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Recently, I came very close to reaching burnout.
My personal life had gone a bit crazy. I turned to my work for distraction. With a tendency to be a workaholic at the best of times, my work became an obsession.
As soon as I woke, I’d reach for my phone to check emails. If someone in my Facebook group asked a question, I felt I had to reply IMMEDIATELY. I worked through my lunch hour and late into the night. It took me a while to fall asleep at night because my mind was buzzing with ideas that I couldn’t wait to get started on.
The business was thriving but I was not.
Does this sound familiar? Are there any other workaholics reading this now nodding their heads?
I’ll bet there are as blogging is hard. So usually the people who ‘make it’ and turn it into a successful business are those Type A personalities, dedicated to making their voice heard in a super crowded blogosphere.
But surely there is a way that we can be successful but without selling our souls in the process?
I wrote this post as much for me as I did for you. Maybe more so.
It’s to make me accountable for my actions. To push me to make time for self-care. After all, if I’m telling YOU to make time for you, I should really follow my own advice, right?!
So I set about creating a list of ideas for ways to improve my well-being and find that work-life balance that I initially turned to blogging to find!
This is a list of self-care habits and tips for bloggers that I either do or will be striving to do going forward.
Who else is with me?! Say ‘aye!’ in the comments!
Self Care Ideas for Bloggers
Online biz owners love to plan and schedule and make lists. (Or is that just me?!) By actually scheduling your downtime in advance, you are more likely to make it happen! Make downtime a regular habit.
Work from somewhere sociable
I started doing this a year ago and now I am a regular at my local cafe-bar. They know my name, my order and what I do for work so it’s like having office colleagues except they’re serving pints behind the bar.
Just listening to the general chit chat (which isn’t stimulating enough to actually distract me) and being away from the house not only makes me feel more productive but also helps my well-being. Somehow work doesn’t feel like work when you’re not hiding out in an office by yourself.
So find yourself a co-working space or a cafe that doesn’t mind you working there!
If you’re not going to leave the house to work then at the very least, make sure you get dressed! It’s good for your mental health.
I’ve had days when I’ve slobbed out in my PJs with my curtains drawn (I don’t want my neighbours knowing I’m slobbing out!)
It never feels good.
There’s something about getting dressed, brushing your hair and putting on a little make-up that makes you feel ready for the day ahead.
Make time for fitness
A work-out in the gym or even a stroll around the park will raise your heart rate and release all those lovely happy-hormones otherwise known as endorphins.
The hardest thing is to motivate ourselves to do it, especially as it means taking time away from our busy work schedule.
But I can guarantee you will be more productive afterwards. And if you really can’t bear to tear yourself away from your work, how about listening to a work-related podcast whilst you are exercising. Win-win.
(Oh god I’m sounding work-obsessed again right now aren’t I?!)
Listen to Podcasts
Speaking of podcasts, I am totally obsessed with these right now (again with the obsessive personality traits.)
Whilst I do listen to some very business orientated podcasts, I’m also enjoying some comedy shows as well as some which are the perfect mixture of biz and lifestyle.
I highly recommend checking out Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher. It’s the perfect blend of work-related chat such as email marketing and course growth topics alongside an injection of self-positivity and girl chat.
If she’s not talking about growing email lists, she’s talking about being kind to yourself.
Productivity is also a super important part of self-care. If you are achieving goals you will feel great about yourself AND have more time for fun stuff like hanging out with friends. Remember when you used to have time to do that?!! If you need to improve your productivity levels, I recommend checking out this ‘Ultimate Productivity Bundle.’
Yoga is a brilliant form of gentle exercise which also focusses on breathing techniques and relaxation as well as stretching out those tense muscles.
Being hunched over a laptop for 8 or **cough-14** hours a day can lead to a lot of muscle tension so stretching is super important to stop us suffering with aches and pains.
Have a massage
For the same reason, consider having a massage every now and then. This is possibly the only time that I relax fully. When I reached exhaustion point last week I booked not one but two massages in a week and it was BLISS.
The therapist looked at me sternly afterwards and told me “you work too much, your shoulder tension is a total giveaway.” Hmmm, looks like I just found an excuse for more regular massages?! Lovely.
Automate your business
One way to gain back some me-time and work-life balance is to try and automate as much of your business as you can.
That way, you know when you are taking some chill time, your business is still working just fine without you.
For example, I have an email sequence set up for all new subscribers. It welcomes my new readers, gives them my back story and gives them a few actionable tips to get them started with affiliate marketing. It is triggered as soon as someone joins my list.
At the moment it is just 3 emails long but the plan is to extend this a lot further. I know bloggers who have a 6-month long email welcome sequence. So they know that every time someone signs up to their list, they have content to enjoy for the next 6 months! How cool is that?!
I also automate my social media as much as possible with tools like Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram and I batch schedule posts and questions for my audience for my Facebook page.
If I have an open-close cart affiliate product to promote, I schedule all the social media, emails, tweets, Facebook posts well in advance.
Read more: Time-Saving tips for busy bloggers
Get a Virtual Assistant
This is hard for me. I’m a control freak, terrified to hand over any part of my business.
But, I have just agreed to hand over Pinterest to a Pinterest strategist who will hopefully take my Pinning traffic to new levels.
It’s not that I don’t understand Pinterest but it’s just that it takes so much time out of my day creating pins, analyzing pins, analyzing tribes…
She has a tried and tested strategy and a team of people working for her to implement it.
By handing this over to an expert, I can focus on other areas of my blog which make money. Such as writing more affiliate focussed articles or growing my traffic with SEO.
This is just the start for me. I have plans to take on more help over the next few months. And as much as giving p the reigns gives me palpitations, I’m also super excited to get some time back.
Book a proper holiday at least once a year
Since my other blog is in the travel niche, taking actual holidays is tough. You can’t help but start to think about posts you could write, photo’s you should take, keywords you should research…
But for the last few years, I have made sure I take at least one PROPER holiday a year.
I go somewhere I’ve been before or I know I won’t want to write about. Or I go somewhere I can’t get wifi so I’m not even tempted. Sailing holiday anyone?!
That age-old saying of “you are what you eat” is annoyingly so true.
Right now I’m a chocolate bar – a bit melted around the edges!
I definitely feel better when I eat nutritious food. The problem is, I have so little time!
There is a way around this of course. I’m talking about batch cooking. Every now and then, I’ll take a whole afternoon and dedicate it to batch cooking healthy meals for the next several weeks which I can freeze.
Wear a Fitbit
Invest in a Fitbit and start making sure you reach 10,000 steps every day.
I need to dust my Fitbit off and make this happen. I have a park near my cafe-bar-office and I’m planning to plough through those 334 episodes of The Goal Digger Podcast during my lunch hour!
Mindfullness is so popular right now. It’s a form of meditations and breathing and relaxation methods to help us all chill out a little more. There are apps, books, youtube videos, courses, websites so it’s accessible for literally everyone.
I’ve downloaded apps and invested in Mindfullness colouring books – I just need to use them!
Speaking of colouring books, one of my blogging friends Andrea came up with a great way to monetise her blog and sells travel colouring books created from her own photos. How cool is that?! Go check them out here.
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Try to find some way to make more time for you. Why not report back in a few weeks and let me know in the comments how you are doing?!
Don’t forget to pin this for later and if you want more tips like these, join my mailing list. It’s mostly about making money from your blog but I love to touch on these sorts of topics every now and then as I think they are super important!