Is it really worth all the high pressure and excessive hours? We're not alone in working damn hard to meet deadlines, be super creative and find the next big thing. There are other industries just as demanding.
But it has its price.
And somewhere along the line, you've just got to ask the question "Is it worth it?"
What value do you place on your well being? Working around the clock and not getting enough rest puts your mental health at risk.
When we're fit and everything's all going fine we blissfully think we can just sail on through. And then we start some low grade self-medicating in numerous ways to bolster any weaknesses in stamina we might have. The odd drink here and there, some recreational soft drugs, a little bit of this and that. Yeah, we can do this!
We persist at it for a few weeks, then a few months which then turns into a few years and BINGO, it's our way of life.
Then it hits you.
One too many late nights.
One too many non-stop weekends.
One too many late deliveries and a screwed schedule. And before you know it, the camel's back is broken.
Top this with juggling family, partner, children and business demands and it's no surprise that 1 in every 6 adults experienced a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, every week in 2016 according to the Mental Health Foundation.
Their study also concluded that 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point. That means that of those 10 people you're working with this week, two of them will have considered bringing an end to it all.
And fashion employees get an increased risk of a mental health issue by some 25%!
A 2012 industry survey of 241 women models, many of whom are considered supermodels, revealed a depression rate of 68.3% according to Model Alliance.
The tragic death of 55-year-old iconic designer, Kate Spade puts a spotlight on mental health issues within the fashion industry. Another example of just how broke the glamour puss business is.
In April this year, The Business of Fashion published a report which called the teaching methods at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Art into question. In response to this, Dazed and Confused ran a piece entitled "Opening up the conversation about mental health in fashion". These articles outlined suggestions of rigorous standards, immense stress, drug abuse, exhaustion and intense workloads.
We can't address the global issues on fashion in this post. There are too many factors that need fixing. It's a global industry with a proportional scale of issues, responsibilities, and need for solutions. And as much as the industry affects us all, there are steps we can take as personal initiatives.
So let's bring it closer to home.
Who's responsible for your health and happiness?
The bottom line is that we need to be the ones that take responsibility for ourselves. It seems obvious but actually, too many of us leave our own state of mind unattended.
And yet the tools we need to step across the threshold and begin making changes in our lives are readily available to us all.
If you are feeling suicidal or have thoughts about suicide, please seek professional help now. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 for advice. Or in the UK contact these support organisations.
There are simple tools such as the Wheel of Life which can help you assess where you have imbalances in key areas fo your life. It allows you to assess key areas of your life and how satisfied you are with them. You compare each of these areas with how you'd like them to be and the result is a visual map of how unbalanced your life is in these areas currently.
Or perhaps your stress comes from a toxic relationship and resolving the issues around this would make a significant improvement in your well being. After all toxic relationships have links to ill health and heart disease.
You can read more about toxic relationships, how to know when you're in one and what to do about it in my previous post here. There's also a free guide and tool to help you there too.
And of course, there are life coaches that can provide you with support and coaching to achieve the transformations you need in your life. If you've never worked with a life coach before and want to know more about what they have to offer then read this post or check out our coaching offers here.
Coaching helps you reach your highest potential by helping you figure out exactly what you want and then designing and taking strategic action to make it happen.
You move from where you are now to where you want to be.
And working with a skilled coach means you get the right balance between acting and reflection so you make progress.
In our fashion coaching programs, we provide a combination of 1:1 coaching, mastermind coaching groups, and online resources. You can buy single coaching sessions to address specific issues and to make breakthroughs, or enroll in one of our programs spread out over several weeks.
If you are working in fashion, you are at higher risk of a mental health issue. You have a 25% increased risk.
That means we all have a responsibility for ourselves to take a step back and assess our lives at least once per year. If you are a business owner you have a duty of care for your employees too.
So here are some simple steps you can take to begin the process of rebalancing your life.
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