One of the hardest parts about blogging is overcoming the physical and mental aspects of it and making sure you take enough time for yourself.
As a blogger we focus a lot on the tactics of becoming a successful blogger. How do you do keyword research? How do you write recipes and blog posts? How to use WordPress? We rarely focus on the mental and physical aspects of blogging, but this can be some of the most important things to becoming a successful blogger.
If you're not feeling good, if you don't take time out for yourself, if you don't focus on your own concerns and needs, you can really get behind. You can let doubts build up, you can let sickness get in the way, and you can't accomplish the things that you want to accomplish.
Recently during a podcast interview with wellness consultant Lennis Perez, we talked a lot about how you can find time for yourself, how you can get more energy, and how you can really take care of yourself despite having a host of other obligations.
It is also available on your favorite podcast service!
Lennis Perez: I identified through this whole process. Through the course of taking care of my dad I took a step back and I said, well if I don't take care of me, my energy, my body and my overall health, I cannot help him ultimately.
I think this relates especially to moms and dads and working parents and working caregivers I see. We are really trying to step up to the plate and be everything and give everything we can. We put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. You're taking care of everybody else but you're at the bottom of that priority list.
We feel so much guilt if you want to put yourself on top of the priority list too. We feel judgment from everywhere. But, throw that away because at the end of the day, you're the only one that can truly take care of yourself.
To me it's important to nurture your body through eating the right foods for you. I'm totally against fad diets because they're not long-term solutions. People try them and then they get off the wagon because it's unsustainable. We need to look for sustainable solutions for you to nurture your body.
Lennis: Next, I like to focus on creating an environment that is good for you. Personally, I love surrounding myself with people who support me, people who love me, people who are positive.
I don't want anyone with negative energy around me. It's just not going to work because I don't need to carry that with me to my goal. That's just the bottom line.
Lennis: Thirdly, find time to do fun stuff that gets your body moving. For me, I love hiking. Just getting out there doing something that connects me to nature, it's my way of playing.
I know a lot of people who love like going to the gym, trying Zumba classes or doing martial arts. Anything you find that's fun for you and gets you moving, do it. Find 1 hour, 2 hours a week, start small. If you try to make this a giant leap, it won't be sustainable.
Lennis: Finally, get enough good quality sleep. Our brains are not going to work if you only have 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Even though it's listed fourth, I think it's the biggest thing, I would put sleep before even food.
When you sleep well, then you can make better choices, eat healthier, find a time to play, and organize your day to surround yourself with the right people and do the right things for you.
Lennis: These are my 4 steps, all of which are important. Look at your life. What's good? What's not really working? How can we start adjusting it?
I did coaching for a little bit then I realized I was trying to do the work for my people but I discovered it's their job to do their work. I've taken a step back now and I consult, not coach. I can help you identify, and I can be your guide, but you have to do the work. I'm sorry. I cannot go to your house and beat you and make sure that you get enough sleep and set an alarm so you go to bed on time. It's not going to work.
Jason Logsdon: It's definitely a lot easier to see what other people need to do than it is to see what you yourself need to do.
Lennis: Yes, for sure. I have found that I need to revisit all 4 of these items at least once a month for myself. So it's something I'm sharing as I'm actually going through it. It really makes a big impact on my life.
And when I don't get enough sleep, or I put way too much on my plate you will see me on the Instagram saying "I'm overwhelmed today. And I know what to do and this is what I'm going to do to help me out and overcome this moment."
And I do it, so I lead by example. You can only say so much but at the end of the day if you are not living it, it falls on deaf ears. They will not take you seriously.
Jason: Yeah, do as I say not as I do, doesn't go very far when you're trying to reach communities and build a brand.
I really like your point about needing to focus on yourself first. There are so many people who are bloggers with their blog, they might have a full or part-time job, they have families, spouses, kids or pets, and commitments. And at the end of the day it comes down to whatever is left is what they get for themselves.
And I think making sure, like you said, they carve out some time for themselves. Even if they know every day that they have 15 minutes at this specific time and no one can touch that time and it's yours.
I don't think you can meet your other commitments and be the spouse or the parent or the worker that you want to be, if you don't take time for yourself and take care of yourself ultimately first.
Lennis: 15 minutes. If you do not have 15 minutes in your day, you really need to evaluate your entire life because there's something really wrong.
I started reading some experts like Brene Brown who related that one of the things we do is fill up our plate beyond where we can actually humanly do it. When I read that I realized that's the example I saw at home. My mom was working full time, taking care of us, going to school, and getting her degree. She was just filling up her plate to avoid dealing with the emotions that even though she's married, my dad was in the army, so he was not at home very much.
It's these little things you have the power to recognize and create awareness. So as you will see on my videos, my mantra is awareness is an action, first you have to be aware of the problem. If you're not even aware of it there's no way you're going to fix it. Once you're aware of it. Take a moment, take a pause, create some ideas to identify how you can start working towards making it better. And then, take action. That's it, it really is that simple to put it in those three words, the actual doing, it's a little harder.
A little more about taking care of yourself: