Is Blogging Bad For My Mental Health? || A #MentalHealthMonday Discussion

Mental Health Monday is a (sometimes) weekly discussion series I discovered through Wendy @ what the log had to say. To see more of these posts, check here.

I recently took a week off blogging as part of reading deprivation in general. Although the first two days were really rough, the forced reform of my habits showed me just how little time I was spending purely for myself. Everything I do seems to come with some sort of obligation, whether it’s blogging or even just the reading I do on my own time. Taking a week off brought me to question whether or not blogging is a benefit or a detriment to my mental health.

I’ve talked about this before, but the blogging community has made me feel less alone on so many occasions.

Back in 2017, when I first started blogging, I was completely isolated, not just from my friends but from people my age in general. Blogging helped me connect with other like-minded individuals, as well as learn more about other people’s perspectives. I started discovering amazing diverse authors that I probably never would’ve heard about otherwise. And I made some amazing friends who’ve encouraged and supported me over the years.

One of the best things about blogging for me comes from writing these posts about my mental health.

Depression isn’t something I really talk about in my everyday life, short of making darkly humorous remarks at work every now and then, or talking with my best friend. I’m pretty quiet about my mental health in real life, so to be able to talk openly about it on my blog is somewhat of a big deal.

Beyond just being honest about it, though, I am always amazed by the responses I get. Sure, I may not be a big blogger, but each comment I get—particularly on these types of posts—never ceases to inspire me. I have learned that I’m not the only one whose mental health gets in the way of their writing, that I’m not the only one who wonders if meds are really working, or if my jokes are possibly a little too much. I am not alone. Seeing real proof of that in someone else’s response to reading my words…that’s an irreplaceable feeling.

And yet, being involved in the online world means I’m constantly exposed to opportunities for comparing myself to others, which inevitably leads to self-judgement.

I am not that person with a flawless Instagram aesthetic; I pretty much just take pictures of books, whether it’s at home or at work. I’ve written at length about why Twitter doesn’t really work for me. Every time I see the follower count on the blogs I admire, I wonder how I will ever come close to that. Hell, who knows if I’ll ever surpass 100 followers at this point? Especially if I give in to my Depression Brain and quit blogging altogether.

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s placing unrealistic expectations on myself and my work.

Despite the fact that I’ve been back blogging for less than six months, I expect myself to post five times a week. Even if I make that expectation, I expect myself to not only respond to every comment I get, but to also keep up with the endless stream of posts in my WordPress Reader, and comment at length on other people’s discussion posts (I’ve pretty much given up commenting on reviews or other types of posts—there just isn’t the time). I’m talking about this openly because I acknowledge that I do both less and more than other bloggers…but I beat myself up about it either way.

Quitting is not the solution.

After all, I tried that before. I completely scrapped The Story Salve and erased its existence from everything aside from my Scrivener doc. I let myself disappear, but that didn’t solve my constant self-deprecation over not living up to my own expectations. Giving up on the parts of blogging that I truly love will not erase my own self-loathing. Sometimes the only way out is through.

I do want to re-evaluate how I blog in the future.

My high expectations for publishing new posts is getting in the way of not only the rest of my life, but also my ability to really enjoy blog hopping. I hardly ever have enough time to catch up on my reader, and even when I do blog hop, I feel rushed by how behind I am at scheduling posts.

So I might be posting slightly less in the future, but I hope to be around the blogosphere more. I want to get back to reading what I love, and reflecting that love here on my blog. I want to get back to spreading love to other bloggers who work so hard for their blogs.

I don’t want to quit blogging just because it allows me to be too hard on myself. I want to use this as an opportunity to challenge myself, to learn from my mistakes and grow until I can hopefully stop beating myself up for my imperfections.

Do you place unrealistic expectations on yourself? How do you manage blogging pressure? Has blogging helped your mental health? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
As always, thanks for stopping by! Until next time,

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Author: christine @ lady gets lit

writer // depression warrior // nasty woman who reads

15 thoughts on “Is Blogging Bad For My Mental Health? || A #MentalHealthMonday Discussion”

  1. I’m… well I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts for over ten minutes after reading this post and I feel like I still can’t quite express how I could relate to your thought process here. I feel like this would inspire a rant on my own about blogging and mental health that could go on for over 3000 words easily, somehow, yet also keep me staring at my blank screen and wondering where the heck to start. I have been dealing with anxiety for so many years now and that “not good enough”, that “can’t do it all”, “doing too much and not doing enough all at once” feelings are there… more often than not and, if I adore blogging with all of my heart, sometimes it also makes me very, very anxious. Blogging has both given me a confidence I’d have never, ever dream to have someday and made me anxious every now and then too and… it’s a complicated balance I haven’t quite managed to handle, especially since I have way too high expectations on myself, too. I am here ranting a whole lot again and should probably stop, but Christine, this is a beautiful post. I love your conclusion of it and it’s so important to keep on doing what we love and try to be less hard on ourselves, too. you’re doing amazing and I love you, keep on being awesome ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment made me feel SO MUCH BETTER about posting something like this that’s really…close to home, really personal. Honestly, most of the time when I talk about mental health I expect others to respond by telling me to suck it up and deal. So it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. It almost doesn’t matter how big or small we are as bloggers, the pressure is still there, especially when it’s self-imposed. All I can say is that you are enough. You’re a wonderful writer. I always look forward to reading your posts because they always make me smile. Sometimes, when I get really stressed about blogging, I remind myself that all that matters is if maybe one person reads my words and feels better, or thinks more about something, or just realizes they’re not alone. If we can each touch one person, then we’re doing exactly what we are meant to be doing. So thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. You’re wonderful and I’m so grateful to know you ❤ much love, hope you're having a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re not alone, at all and I feel the exact same way, this is most likely why I hardly ever talk about my mental health anywhere.
        I so agree with you, if we can touch one person it’s already incredible. Thank you for your words, Christine and thank you for writing this ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s nothing wrong with doing something in order to better yourself! As for myself, I’ve thought about this a lot. I love blogging and talking to people online but gosh, sometimes the numbers of it all become stressful. Instagram definitely stresses me out and makes me feel worse on my bad days. As long as we remember why we love doing it and give ourselves a break! ❤ Hope you're doing well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Instagram and Twitter definitely stress me out more than anything. I can’t ever keep up with everything that’s going on! But like you said, it’s more important to focus on why we love blogging. Everyone needs breaks, time away. We all need rest to take care of ourselves. Thank you so much for your kind words ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a post! I can relate to it so much that it scares me! I don’t talk about my depression or general anxiety disorder much in real life but I have shared my journey on my blog, among reviews and bookish things, and it has always helped me a lot. I have found the support I needed, and I feel better after sharing my struggles. I love blogging, yet I am very hard on myself which can take the fun out of everything…
    I hope you can find the right balance for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so interesting how many of us don’t talk about mental health in real life, yet are able to be even just slightly open about it online. It’s so important to have a safe space to talk about these things and hopefully find other people who Get It. I think all we can do sometimes is be aware of our own expectations and put them to the test: are my expectations realistic and possible, or am I just being too hard on myself? Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone ❤

      Like

  4. Hi Christine! I feel like I can relate to having this mentality so much in the past, because blogging gave me so much confidence and pride and even purpose, because I was doing what I love (writing) and starting conversations with my ideas. In that sense, each comment I got truly felt magical. 😊 Book blogging inevitably brings comparison, though, but I’m glad I was able to identify that quickly and re-evaluate my values and my core motivations for why I blog in the first place. From my own experience, it seems like self-awareness is the best place to start — and then everything falls into place after that.

    This was a really lovely post, and I’m happy it’s the first I’m reading from your blog! I can’t wait to read more posts of yours 💕 Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Zoie!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      I love what you said about self-awareness being the first step. Sometimes when it comes to anxiety and depression, the first best thing you can do is try to become aware of what you’re doing to yourself. Which is kind of where I’m at right now: every day I try to ask myself, what did I do to be kind to myself today? where did I push myself too hard? where can I give a little more or a little less? Baby steps, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree with this. Baby steps have helped me become more grounded and less anxious about the future, and actively remembering to be kind to myself has played a huge part as well. These past few months I’ve made it mandatory for me to journal every night before I go to bed, just so I’m guaranteed to have at least half and hour to reflect during days when my mentality is usually go go go from a packed schedule. It’s become one of my favorite parts of the day 😊

        Best of luck with your baby steps! ✨

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love evening journaling! I’ve been trying to work that back into my bedtime routine as well. It’s so helpful to get thoughts onto the page and out of your head, especially before trying to get some sleep. It’s interesting to see which concerns still seem important after a night’s rest too!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I truly hope you find the balance with blogging that is best for your mental health. Blogging can definitely be fun and even good for your mental health, but it can take something out of you sometimes, too. I agree that blogging is a good outlet to talk about mental health where one might not get to in real life.

    New follower, looking forward to reading more posts from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts! It means a lot to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Mental health issues can be really isolating, which is one reason I enjoy talking about it on this blog. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person who struggles to find balance.

      Liked by 1 person

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