity, that higher vibe, what if we all end up learning a whole lot about each other and about the way we want to live from this whole experience rather than everything’s bad. What have they said in 2020, the most used word in the English language is unprecedented. But everything in the past has been unprecedented, right? 9/11 was unprecedented and 2008 was unprecedented and we recovered. We recovered and made gains. This time will be no different.

Megan:

I absolutely love that you said that because I feel I default to that too. I feel like I annoy people with it.

Deborah:

I do. I’m so glad you’ve said that because sometimes I think, oh, people are just going to be, Deb, shut up.

Megan:

I’ve actually stopped saying stuff to people outside of my family because I feel like they’re like really? My boys are doing so great with homeschooling. I’m really grateful about the opportunity I have to see them learn directly, because I don’t see that when they’re in school. So I see changes happening, positive changes happening, beyond this because now I know exactly how they’re learning. I keep looking at those good things. Yeah, it is tough. It is uncertain and weird, but there are so many things I’m already seeing, not just in my family and my life, but in other people’s lives when that is going to be a good thing. Just wait.

Deborah:

Exactly. I completely agree. To be able to spin it in that positive way and just know that we are human beings, we are hardwired to survive and we will come out better on the other side, we always do.

Megan:

Just look at the past. Look at historically what’s happened just with the two examples, you mentioned Deborah. Those were both rough times in many ways, but think about how we persevered, how we came through it, how we’re stronger. About all the inspiring stories we heard. From the 2008 recession, think about all those companies that were built during that time that are now just absolutely killing it. I saw this list the other day. I was like, whoa, Uber came out of that recession. So many other amazingly successful companies came out of there. So we can think about this on a personal level and also on a business level. We are not only going to get past this, we’re going to be way better, way smarter, way more capable, way more equipped. So I’m really glad you mentioned that and I’m glad that we’re on the same wavelength there.

Deborah:

Yeah, completely, totally.

Megan:

It is hard to combat the negativity, because it’s so prevalent, it’s everywhere. During this time I’ve had to limit my time with people in general, because it can dampen my higher vibe. I love that term. I don’t like that. I come away from being with people and I just feel…

Deborah:

Depleted.

Megan:

Depleted yes. Instead of filling up.

Deborah:

I think it’s one of the things that I did as well. When you are the more sensitive type, you know pretty quickly who you can talk about those things with and say, you know what, I think we’re going to be okay on the other side. I think you pretty quickly know who you can say that to and who you just have to nod and go. with this.

Megan:

You know how to filter. I think you’re very right on that. I have a really good intuition about people and I know exactly which people I can talk to right now. I knew that before this even happened. But if you’re in tune in that way, you just know what we’re talking about. I really honestly feel like I could probably talk to you for hours

Deborah:

I know, we can keep going.

Megan:

It’s so fun. I feel like you need to come back on. Let’s talk about some more, because this is my favorite kind of conversation where we can just be real and positive and upbeat, but also addressing what needs to be don., Not just with us, our minds and our bodies, but with our work too. This affects all of it. So this is my absolute favorite thing to talk about.

Deborah:

Because I think we’re not siloed segmented human beings. We flow from work to home to play to everything. I think some people can probably segment really well. I’m not one of those people.

Megan:

I’m not either. I’m with you. Same. I am with you on that. Well, unfortunately though, I have to say bye. Is there anything that you feel like we need to touch on before we do that?

Deborah:

When this whole thing first happened, when all the countries started to go into lockdown and I started to see posts pop up on social media, you’re going to have so much more time now. If you’re not learning a second language or working on a business or doing all these crazy things, then you don’t lack the time, you lack the dedication. This hustle mentality came into play in the beginning. I just thought, it is totally okay to unfollow or mute anybody who makes you feel like you are falling behind. Especially during a time where you will be feeling anxiety and stress that you may not even be able to talk about, depending on your situation. For myself, when that started to come out, even though I have been more productive than I’ve ever been, I unfollowed all kinds of accounts that were like that. That is just pushing this hustle mentality, which drives the anxiety and fuels the anxiety for people. We don’t need to be doing that. We can fall out of love with a hustle mentality.

Megan:

I like that you pointed that out because some people are going to be fine with that hustling and getting extra things done. That’s awesome. But it is okay to have that grace with yourself and not put that pressure on yourself to feel like you have to keep up with everybody else.

Deborah:

Whatever you’re going through right now is completely and totally fine. However you feel it’s all valid. Whether you’re stressed, whether you’re productive, whether you don’t really feel much of a difference at all, it’s all valid. It’s all fine.

Megan:

That’s so well said. Thank you so much for saying that. I think that will be received well by food bloggers as well. So thank you for that, Deborah. Tank you just so much for being here today.

Deborah:

It’s been such a lovely time. It’s been amazing.

Megan:

I didn’t feel like I was working at all. I just felt like I had a great chat with a friend.

Deborah:

That’s exactly how we want it to be.

Megan:

Exactly. If anyone wants to look at Deborah’s show notes, we will put those up on eatblogtalk.com/deborahthompson2, since this is interview number two. Deborah, why don’t you again, tell my listeners the best place to find you online.

Deborah:

Savvybites.co.uk is the website and Instagram is savvy.bites and Savvy Bites on Facebook as well.

Megan:

Well thank you again for being here, Deborah. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Outro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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