Life & Style || Cosy Catchup with Emily Gandy

As part of our brand new Q&A series #cosycatchups, we caught up with the gorgeous Emily Gandy (Enchant Storyteller) to chat about self-employment, anxiety, wellbeing, and the little things that make everyday special. So, make yourself a cuppa and join us for a #cosycatchup… 

Emily, tell us all about you!… 

I am a lover of the little things and a country-gal at heart. I live on the outskirts of Winchester with my Boyfriend, Brett and Cockapoo, Mabel.

Enchant works with businesses to help them find their people, build their community and grow their brand through digital and content marketing. Having a consistent, authentic voice and sharing the ins and outs of your story is pertinent to building a community, gaining trust and furthermore, an on-going relationship with your audience. From writing about pages and creating welcome emails, to a day’s consultancy, or monthly management of social accounts, I help brands in a variety of ways. 

You’ve recently made a big leap into self-employment and creating your own amazing business, Enchant, tell us a bit about that and how it came about?…

 I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason. It’s a mindset that keeps me sane in moments of disarray!

One thing led to another and part-way through 2018 I found myself half-heartedly applying for jobs that sparked little joy at the prospect of being offered them. Running my own business had long been a dream but previously the time never seemed right. After lots of to-ing and froing, an idea from a colleague sparked my current chapter. I let the seed settle for a good few weeks before taking steady steps to make them a reality.

Emily Gandy

How have you found this transition?…

A rollercoaster! I knew the transition would be unlike anything I’d previously been through, but you can’t anticipate how you’ll feel until you’re in the moment. There have been tremendous highs and many lows, but dealing with every emotion has been significant, they’ve helped me to learn and grow.

I didn’t know if I could handle self-employment and I’m tested each day with the mentality of running my own business, but I wouldn’t have it any other way right now. I like a challenge, enjoy testing my limits and dealing with the outcome of those is teaching me more about myself.

 How have you created a morning/day routine when working from home? What’s the best bit about it/worst bit about it? …

I like the idea of traveling to work so when I’m at home I have to get up and out to replicate the concept of ‘going to work’. Going on a dog walk when it’s dark, grey and murky is easier said than done in the Winter months but gaining perspective, and getting outside to appreciate the little things makes my heart tick. If the weather’s nice or something captures my eye, I’ll take my camera with me. Being creative for me is important before I get stuck into work. When I return, the kettle goes straight on. I’ll enjoy breakfast and 10 minutes of quiet time before I open my laptop.

 I tend to write my ‘list to achieve’ at the end of the previous day so that I can crack straight on.

To get stuck in, I work for 2-3 hours straight. I’ll break to take Mabs out and grab some lunch for 45 mins. I’m not very good at taking a break; I’ll often keep going. I went into self-employment with few restrictions, but in hindsight, I should have put boundaries and routine in place straight away. Every day is a learning curve!

The flexibility I have is the best and worst bit about being able to work from home. I rise earlier, so I can go to the gym on a Friday morning but other times, knowing I don’t have to finish at a particular time gives me too much leeway and I’ll often end up working until 9/10pm, and then struggle to switch off.

You’ve been so heartwarmingly honest on Instagram and your blog about your struggles with anxiety and taking care of your mental health, how do you keep on top of this?…

Finding a work-life balance has been incredibly valuable. Other than that, I stay busy and try not to panda to the voices in my head. Mind you, not so busy that I feel overwhelmed and crash. It’s all about learning how to ride your waves. The Winter months are always the hardest, and it’s only now, reflecting on the past few months that I can see myself clawing to keep my head above water, mentally. Thankfully, Brett is exceptionally level-headed and pragmatic and helps me put things into perspective.

I’ve learnt to be aware of my mindset. Often when you admit a surge of negativity, it can be a downward spiral, but over the years when I see it creeping closer, I remind myself that I am in control of how I feel and that only I can genuinely shake unwanted feelings. Positivity breeds positivity.

A change of scene also puts things into perspective, whether that’s seeing friends, going to the gym or having something planned for the weekend. I struggle to relax, per se because I feel the need to be doing something regularly, but getting lost in a good book helps me unwind and immerse myself in other thoughts.

Emily Gandy

What does wellbeing mean to you? How do you ensure you add this to your every day?…

To me, wellbeing is primarily about being happy and healthy. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of I want this and that; it’s natural to keep striving for more, but I try to remind myself of what I currently have and not fall into a comparison trap.

I do what I want to do, as opposed to what I feel I should do. I used to say yes to every social opportunity, irrelevant of what I wanted to do. Go with your gut and do what feels right. We are in control of our mind, body and soul. 

I take each day as it comes. Sometimes I’m caught off guard with my emotions and original plans for the day don’t quite fit; I’m learning that it’s ok to make alterations. If there’s a way to be happier, whether that’s releasing endorphins at the gym or getting lost creatively, I wholeheartedly believe that we should follow that path for our next steps and decisions to be more positive. 

“Life is amazing… and then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again… and in between the amazing and the ordinary and mundane and routine… breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary, That’s just living. Heartbreaking, soul healing, amazing… awful… ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” – L.R Knost.

How do you practice self-care? What’s in your self-care toolkit?…

• I make time for creativity.

• Practise regular exercise

• Get outside for fresh air and a change of scene

• Try and get a good night’s sleep, aided by thisworks pillow spray and occasionally the Calm app.

• I try to eat well.

• This year I would also like to dabble in journalling.

 What are your top three ways to keep your headspace in check?

Get outside for fresh air with Mabs – a change of scene does the world of good. Meet friends – honest opinions are priceless. Bake or Cook – calming and a sense of achievement.

Emily Gandy

Quickfire… GO!

Go-to comfort food… Pasta pasta pasta!

Book to read and re-read over and over…PAUSE by Danielle Marchant is full of wise words, put things into perspective and reminds me to be the best version of me.

Favourite season… Oh, now that’s a tough question… probably Autumn, but I also adore Spring.

Go-to cheer up… tune… I’m all about the old school! This will be – Natalie Cole Higher and higher – Jackie Wilson September – Earth, Wind & Fire

Favourite Friday night tipple…Fizz, or a G&T depending on my mood.

Realist role model… I’m really inspired by Holly Budge – a British adventurer and conservationist. I met her a few years ago when I worked in Alresford. Her account of summiting Everest was awe-inspiring. She makes me want to achieve more.

Best bit of advice… Believe in yourself and the rest will follow.

Most inspired words…“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ― Maya Angelou.

Thank you SO much to the beautiful Emily for taking the time to share a little of her life and story with us! You can find Emily, her gorgeous dog Mabel, and the most stunning photos of her world here on Instagram.

// Images c/o SarahLou Francis  //