How to support your mental health as a blogger #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

How to support your mental health as a blogger

 

As this is Mental Health Awareness Week, I’m going to be publishing a few posts on the theme of mental health this week, starting with this one, all about blogging.

For something that was originally supposed to be fun, blogging can’t half be the source of an awful lot of stress. I’ve been blogging since 2007 (AKA the dark days before avocados were a thing), so here are my thoughts on what can help and hinder your mental health as a blogger.

All in all I think that blogging can be great for mental health – it gives you a voice when you may feel powerless; a creative space to call your own. It can connect you with your tribe – the people who like the things you like, or have been through the things you’re going through. It can give purpose to the tough times in life, as sharing your challenges can inspire others.

But blogging can be a source of stress too. Please don’t let it be like that for you. Life provides enough stress all by itself already. If your blog isn’t lifting you up, think about why that is and don’t let it drag you down.

  • Comparison is the thief of joy
    Don’t fall for FOMO. Value what you bring to the party and don’t get distracted by what somebody else has got, or where they are on their blogging journey. There will always be someone with a shinier, apparently more successful blog than yours. This is just the way of the world. You can’t really get tied up in that. You do you. Believe that your voice, your blog, is valuable. Think about what success means to you, and make that your standard to live up to. I always think that a successful blog is the one that you enjoy enough to want to keep returning to.
  • Always online?
    There can be a pressure in blogging to be omnipresent at all times. Writing your latest blog post is only the half of it – then you’ve got to tweet it, then schedule lots more tweets cos one is never enough, put an image on Instagram and change the clickable link in your insta bio, then link to it on Facebook (not forgetting the multiple Facebook groups you belong to), join in a linky to promote it (and comment on a bunch of other posts in said linky) etc etc. And that’s only the start of it. Exhausting, isn’t it? Put your phone down sometimes. Don’t feel you have to be everywhere at once.
  • Set your own schedule
    Don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t post every day or week. Don’t feel you have to apologise if you take an extended break from your blog, or even stop blogging altogether, for whatever reason.
  • Don’t get too hung up on stats
    Stats have got their place, as long as that place isn’t crushing down on your heart like a lump of concrete fallen from the sky.
  • Take your online friendships into the real world
    This is something I have been really guilty of not doing and would like to rectify. I’ve ‘met’ some really great people through blogging, without ever having met them face to face. I very rarely go to blogging meet ups now. I’m scared that I’ll be too old, too fat, too dull, too disappointing in the flesh. But there is a limit to the extent to which friendships can develop if you never meet people face to face. So I need to do it. Human connection is a big part of what makes life worth living, and online connection only goes so far.
  • Live your life, be fully present (and don’t blog about it)
    This might sound like strange advice – not to blog about your life. After all, that’s what the blog’s for, right? But when you plan to blog about something, you’re never fully 100% in the experience, are you? Part of your brain is occupied with what to write, what to photograph, what will play well on Instagram etc. So take a day off from blogging and go on holiday in your own life.

If you’re a blogger I’d love to know what you think about this. Please leave a comment and let me know how you look after your mental health, or what you plan to do in future

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  • For me being in the moment and blogging after that makes no difference. I always took pictures, even before having my blog, because I want to remember. Hence, writing posts after that makes me remember the event and enhances the experience. I agree with everything else though.

    • That’s a good point Anca. Often I won’t write about something but I will take pictures (and possibly post them on Instagram). I think a big difference here is whether children or other loved ones are also involved in the experience. They can soon tell the difference if you’re not 100% engaged with them, or if you’re physically but not mentally present.

  • Kate Veggie Desserts

    Great tips here! Blogging can be solitary so it’s important to nurture offline friendships and get out of the house!

    • It’s interesting, the solitariness of it can start off as freedom, which feels good, but it can easily tip over into loneliness which definitely isn’t

  • Run Jump Scrap!

    Really enjoyed this post and was good for me to read! I have to try not to compare and definitely not let stats get me down. My blog is a hobby with lots of perks. Thanks for sharing with #bloggersbest

    • I think it’s more fun as a hobby – the pressure definitely seems to ramp up if it becomes your only job

  • celebratingmums

    I need this in my life right

  • celebratingmums

    I really needed this post today – bad day and yes blogging can be such a pressure so good to have this in our armoury #BloggersBest

    • Really sorry to hear you had a bad day. Sending you lots of love and hoping that today is better xx

  • Some great tips. I’ve spent way too much time online trying to get my blog GDPR ready and fixing some things I found while doing that. Next week I’m totally dialing it back as I’m knackered and want to spend time doing actual stuff …

    • Oh god, GDPR just has stress written all over it, well done for sorting it out. You definitely deserve a day off!