I’ve been blogging on Follow My Gut for three years this December and have worked full-time since it started. During that I’ve seen many bloggers and Instagrammers disappear from the free-writing world temporarily and permanently. While it was unfortunate to see some depart completely, there were a few who took a step away momentarily. Originally, I never saw myself needing to take a “blogging break” from something I love so much. But never say never because it didn’t take long until it all caught up to me and I found myself spending days and weeks away from my restaurant discovery site.
A few days ago I reflected on the last stressful month and decided to write this post. In doing so, I took a moment and sat quiet and still. I was sipping some tea in a set of new mugs that I received from Uncommon Goods. The website does a great job at selling handmade, socially aware, and environmentally friendly items that have a personality of their own. From art, jewelry, and home items for yourself, friends, or even for kids it’s easy to find something to love. For the foodies out there, they have a ton of great edible items that will help you curb your hunger. Not crazy about food the way that I am? Then opt for personalized items that can make you feel special. While the goods on the website can be perfect to give as a gift for the holidays, I purchased three cute Owl Mugs ($18 each) to simply make me feel better. They’re a tad pricey, small and quaint, but totally adorable and helped me reflect on the blogging break I took.
When it comes to my blogging break, it was necessary. There was a point where I was too overwhelmed with everything going on that I had to stop. Getting laid off, a resurgence of my depression, family problems, a recent breakup, and a few other issues increased my stress levels. As much as I wanted to keep it all in balance I couldn’t, I had to put something on pause and Follow My Gut was it. It may have only been for a few weeks, but it was hard to distance myself from my little baby brand. In the time away, there were a few things I learned that I will value throughout my blogging career. Since keeping it to myself won’t help anyone who may be going through a similar situation, I wanted to share a few things that may make your blogging break easier to navigate.
If you’re in the position of needing to take a break from blogging, figure out what’s important to you. For many people, their blog is a source of income and if you can’t step away for financial reasons then consider simply decreasing how much you do. If you are able to take a break, assess what’s important to continue doing and what you can put on hold. If working out helps clear your head then don’t let that go. However, if going clubbing isn’t adding any value to you then maybe you chill out on it. As well, determine what things you need to start fixing. If it’s your health, housing, relationships, resume, or all the above and more start to get it in order. Create a list of things that you need to accomplish, make a game plan with realistic deadlines, and start to go after it.
Personally, when too much happens and I can’t manage it all I tend to isolate myself. I may vent to a few close friends but overall I shut down and that’s the worst thing to do. When it comes to blogging and collaborating, being quiet is a bad idea. It’s may be annoying to send an email when you really want to hide in bed, but keep the businesses you work with abreast of what is going on. They don’t have to know everything, but a little email is courteous. With that, if you have assignments or deadlines, communicate that you may be away from your site for a while and try to coordinate an alternative. If the proposed alternate doesn’t work for the brand or person you’re working with and you think you can manage to execute the assignment, go for it. If you can’t then don’t force it. You’re mental health and getting your life in a better place is the utmost importance and that shouldn’t be compromised.
Pray, relax, meditate, spend time with loved ones, or watch as much of your favorite shows on Netflix in order to get yourself into a better space. Because you have so much happening, it’s important to stay calm and centered. It may be hard and take more energy than you would expect but if it can lead you to a place where your head is in a better space and you can think with more clarity, do it.
As you being to feel better, consider your return to blogging. Chances are your site traffic has decreased and you may have lost a few followers on your social media accounts. That’s fine, you’ll get back to where you were before in no time. But before you jump back into blogging again, think about the changes and improvements you would like to make with your blog. Since you’ve been gone for a while, now is a great time to come back with a stronger return. Think about the things you would like to incorporate, the things that haven’t worked so well, and a few of the methods your favorite bloggers do and if you should try it yourself. I know in the time I was away, I realized I really need to start including more video in my social media marketing. As well, I’ve been a little slow with posting photos of myself by comparison to photogenic friends and I need to do more. I also plan to increase my outreach and can’t wait to see the enhancements it will have on my website and follower satisfaction.
As much as I hated taking time away from my blog, the weeks I had gave me the chance to get through the stress I was under. Being able to figure out what was important to me, to communicate that I was on a break, find my way back to center, and strategize my return helped me make the most of my break. While I’m not 100% out of the situation I was in earlier last month, I’m much better. I can’t forget to thank the amazing people who helped me along the way because they kept me sane through it all. And not to be forgotten, a trio of owls from Uncommon Goods played a cute role in all too!