I am a single stay at home working mum, and finding time for self-care requires lots of prioritizing and self-discipline. I often scrap any plans I had for a bit of self-indulgence in favor of getting some more work done. The to-do list is never ending when you are self-employed and it can be hard to separate your work life from your home life. That’s why I’ve decided to share my favourite self-care tips for bloggers, because sometimes when working for ourselves, we need a little nudging to stop working and start caring.
I’ll get straight to the point, sacrificing your wellbeing for the sake of getting more done is not going to do you, or your business any favours. As entrepreneurs, business owners and bloggers, it’s easy to tell ourselves that we should be working instead of doing x, y, or z. It’s okay to be passionate and excited about your work, but it’s important to be passionate about looking after yourself too.
Hopefully, my top 5 self-care tips for bloggers will help you to find the balance between looking after your mind and body and looking after your business.
Put down the technology.
This includes anything that allows you to access your emails, social media or website. I know it is easier said than done but make sure your switch off your phone, laptop and tablet if you have one. If you want to read a book or go for a coffee with friends but are worried you may give in to temptation and switch everything back on, leave everything at home or give it all to someone to keep hold of whilst you take some time for yourself.
Make connections offline.
When working from home, you may find yourself looking at a screen more than you look at a face which is sad really, isn’t it?
Even if you have a group of online friends who you’ve found whilst navigating your way through self-employed life, it’s important to maintain real-life friendships and connections. Simply spending time with loved ones, family and friends can have a hugely positive impact on our mental health.
It’s easy to feel like you need to fill your day with tasks. I have a bad habit of writing myself a list of tasks, some important, most not, and doing everything I can to get everything done in a day. It’s not unusual for me to still have my shoes on at 6.30 in the evening because I’ve been so busy doing things that I haven’t even stopped to think let alone remove my outdoor clothing.
The more ‘free time’ I have in a day, the more I feel the need to fill it with tasks, but none of those tasks ever include looking after myself, it’s all about the kids and work. It requires a lot of self-discipline to stop myself from doing things from dawn until dusk.
Instead of squeezing in self-care once the task list is ticked off, I’ve started including self-care in my list of tasks. By doing so, I have no excuses for not looking after myself and I still get that sense of achievement that comes with ticking something off the list.
Take a break.
If it’s starting to feel like blogging is taking over your life, then stop. Not completely, but take a break from it for a while. You may only want to take a few days off, but it could take a few weeks, if not longer, to find your motivation again.
If you aren’t enjoying what you do or you feel consumed by the world of self-employment, all of your hard work won’t pay off in the long run. If you don’t take a break you’ll lose your spark and your passion and that will show in all aspects of your life, not just your business.
Learn to say no.
In the past I have taken on work despite the fact I’m already drowning in deadlines, purely because every penny counts and as a single parent, I need to earn as much as possible. The thing is, all I’m really doing is adding to my stress and workload for very little return.
Saying no to opportunities can sometimes feel like swallowing a bitter pill, but an overwhelming workload has a knock on effect on every aspect of our lives – next time you are offered work, ask yourself, will I get back what I put in? If the answer is no, then say no.
Saying no doesn’t make you picky or ungrateful, it simply means that you know where your value lies. Turning down work allows you to prioritize what’s important, such as projects you are passionate about, spending time with loved ones and caring for yourself.