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Guest Post by Samantha Laycock
Let’s talk about the reality of blogger burnout.
If you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you’ll probably already know all too well about blogging burnout.
To be honest, blogging is a piece of me that I can’t get rid of.
I never imagined that I would feel that way about blogging. I mean, before 2014, I had never thought about blogging. The extent of my blog reading came when I looked up recipes on Pinterest. That was it!
Now, in 2021, blogging has become so ingrained in my life that I don’t know where it ends sometimes. My life revolves around it. I blog 3 times a week (most of the time) and I have a business coaching women on how to simplify, organize and grow their blogs. Like I said, blogging is a piece of me that I can’t get rid of.
Until May 2021.
I have had moments in my blogging life that I have walked away from blogging for a couple of days, maybe even a week but I always longed for it. I always had the urge to go back to it shortly after taking a break. I knew the importance of taking a break so I was never concerned when I needed a short one.
It was my body telling me that I needed to recharge and refocus. After a few days, I would go back and start writing as it had never happened.
Until May 2021.
When burnout shuts you down
I didn’t see it coming. I have gotten pretty good over the years of knowing when I will have triggers hit. I can prepare myself for the havoc that they will wreak on my life but this was different. I didn’t feel it coming. I don’t even know WHY it happened. Even as I look back today, a few weeks after it started, I can’t specifically pinpoint when it started.
May started out as a fantastic month. I had blog posts planned out and I had some BIG goals that I was reaching. I was launching not ONLY 1 but 2 programs to help my ideal clients. In April, I had gone through some soul searching to truly figure out who I wanted to work with. It was a process but I was comfortable with it and loved the new programs that I had created.
I felt on top of the world. Have you ever felt that way? Like you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Being a coach, a blogger and every other role I fill can be exhausting but it is the passion that I feel that keeps everything running smoothly.
Until May 2021.
The first week went well and then BAM. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t even open my computer most days because it just wasn’t in me any longer. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t show up for my audience. I was barely making a presence on my social media.
Even the women in my accountability group were beginning to notice and ask questions. I wasn’t talking. I wasn’t participating. I was completely done. So I just stopped. I stopped blogging. I stopped thinking about blogging. I stopped wanting to be a coach for blogging.
This sadness took over and I reflected on my life which made me even sadder. The one thing that I was great at, I couldn’t do anymore. I was BURNT OUT!!
What does that even mean?
According to helpguide.org, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
Well that about sums up my entire life for the most part so, it totally explains why it hit me as hard as it did.
I had been pouring myself into my blog, into my business, into my dreams NONSTOP since February 2020 when I started my business. I had wanted to prove to EVERYONE that I could be successful even though COVID hit. I wanted the world to know that NOW was the time to start blogging and make a difference in the world.
I pushed through. Month in and month out of ups and downs. Some months I would hit my goals and would get a little bit of a high in that and continue to move forward. Some months I wouldn’t hit my goals and would get low but I would push through because I was looking at the bigger picture.
Until May 2021.
I didn’t have a choice. My body made the choice for me and that meant that I needed to stop EVERYTHING. I needed to walk away from my dreams and my goals and give myself a break. I was forced into this decision because I had pushed myself to the brink.
I fell into what felt like a period of survival. I have had plenty of these periods in my life before. I mean, I am a sexual assault survivor, I know what it feels like to barely hang on. I have learned that life as a survivor meant to appreciate the small wins. Here I was again, with no way out. Or so I thought and felt.
Reflecting on my burnout
In 2014 when I started blogging, I began a self-love journey to healing all the hurt and the pain that I had kept trapped inside for so long. Over a year later, I had successfully had tools in place to help me get through triggers and the dark moments of my life. Here are some ways that you can learn to thrive in your emotions.
This meant that when this burnout hit, I had an idea of what I needed to do even though finding the energy to do it felt completely draining.
It is like an exhaustion level that you can’t explain. Getting out of bed is hard to do in the morning but as a mom of three, I had no choice. I could give up on blogging and my business while trying to work through this but being a mom means there is no option of giving up.
Every morning I would get out of bed and move along my day. I would make my kids breakfast and pack their lunches. I would walk my daughter to school. I would come home, done and feeling completely overwhelmed and extremely irritable, and have to keep my 4-year-old entertained while trying to work through this burnout.
Tools to help you work through blogging burnout
The real reason I am writing this post is to share with you how to work through burnout when it hits. To let you know that you are not alone and that it is totally okay for you to take a break and walk away from your blog or your business.
You NEED to do this to truly get past the burnout.
- Listen to how your body is feeling. I had put off listening to my body for so long that burnout was the ONLY way that my body would get my head to listen. There were signs before May 2021 but I didn’t listen to them. I just kept pushing forward, thinking that is what I needed to do to reach my goals.
- Meditate. I am such an advocate for meditating. It has changed my life. My body now craves meditation because I have built up the habit of doing it every single day. During this burnout, I craved guided meditations. Every morning I would wake up and before leaving the bed, I would turn on a guided meditation to help me feel a bit better. Having someone else’s words in my head helped give me the strength to get up and start my day.
- Journal. I find as women that we tend to keep EVERYTHING inside. We replay things over and over again in our heads and then wonder why nothing is changing. Journaling allows me to get everything out. Even if it doesn’t make sense, it is still no longer in my head. Plus it allowed me to go back and examine what I was truly thinking and feeling in the moments that I was struggling in.
- Feel all of the emotions. You can’t just sugarcoat the emotions that you are having. You need to embrace them, examine them and start to dig deep into them so you can begin to accept them. By feeling the emotions, I was ready to begin to work through them. I have learned throughout my years that putting on a fake smile doesn’t work. It only hides the issue temporarily until you experience burnout.
- Take a break. It is okay to walk away from your blog. You can’t give 100% when you are feeling this way. Your blog will be there when you come back.
- Ask for help. This one is hard for me. I have the mindset that I need to do it all on my own or I am failing at being a mom, a blogger and a business owner. I want to tell you that that is NOT the truth. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak or a failure. It means that you are strong and willing to put your needs first.
How can you burnout proof your blog?
I didn’t have a plan in place for when burnout hit. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, let alone last for three weeks. Here are some ways that you can ensure to keep your blog moving forward while taking a break.
- Have a stockpile of blog posts for an emergency. This is a great way to keep publishing new content while you are taking a break. It is even better if you already have them uploaded and ready on your site and you just need to schedule them.
- Ask other bloggers to guest blog. This is a great way to keep your readers coming back but also getting new readers to your website.
- Have a list of popular older posts that you can reshare. We are creating new content often that sometimes we can forget our older content. This is a great time to pull it back out and reshare it.
- Write a blog post about what you are going through. This is a great way to connect to your readers while also making sens of what you are going through. Give them a glimpse into your life.
Burnout is real and exhausting. It will cause you to want to walk away from your passions without looking back. The more you can prepare yourself and your blog for it, the better off you will be.
Let my story be an example of how real blogger burnout can be. By having a plan, taking time to do self-care and acknowledging when you need a break, will help you to stay focused and healthy.
“If you listen to your body when it whispers, you never have to listen to it scream.” Unknown
Samantha is the owner and creator of Samantha Laycock Blogging. An Authentic Expression Coach for women ready to share their stories and heal from their past. She 35 years old, a mother of 3, a wife of 15 years, a sexual assault survivor, and a big advocate for sharing your story through blogging.
Her social media links are…