A Guilt Free Guide to Self Care for Bloggers
You just hit publish on the blog post that took 3 hours to write and optimize for SEO. Ahhh time to sit back and chill cuz the job’s a goodun … SAID NO BLOGGER EVER. You better share that blog post on ALL of the socials. Have your created alternate Pinterest graphics? Have you scheduled your Pinterest week on *Tailwind yet? What about that Twitter Chat too? Tough love time … Self care needs to be included within your blogging to do list. Here it is, a self care for Bloggers lecture!
In the interest of full disclosure, I am an extremely solitary person. BUT underneath my requirement for alone time, I have an open heart and hate to see people suffering. This includes the beautiful souls I have stumbled upon within the blogosphere! I won’t life I feel strange creating content like this. You are all intelligent adults that I respect and admire, with the capability to make choices about your own self care routines. I don’t want to preach to you, my colleagues and friends. But Hope is my middle name… So, yeah, I’m going to go ahead and unleash some hopeful vibes in your general direction.
I read recently (I wish I could remember where) that productive people should approach rest and downtime with the same discipline that they apply to their work. This struck a major chord. I am the first to admit that I often forget to stop and take care of myself. So I guess this is a reminder to all of us traveling along our blogging journeys to stop, and take a breath once in a while.
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A Practical Guide to Self Care for Bloggers
“If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?!”
I never understood those words until I fell ill. Like stranded in my bed for months kind of ill. You may or may not know, but I am a Chronic Illness Warrior. She is a cruel mistress and a bad-ass teacher; her name is Fibromyalgia. Chronic illness can screw with your self worth on so many levels. Emotionally, spiritually, physically, it changes you. When you have some life in you, it feels like you can’t stop for rest, because it’s only a matter of time until the next flare up. My experience with Fibromyalgia has forced me to reassess how I approach this self care gig.
Hopefully my personal life lesson can be of some help to others. So let’s get started shall we.
What is Self Love?
But Rach, I thought this post was about self care? You’re gosh darn right it is. Self love is the foundation of self care. You can’t have one with out the other. If you don’t have a foundation built on kindness/love, why would you take time to practice self care?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes self love as:
“Regard for one’s own happiness or advantage.”
At first glance, that sentence reads selfish and conceited. But it is important to draw a clear distinction between self love and caring only about yourself. Self love isn’t a desire to have the whole room revolve around your every whim or to only suit yourself. It doesn’t work like that. This internal fulfillment can only come from within, not without. It takes dedication to form a habitual routine that promotes a kinder relationship with yourself.
Self Love and Inner Kindness
It is important to encourage a kinder inner monologue. Don’t be so ruthless. If you speak gently to yourself this will project into your dealings with the external world.
The best method I have found thus far when it comes to my inner bully, is to stop and challenge it. Imagine saying such horrible things aloud to anyone other than yourself. You wouldn’t unleash that on anyone else. So give yourself a break.
Why is Self Care Important?
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Have you ever felt so emotionally drained that you become a total horror to be around? There seems to be this notion in society that in order to be a good person you must always put others above yourself. But seriously guys. How can you give if you have nothing left in the tank?
I know I have been guilty of this through out my life. I go through phases of giving and giving aaaand giving. But the end product is a really tired, drained and stressed horrible human. I am slowly learning not to wait until the emergency light flashes before setting some healthy boundaries.
One Size Fits all?
What works for one doesn’t work for all! My version of self care is retreating from the busyness of everyday life. I’m not completely introverted, but sometimes I need to spend time alone. This time is spent gathering my thoughts and recharging my mind.
I used to force myself to keep going, keep socializing, keep people pleasing. I now fully appreciate the necessity of alone time to prevent the arrival of stressed Rach! Self care comes in all shapes and sizes. There isn’t a one size fits all approach. But once you find your self care gig, you owe it to yourself to practice regularly. If you don’t, your body and mind will find a way to remind you.
Ways to Practice Self Care for Bloggers
Here are some suggestions for self care practices that I have found easy to work into even the my busiest weeks. Most of the suggestions are either free or relatively inexpensive. So no excuses loves 🙂
Gather your thoughts and refocus your energies. You can use this time to challenge and redirect negative inner monologues. What have you done well today? Tell yourself, heck tell me! I love to hear when people succeed. Spending time alone doesn’t mean filling the space in your schedule with ALL the things. The best ideas come when you allow yourself to be bored. Remember this is time to recharge away from real world demands. I have practiced transcendental meditation since the age of 10. But recently my practice has fallen by the wayside. This is a reminder for both of us to clear our minds, even if only for a short time. Even a 10 minute break to rest your mind can do wonders!
Exercise as able
Recently I have started walking with a colleague from work on the weekends. We don’t focus on racking up the miles, it’s about getting outside and exploring nature. It’s amazing how much beauty you can miss just in your own local area. I find that I spend most of my weekends doing freelance work and building my blog, but if I schedule in these excursions I feel so much better. In our line of work it is SO easy to get lost in the computer screen for hours upon hours. Get out and stretch your legs. Whatever you can manage is great. The chances are your content (and your brain) will be better for it! Congratulate yourself upon completion.
Cut out the crap
Are you doing things that don’t serve your well being? I’m talking draining friendships, unnecessary obligations and activities that hurt your soul! Gradually start the removal process and redirect this vital energy into things that fuel your fire. I very rarely drink, but in my younger years I felt obliged to go out on BIG drinking sessions. I NEVER felt good for it at the time, and the next day I would feel even worse. Eventually because of my health condition, I slowed this down and I have never gone back. I now drink about 2-3 times a year on average.
Start a journal
I couldn’t live without my journal, it’s where I pencil in ideas and reflect upon aspects of my day. My notebooks aren’t used for diary purposes, but I do like to write my musings or observations down. There is something about putting pen (or pencil) to paper, that makes me feel relaxed. You could use yours to document your self care journey. It’s great to have something to look back through and see distance traveled.
Once again there is no one size fits all recipe with a journal. It can be as out there (or in there) as you like. Sometimes, if I am working on a canvas, this becomes my journal. As I draw, paint etc. my mind is processing through complex problems. I get a lot of AHA moments when I am in art mode.
Find a new hobby
Learning new things can increase your sense of self and invigorate your life. Some people don’t find things such as mediation enjoyable. If you have a lot of excess mental energy, you could burn it off by finding a new hobby or learning something new. It needn’t be expensive or high maintenance. You could take up Sudoku, or start a herb garden! I love to experiment with new art techniques and bake! When your self esteem grows through learning new things the following sentence becomes easier to affirm:
“Naaaaah I don’t want to.”
Which is nice Segway to my final suggestion!
Learn to say NO!
I think this is the most important point. If you take anything away, please let it be this. Our time on this Earth is limited and extremely precious. You don’t have to be all things to all people at all times! Do something YOU find enjoyable. Not only do you deserve it, but the people closest to you, will thank you for it. It’s time to start living rather than just getting by. You deserve to be healthy and happy.
Don’t forget to stop long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labour once in a while 🙂
What’s your self care routine? Have I missed anything? Please let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from you guys 🙂
P.s. Why not buy me a coffee?
P.p.s. Why not check out my previous post by clicking the image below!