How to Prevent Burnout
I've been blogging for nearly eight months now. Eight months. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a long time. But to come up with great content every week and manage everything out in your life can easily take a toll on a person. Not only am I running my blog and consistently posting 2-3 times a week but I have my full time job which I work anywhere between 40-50 hours a week, plus freelancing. I'm going to get raw here folks. It's been real hard. Like to the point where I don't want to write let alone look at my social media for the blog.
Since starting my new job I haven't been able to dedicate the amount of timethat I truly want to the blog. Let alone my freelance jobs. I've had to politely tell those that I contribute to that I'm on a hiatus and I've let my blog go from 3-4 posts a week to maybe 1, and that's not ok. Many of those times I just don't know what to write about let alone have the energy for it.
So what's a blogger, writer, creative type do to prevent burnout? Below are my top five tips for preventing burnout and how to overcome it. It's possibly to push past that writer's block and achieve some amazing content.
- Say No.
Go ahead, do it. Say no. Say it aloud, look at your pet, silently whisper it to yourself, no. As a new blogger it's hard to say no to anyone. You want to grow your website, gather new clients, and create some truly amazing end results. But do you know what happens when you pile all of that on?
You get a mountain full of stress, anxiety, and your work becomes shoddy.
And that readers is not ok.
It's ok to have that gumption and the drive to take on everything thrown at you. But as we grow as entrepreneurs, we have to start saying no to the projects that aren't worth our value and saying yes to those that will help us in the long run. I firmly believe in paying your dues and working for free in order to start out because you will have to work for free sometimes.
2. Take a Moment to Breathe
Sometimes as freelancers we get so bogged down with deadlines, projects, emails, phone calls, just everything! It can feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest and you can't breathe. I for one struggle with anxiety and stress if there's too much going on. It's like a cloud overtakes my mind and I become incapable of creating anything.
Do you know what the best thing to do is?
Breathe. Go outside, leave your desk and phone, and breathe.
Walking away from everything and breathing for a few minutes has been an excellent way to de-stress and allow my mind to recharge. The next time you're feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to just breathe. Even if that means taking an extra long coffee break or a walk around the block, do what's best for you.
3. Release Your Competition and Jealousy
Jealousy, it's a green, mean, ugly thing that can utterly wreck your life. It derails our purpose and makes us begin to lash out at those around us. It's human but it's containable. As a blogger it's easy to compare myself to others with a larger amount of followers or the ability to work with larger brands than myself. But if there's one thing I must remind myself when I feel the green machine creeping over me? I remind myself that we all started out on the same square.
No one reaches their peak as a blogger overnight. It takes time and sometimes that means years of consistently crafting content, reaching out to others, growing their community before they hit the 'big time'. But don't let their version of the 'big time' become what yours is.
4. Spend Time with People Who Don't Care About Your Blog
Surrounding yourself with people who are bloggers are great, it's like having a built in support system, friendship, and guidance counselor all in one. Sometimes though you need to take a break from all of that and be with those that don't care about your blog but care about you. These are people you should surround yourself with when you're not in the "blogging mode" because they will be your most underrated source of preventing burnout.
Spending time with my friends that don't care allows my mind to move away from work and into a place that's fun and relaxing. Soon you realize that what you do as your dream job is in fact, a job. Surrounding yourself with friends that just don't care about your blog on a deeper level is an underestimated way to prevent burnout as a freelancer.
So go! Go get that beer and forget about work! You'll thank me later.
5. Single Hits, Not Home Runs
Blogging is like baseball, we get great hits but rarely do we consistently hit home runs, and that's ok. As bloggers we should focus on consistently hitting those great single hits rather than pushing for the home run. Is that to say I'm dissuading you from working towards that home run?
If anything, take those smaller hits and gradually grow them until they enable you to hit that home run. If your goal is to hit 100,000+ page views a month, keep producing useful content, joining Pinterest and Facebook groups, and increasing your traffic until all three of those components hit that home run slam.
6. Find Your Cheerleader
I'm really fortunate to have my cheerleader be P. He's always there to lend a hand whether that be helping take photos (or using his hands in them!), helping me solve a blog issue or come up with content, or just being there when I need a confidence boost. Finding your own cheerleader is so key in helping you succeed as a blogger. I encourage you to find that person whether that's your own spouse/partner, parent, friend, or pet to confide in and cheer you on as you accomplish your goals.
7. Call In Sick
I'm really guilty of this guys. I rarely, if ever, take time off from work. I'd rather suck it up and just go in rather than lay around in bed all day. Laying around sounds great, don't get me wrong, but I'd just sit there and think about all the things I need to accomplish.
How dumb does that sound?
Calling in sick from your blog isn't as bad as it seems. Turn off your phone, step away from the computer, and stop thinking about what's the next great social media post you can do. Removing yourself from everything is an excellent way to relax your brain from work and allow the creative juices to flow.
As you take your sick day away from everything blog related, take a pen and notebook with you. Carry it around for the day and see what organic thoughts you have that can be used for your blog. Then use those thoughts and see what magical content you can use for your blog.
See, playing sick isn't all that bad.
8. What's Your Definition of Success?
This is one that I think many of us struggle with, I know I certainly do. I follow many high profile bloggers for inspiration and because I love their work. However, much like jealousy, you can start to develop an unrealistic expectation for success. But does their version of success have to be yours?
Redefining the definition of success that fits you is so important for bloggers. Sit down and write out what is success to you. Is it 10,000 followers on Instagram, 100,000 page views a month, or a contract with a major brand? Discover what success means to you and develop a plan to achieve those goals. I like to keep a small list of goals that I want to achieve each month and this helps keep me on track. By redefining success, I'm not only defeating the mean green jealousy machine, but I'm preventing burnout which allows me to achieve my goals and become my own version of success.
Overall, I hope you use some, many, or one of these tips to help you prevent blogger burnout and keep going strong. If you're ever struggling with burnout or need motivation, I'm here for you!
What did you think of this post? Tell me in the comments below!