Monday Highlight: Feeling Festive, Leaving My Phone Alone and Trying Out P50 Biologique Recherche

Monday highlight is back! I’ve had the best weekend and I am having a terrible Monday. But guess what, I kind of know why which is super positive I think.

I was feeling very festive this weekend and decided to decorate my flat which is something I’ve been doing for a few years now. It puts me in a great mood, it means coming back home is even more lovely, twinkle lights and all that, and because I’ve come to the realization that I don’t like the actual Christmas day that much, I’ve decided I’ll try and enjoy the festive season instead. While I was doing that, decorating my fake super small Christmas tree, creating a weird art display (see below) and listening to a food podcast (not so good sorry but I was so happy decorating I did not even care), I did not touch my phone, and actually used my hands to do something else than typing. Lovely!

Today, I woke up, scrolled through Instagram, my emails, Linkedin, Twitter and felt like the rain pouring outside my window was actually pouring inside my head. FUN! I’m pretty sure that, if I had started my day differently, I would have been in a much better mood.

You probably don’t remember this, or maybe you do and in that case I’d love to know how you felt. A few weeks ago, Instagram stopped working for a few minutes. I started thinking “Oh imagine if it stopped working forever? Like it would just disappear?” I felt a huge sense of relief.

I’m sure you all freaked out when you discovered the new Iphone feature that tells you how long you spend on apps, and also, how often you unlock your phone. I don’t want to share the number with you because I’m ashamed to be completely honest. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I know it’s not the first time I mention this subject here but it’s because it keeps coming back on my mind. This morning’s bad mood was so clearly linked with how quickly after waking up I checked my phone yet I still do it every week.

The only thing to do really is to leave your phone alone I guess. Which I did on Sunday. Not the entire day, but most of it. I felt like something was missing, like I HAD to share something as I had not posted anything on Instagram for days. The irony of course is, how do I make people find my blog without using Social Media. I do not have the answer. Anyway, I put my phone away and tried to live my life. It was an uneasy feeling let me which sounds really silly if you re-read the previous sentence.

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Then I focused on this lovely Christmassy thing above and just forgot about it. Until I did not… (My partner built the main wood thing and the jars for me years ago. I usually have flowers in, but around this time of year I add Christmas bobbles.) Regarding the Merry Christmas banner, It came without the “I”, can you believe it? I make do, and created an I out of a paper straw. How CREATIVE.

Nothing groundbreaking on this Monday, but leaving your phone alone, leave it charging somewhere or in an other room, and forget about it actually works. I’ve learned my lesson a few times, but writing it down might make me, or you, realize that it needs to change. Do you do that sometimes? How’s your relationship with your phone?

Oh also, something beauty related, I have tried the oh so famous P50 by Biologique Recherche again last night. Last time I tried it, I believe I used too much and my skin was probably sensitized already and I got an immediate reaction the next morning, I was spotty and my skin was super fragile. But I paid for it you know, and it’s meant to be so good! Gave it another go last night, nothing to report as of yet, will keep you posted! I am so curious to know what it could do for my skin. Isn’t it funny how sometimes, your skin’s behaving nicely, glowing, and you just want to try something new, just to see and it messes up with everything? Glad to be your guinea pig though!

How was your weekend anyway?

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The Day “Self-Help Content” Stopped Helping Me

The other day I told my partner, “I’ve heard something on this podcast that really made me think. It goes ” The only difference between you and the people who are successful, is that they’re doing it, you’re not“”. Well, something along those lines anyway. He looked at me and said, “Yeah (sigh), I don’t really connect to that, I mean, this kind of stuff just goes without saying. What’s the point of that kind of affirmation anyway?

I thought he had a point, but to be honest I also thought, because he doesn’t have Instagram or listen to podcasts, “Well, he doesn’t really get it, he’s not familiar with that kind of content. He might see it from a, not hostile per say but “meh” point of view.

A few days later, I heard the exact same sentence on another podcast, and for some reason, it made me feel really angry. I don’t know if I was angry at myself, or the type of content I ingest, or both, but I decided it was all a bit too much. What was? All the “self-help” content I listened to, watched, read about.

*When I talk about self-help here, I know the term probably is too vast, and a business podcast for instance might not be considered like self-help content, but basically to me it means, any content related to how to improve your life, be successful, be better at communicating, be confident etc. Hope it’s clear!

It started with a few success stories about people making it. It would usually go like this “I started from nothing, worked my ass off before and after going to my everyday job, and after a lot of hard work, not seeing my friends, or family because of the amount of work I was dedicated to throw myself into, it finally…worked. See what I did there?

Then I started to see people on Instagram telling their audience, “I know I posted this amazing photo of me on holidays looking glowy and all but just know that right now, I look and/or feel like shit.

I could not stop consuming stories about entrepreneurs, content creators, self-help book writers, people who inspired me. And, don’t get me wrong, some of them still do BUT, we’ll come onto that later.

Then followed, videos, TED talks, articles, Linkedin posts. They were all about the same idea, turned into a statement: you are responsible for your own happiness. Which, let’s be REAL, and nuanced, is so simplistic and just not true. It simply doesn’t take into account, culture, social background, education, life shit, anything. It’s an affirmation making you responsible for your own happiness but it sort of means that, if you’re not happy, well, guess what? That’s on you as well.

Then I started to see people on Instagram telling their audience, “I know I posted this amazing photo of me on holidays looking glowy and all but just know that right now, I look and/or feel like shit.” And everytime I saw that kind of post I thought, “Ok, then Why would you post that amazing looking picture of you in the first place? And then remind us that, hey, it’s not real life folks, don’t forget!” Some say, “I want my account to be positive, I want to spread joy”, etc. Which is a nice thought. Yet, they must be aware that this type of content does not have that much of a positive impact on people if they keep having to apologize for it, or deconstruct the images they put on Social Media for the sake of being honest and more transparent, right?

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It all started to make me feel dizzy, guilty and worst of all, small. I remember walking around in my flat, cleaning or folding my clothes away, listening to this podcast and hearing for the second time in a few days : “The only difference between you and the people who are successful, is that they’re doing it, you’re not“.

I stopped doing what I was doing, and said out loud, “Stop. This had to stop“.

I don’t want to meditate, or maybe I do, but ultimately, do I want to hear about other people LOVING it all the time?

Consuming all this so called “self-help” content was not helping me at all. Years ago I’d be excited about it, it felt really new and full of hope, and I guess in a way, it was really new and full of hope, and probably necessary as well. However that day, I thought, ” Too much “self-help” content is eventually going to fuck me up.

I don’t even think I want to be an entrepreneur. I don’t like to fake it until I make it. I don’t think it’s easier to give up than to pursue your dreams, it’s way more complicated. I don’t like making lists, I always loose them or if I don’t, I forget to tick the boxes. I don’t even like baths and candles, it’s so boring it does not help me to reset at all. I don’t want to meditate, or maybe I do, but ultimately, do I want to hear about other people LOVING it all the time?

I miss raw content, unedited honesty. I miss real life stories. You might argue that culture, online content should or could, amongst other things, make us dream. And I agree. The thing is what I was consuming was not making me dream anymore. Because you know what makes me dream? Real life. With its flaws, errors, misundersantings, wobbles, failures, successes, joys, hopes. All of it. I’m sick of the edited version. I don’t love the word authenticity but I’m going to be crazy and say that, I want more of it.

I want the good, the bad and the ugly.

This post is a bit rambly. You might disagree or think it’s just another rant against society, consumerism, social media, and it might as well be. Oh also, I’m well aware I might be contributing to that, yet aren’t we all? I’m not sitting here judging everyone, I’m just being honest.  Anyway, I’m now choosing very carefully what I watch, read, listen to “self-help” wise, and I’ll share it with you soon. I touched on that a few months ago, and I’ve already done a bit of clear out this summer. But it’s not over.

What do you think about all this? Do you feel the same or not at all?

This space is called Le Beauty Journal and I like to think beautiful things in life can be rough, raw and real. Same goes for happiness and success. Failures and disappointments. We’re just doing our best. Don’t you think we might need less “self-help” if we could just help each other?

It’s the little things you know.