Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Blogging Burnout - How It Feels and What To Do

You're either here because you're feeling it or you're wondering if you are - blogger burnout. 


Burnout is a term used generally across all career paths. It's a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism, and feelings of reduced professional ability. 


What does it feel like? How do you know if you have it? Some common signs and symptoms associated with burnout are:


  • Alienation from work-related activities - does blogging feel increasingly stressful and frustrating?
  • Physical symptoms - are you getting headaches or experiencing digestional issues?
  • Emotional exhaustion - do you feel drained, unable to cope, and tired?
  • Reduced performance - do you feel negative about tasks? Are you having difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity? Do you lack the energy to get simple tasks done?

And while blogging is a hobby for many people - if you're taking it seriously you treat it like a job. A job in addition to your full-time gig, whatever that may be. For many, although blogging is a side job, it's the job they're more passionate about. On the backend, it's a lot of work around the clock for people who interact with your page to see a pretty photo on the front end. 

Why Do Bloggers Experience Burnout?


It Can Feel Thankless


It's work and it can be tiring! It can sometimes feel like you're putting a lot of time and effort into something you don't get a lot in return for unlike, for example, when you go to a corporate job and you're paid consistently and on time for the work you do.


You're Comparing Yourself to Others


When you're comparing yourself to others and trying to 'keep up with the Joneses' it can often feel like you're behind. If someone has consistent in-feed posts, TikToks, blog posts, paid collaborations and looks put together on Instagram Stories and you don't right now - it can feel like you're behind. 

You Could Be Trying to do Too Much All At Once


You might be trying to create a lot of content every week but with all the mediums you're trying to use but you're coming up short in engagement or page growth. 

You Might Not Be Surrounded By Supportive People


The people in your life who knew you before you decided to create your brand might not be totally supportive of your goals and dreams. Having to constantly explain and justify why you're putting some much time and effort into blogging can feel like ANOTHER job at times. People might laugh, tell you that you're wasting your time, not understand what you need to do or how you budget your time and it can feel really lonely. 

There's Other Stuff Going On In Your Life That Feels Heavy


Separate from any personal trials and tribulations you may be going through - there's a lot of heavy stuff going on in the world. Whether you watch or don't watch the news, whatever your political opinion is or your views on COVID - ALL of those outside factors play into your daily life. All of those things coupled with different things going on in your life alone - it's a lot! It comes in waves and it can be inconvenient and confusing. 




You're Burned Out - Now What?


Do Some Soul Searching


Let's break down what you're feeling, how you're feeling, and what else is going on around you. Reading this post is the first step! Taking a step back, taking deep breaths, and thinking through what is making you upset at the moment will help you come down off the height of your emotions. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed, tired, upset, frazzled? Is it a person? Is it a deadline? Is it that your smoothie has unflavored almond milk instead of vanilla flavored? Let's take some time off from anyone or anything that's making you ~wig out~. 

While you might not be able to take time off from your corporate job or being a mom may be nonnegotiable or impossible right now, there are areas of your life that you can temporarily pause for your mental health. 


Take A Break


Now that we know we're at a spot where we can take a break - where do we start? Sometimes taking a break from the news is what you need. Or giving your body an extra rest day from your workout routine. Or taking a week off of Instagram to decompress. Maybe you switch your article posting to once a month or every other week while you feel your feelings and take a mental break. Maybe your cadence of posting on Instagram decreases for a few weeks, there are a lot of avenues to take that can make you feel better!

I have taken a break from blogging a few times in my life and let me tell you - I am stronger for it. Sometimes you need to lounge around, eat what you want, and binge TV. When my dad passed away, when I've lost a job, when I have gone through breakups - I took breaks from blogging. I really can't emphasize this enough: IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY!

Instagram, TikTok, your website, will ALL be there when you're ready to come back. 


Focus On What You're Good At


When you've had time to separate yourself from what was upsetting you, now we can begin to adjust your routine so that in the future you can do what you can to prevent burnout. At the beginning of the pandemic, I wasn't inspired to write on my website. I was overwhelmed and had no creative juices. In April, June, and July, I only wrote one blog post a month. In the month of May, I wrote nothing and that's okay! There was a lot going on outside of my control and the best way I could cope was to put my website on the backburner. 

If you're really frustrated with your engagement on TikTok or Instagram before you go blaming the algorithm, maybe your content is forced or unoriginal or unengaging. For me, I know I need to take a break when I can't come up with a caption off the top of my head for a post. 

I know for me, TikTok is my weakest link at the moment. Video editing in general really. While I like to experiment and I know I will only improve with practice, it is not the main focus of my weekly content shooting and planning! I know for my sanity I need to focus on consistently creating a few mediums and then creating my weaker links when I'm extremely inspired to or have a good idea I want to try. 


Build Self Care Into Your Routine


Pick a few nights a week where you don't blog. Don't engage with content, don't answer emails, don't scroll, don't brainstorm. Just be present. For me, right now, that means leaving my phone in the other room when I'm with my mom and cooking or watching a show. When I'm at my apartment that means turning all the lights off and sitting in the dark while watching a show or painting my nails or getting a workout in or getting a spray tan. Everyone's self-care will look different but nonetheless, it is important.

Usually on the weekends, although I shoot content and might get a blog post drafted, I tend to stay away from engagement and posting on Stories. Giving myself grace on the weekends and a night or two a week allows me to decompress and experience life outside of social media. 

By batching content and planning my week -  I am able to plan my self-care ahead of time and that also gives me breaks and relaxed time to look forward to especially when I feel stressed or anxious.


Find Blogger Friends


If you find yourself getting frustrated with people in your everyday life that don't want to talk about blogging, don't understand blogging, or aren't supporting your goals? My advice is to make genuine connections in the blogging community. This really helped me not only expand my knowledge base and network but also drastically improved relationships with people from my life who weren't apart of the blogging world.

Although blogging is something you're really passionate about, I like to look at it like this: if someone in your life only talked about work and they worked in a field that you had no knowledge in, how would you feel? I would be bored and over it! So focusing your time with family and friends outside of Instagram on being present is helpful for those relationships and your mental health in the long run. 

How do you make blogger friends? It takes time and genuine intentions. Look for other content creators in your area that have similar niches and following sizes to you. Build a relationship by supporting each other and see what happens! I've also met fellow content creators from all over the country and sometimes the world! I'm hoping that when it's safe to travel again that I can meet them and check out some cool places!


Keep Trying and Don't Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself


You're not going to be good at everything. And you're not going to be good at everything right away. I wish you could have seen me talking on Instagram Stories three years ago when I started Mimosas & Lipstick. I was so awkward and paused a lot and had bad lighting and wasn't telling a story. It was rough. Luckily, at the time I had a lower follower count. This meant that it was a smaller stage but also that the people that were following me mostly knew me in real life already. 

I practiced and showed up and tried and now I can tell you a story in 4 slides or less! Do I drag it out sometimes still? YES. Do I still mess up? SURE! But that's life! 

If you're wondering why you're putting so much effort into blogging and haven't met your goals yet - that's okay! I really cannot put enough emphasis on the fact that everything takes time! However, being frustrated is normal. over the two and a half years it took me to reach 10,000 followers, I got frustrated a lot. I would lose hundreds of followers or work really hard on a series that didn't get the reaction I anticipated or I would get turned down from a collaboration all my friends were landing easily. There are waves of doubt and distress and fear, but I'm telling you that when you give yourself a break and some slack you're going to come back stronger and better than ever. Making sure your mental health is taken care of ensures that your content and interactions with others will be truly a reflection of your best self! Don't discount the feelings of your only employee - you! 


Whatever effort you put into something is what you will get out of it across the board. So If you put in the work, make sure that you're being self-aware, and that you're improving over time, you're going to get there. I have other articles with tips in this series for helping with content creation, growing a following, product trade partnerships, paid partnerships, and more that you can access here

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