I’ve joined a few Twitter chats and engaged with other bloggers more recently. And I’m so glad that I’ve done that. Not only do I feel like I made new friends, but it raised my awareness of how blogging affects us all. Blogging full time is the ultimate goal for most of us. The dream of being your own boss, working with brands you love. And of course making enough money to call blogging your job. Your ideal job. Your dream job.
But until we reach that dream, we work the typical 9 to 5, raise a family, keep our homes neat and tidy, cook dinners, and live a typical life. However, this isn’t when the working day of a blogger ends. No, no, no. Publishing posts two or three times a week, joining Twitter chats to promote your blog, Instagram, Instagram stories, engaging with your audience, all of those don’t happen on their own. For us bloggers, 9 to 5 doesn’t end when we switch our work computer off. We go home, switch a different computer on, open Photoshop, WordPress, Twitter, and so on. And we put another few hours of work into that day. Working long hours, cooking and having a life can sometimes leave you feel drained. And there’s a real possibility of burning out, throwing in the towel and returning to your day to day life. I blog because I really enjoy writing. We’ve all heard people speaking of a creative outlet. Blogging is mine. Which is why I don’t want to pack it all in, claim my evenings (and most weekends) back so I can watch telly or leaf through magazines (and allow Ben to eat a warm meal for once). Recently I had to rethink how I structure my days because work got extremely busy and I felt so drained in the evenings that I coud barely move. Blame it on the autumn and the darkness is my first thought, but I knew it’s not only that. My body just couldn’t cope anymore. If you follow me on Instagram, you noticed that my responses to comments were limited, I joined in less on Twitter and haven’t published anything in a week or so. All of these are terrible for a blogger who’s trying to gain exposure and loyal readers.
The world of social media isn’t very keen on us taking a week off. I recently read a great article in the Blogosphere Magazine
, an interview with the wonderful Victoria from Inthefrow
, where she says she hasn’t taken a day off since she started blogging in 2012. There’s always something to do. I’ve never blogged full time, so I can’t write about how that feels, but I’ve been blogging part-time with a full-time job as many other bloggers I know and I realised it’s time to claim some of the time I spend behind a computer back in order to recharge my batteries.
Recharging is essential. It doesn’t only give me energy to throw myself into my work with a passion, it gives me the energy to create content for the blog. And it helps me feel relaxed, happy and not drained. Claiming a day back, away from my computer, also prevents me from giving up on the blog altogether because I feel I still have time to do other things, such as sitting on the sofa with a good book for hours.
What prevented me from taking a day off before was the constant fear that if I’m not there, the follower numbers will drop rather than rise. And during my social media detox experiment
this was confirmed to an extent. But guess what! I was away for days and the drop in follows wasn’t gigantic. It was in fact nothing out of the usual. This has then sparked the idea that I can take time off to recharge my batteries and come back even stronger.
How did I go about claiming back a day to recharge?
Pick a day that works for you. It can be an evening or two, it can be a whole day when you’ve got nothing on. Knowing your schedule and how much time you need is important. Saturday was the perfect day for me. I’m an early riser, so I get quite a few hours in the morning to myself. And they are always the same (I am a creature of habit). PJs with a comfy sweater. My favourite mug (of which there are more) and coffee. A good book. I love peace and quiet and starting my day this way relaxes me no end. Most likely I will post a photo on Instagram on my day off, but that will be pretty much it. The rest of the day is mine to do what I want.
Arrange to spend time outside
. Working in an office and blogging sees me spending a lot of time indoors. On my day off, I try to arrange seeing friends, going for walks and just spending some time outside in nature. Funnily enough, spending time outside has triggered more decent photos of my outfits. Yes, I know, I said take a day off. But these photos aren’t planned. I don’t go outside to take photos, prepping before closing the door behind me and trying to find the perfect spot for the perfect photo. They are spontaneous. I wear whatever I feel comfortable in, more likely than not, I’m not wearing any make-up either. So, while I’m still enjoying my day off, I surprisingly end up with photos I actually love too. Call them candids if you want.
Do what you want.
Don’t let your day off leave you feel stressed and overwhelmed. It happened that an excellent blog post idea popped into my head on my day off. So, I sat down and wrote it down or if I felt like it, I wrote a draft. Yes, I try to spend my days off away from the computer screen, but there would be no point in feeling anxious about forgetting the idea, purely to prove that I’m really relaxing. The goal of your days off, your recharging days is that you have the flexibility of doing what feels good at that moment. Not feeling anxious about having to keep to a schedule.
Don’t let your schedule take over your life
. Saturdays are my designated battery recharge day. But this isn’t set in stone. This weekend, Sunday was supposed to be rainy and Saturday sunny. So, we went out for a quick photoshoot on Saturday and I got Sunday to myself.
While I’m working really hard and trying to make sure I don’t burn out and don’t feel too overwhelmed with the demands of growing your blog, I also don’t want to neglect it. That’s why shifting my days off is sometimes necessary. But one thing is certain. I will always claim some time back to enjoy life without any pressures of the outside world.
Are you in a full-time job and writing a blog? How do you manage and what are your tips? I’d love to hear from you.
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Shop my weekend favourites below or my look here.