When I came back from my blogging hiatus after starting my job in last year, I felt so sick skimming my Pinterest feed for good posts or links to solid resources. It was a lot of regurgitated information and I was very close to just deleting Ariel Louise altogether. But what I noticed is that with a lot of communities, there come waves of the bad, but also the good.
One thing that truly stood in my way was finding newness. Once you start to notice similar patterns of content, you become uninspired, bored, and quit the search. I lost the motivation to keep going. Feeling that way is a very debilitating thing.
You know how everyone who starts a business says that they got the idea from a problem that they had? Or something they noticed was missing in their lives? Well during this mini hiatus, I discovered this interview with Kat Kinsman, on a podcast called Radio Cherry Bombe. Kat is a writer and editor, who works in and around the food industry. She began writing about her own anxiety induced thoughts. Chefs she was interviewing started to take notice and began contacting her about their own troubles, so she created this website Chefs with Issues, where people could come and share stories, problems, fears, etc. in a kind of safe space.
What I'm trying to get at is that my blog was just causing me stress and made me feel pretty lost. I wanted to be able to share something really genuine with people, and I think that was the point when I realized that all of those posts about getting the most out of your blog weren't just about people trying to make a buck. They were stories about real life examples of how women busted their asses to get to where they are, and they wanted to share their experiences in hopes that they could help someone else.
When I came to that conclusion, it was like the light bulb went off. I've been thinking about this ALL the wrong way. I realized that in order to not be frustrated with my blog, I needed to be open and share from honest experiences.
1. Get Out of Bed
This can be a literal or figurative suggestion for a lot of us. If I stay in bed past 9, that's usually a sign that I want to plant myself there and not do anything all day. Unless you're a late sleeper; get up, grab that coffee, do a few sun salutations; whatever you've got to do to get up and moving. The more you do, the less you lay in your bed thinking self-destructive thoughts.
I used to think that doing yoga and meditating were a joke, but you'd be surprised what your mind and body will do when you take 5 minutes to focus on your breathe. When I first found out I had gastritis, I couldn't tell what was physical pain or my mind creating physical pain. To cope with this, I would practice breathing on my walk to the bus to work in the morning. It sounds ridiculous that someone would have to practice breathing, but it happens. Eventually you forget about how fast your heart is racing and are able to concentrate a bit more. When you focus inward, everything on the outside is affected in a positive way.
3. Write It Down
This year I started journaling to decompress. Putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper frees up space in your head to think more clearly. What's great about journaling is that it can be whatever you want it to be; write what you're grateful for everyday, your day at work, your goals for the future, or what keeps you up at night. Take notes, write stories. Writing in any form keeps your brain active and can alleviate some of that heaviness that too many thoughts can cause you.
4. Find Your Outlet
The above make up a list of some general ways that will help with your creative burnout. But I think what a lot of us creative people, and especially entrepreneurs or bloggers struggle with, is separating what we create, and finding alternative outlets that keep up inspired. That's why I write some days, bake others, and combine the 2 at other times. This separation is what keeps our minds not only fresh, but aware of new ideas as they come. To have that constant stream of ideas is so very important, so it's good to have an alternative perspective
5. Baby Steps
I met with a friend to get coffee this weekend who actually inspired this post. We were talking about struggling to keep up with deadlines and getting overwhelmed with your workload. She told me that you have to be kind to yourself. It seems counterproductive to think about taking small steps towards your goal. But have you ever thought about breaking up big lists as opposed to working yourself into the ground? I'm forcing myself to focus on 3, and only 3. After that I can do whatever, but there's no pressure to get more than that done.
Of course following any of the above is easier said than done when you're feeling in a funk, but you have to be kind to yourself. When you approach these things with that mentality then it's a lot easier to tackle everything at hand and in the end, it's meant to help you feel better and do better.
Let's all be a little more gentle with ourselves.