I started the year of 2017 with so much drive. I set my goals and intentions for the year, and I mapped out a plan to work towards fulfilling them. I was off on the right track. Until life began throwing lemons at me. And I am talking about dirty rotten lemons. The ones that are not even fit enough to make lemonade.
Before I could even realize it, anxiety crept into my life and began to take control. And the fear of recurrent panic attacks left me feeling debilitated. Then, somehow anxieties from one area of my life leaked over into the next. It even affected my ability to continue blogging. I would open my laptop, log on, and attempt to write but nothing would come out. I was unable to produce a word. I began to seriously contemplate quitting.
I had come to a place where it felt like I was moving and standing still at the same time.
With a demanding career, managing a blog, and trying to take care of home life it began to feel as if I was working on a 24/7 schedule. The quote, “A woman’s work is never done” began to take root in my life. But I am here to say that that is lie from the pits of hell because even God rested on the 7th day. And that is what I am learning to do.
It isn’t always easy, but living a balanced life is important. So I have a few words of advice for those of you who are learning to manage life all while blogging, pursuing a writing career or taking on any other venture at the same time.
Write For Yourself.
For me journaling is vital to my mental and emotional well-being. Journaling enables me to release negative energy residing in my body, heart, mind and soul by merely writing my thoughts onto paper.
However, when I started blogging I began to feel as if I had limited time for writing. Whenever I did find time to write I spent most of it writing for the blog. And the one thing I have learned quickly was writing a blog post is totally different from writing in your journal. Why? Because when you’re writing in your journal you are writing for yourself, when you’re writing a blog post you are writing for an audience. Simply put. Writing for myself on a regular basis would have definitely helped me to avoid all the stress and anxiety I had accumulated.
If you’re like me, you find it much easier to be moved to write when you’re experiencing negative emotions. But I am learning to journal when I am happy too. Nonetheless, we all get stuck. Thankfully GG and Ashley always have resources, workshops, and writing challenges to revive the writer within us, even when we feel a little stuck.
Create space in your life for yourself.
I know we are all tired of hearing the ever-popularized buzzword: self-care.
Nowadays, it’s like everywhere we look the word “self-care” is staring at us in our face. So you can’t pretend like you don’t have some idea of what it means. But are you practicing it? Like dieting and exercising, we know it is something we are supposed to do but have a hard time turning it into a habit. I know I do. Having and maintaining a self-care practice has been missing from my life for a long time.
I am now learning to preserve Sundays as a day of self-care. What do I do? I start my mornings off with a good hearty breakfast. I rarely cook during the week because of lack of time. So for me, cooking a feast on Sundays is an act of self-care. I also like to start my mornings off in silence. After a few moments of silence I spend the rest of my Sunday mornings enjoying a good meal, catching up on a few podcast episodes, journaling, giving myself a facial, or a mani-pedi. Generally speaking, I spend my Sundays taking care of me.
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Become in-tune with your emotional well-being.
Now I don’t have it all together in this area, but it is something I am learning to do. A lot of times I would ignore when my body was telling me to take a break and relax.
Admittedly, I do have this overly-ambitious, somewhat of an over-achiever, work-a-holic type personality. Being constantly in this mode has made me insensitive to when negative energy would compound within my body. I was just moving through life without any awareness of my emotional well-being. By the time I realized it I was already impacted by the cumulative effects of the negative energy within my body.
I have been working to make meditation and mindfulness more of a daily practice. Instead, just doing it when I feel like it. Meditating has helped me to become more in tune with my body and more aware of my emotional well-being.
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It’s okay to take a break.
The one phrase I have heard over and over since I have started blogging is: Consistency is key.
So I must admit taking hiatus after hiatus…well, pretty much abandoning this blog left me feeling major guilt and shame. I seriously contemplated quitting. Until having a discussion with my therapist who asked, “Why is there such a rule? And why would blogging less consistently turn readers away from my blog?” And to be honest, I couldn’t come up with a perfect answer. Other than, “Well, that is what many bloggers say”.
Is consistency important? Yes. But there are no hard fast rules. You have to find out what schedule works best for you. Knowing this has helped to relieve me from the guilt of not being ready with a post every single week. Am I saying, it isn’t important to post every week? Or to blog whenever your feel like it? No. It all depends on what your goal and purpose is. For me, I prefer quality over quantity. And I much rather not push myself to do something if I know my heart and mind is not behind it.
The truth of it is, we’re going to experience rough times in our lives. But having a practice of self-care, making the health of your overall well-being a priority and knowing it is okay to take a break makes it easier for us to manage life and all the dirty little lemons it sends our way.