Chatterbox: Be Kind to Yourself

September 13, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Chatterbox, Features

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So I had the crappiest weeks of ever, and I almost went on a blogging break to deal with everything in real life. It wasn’t actually the blogging that was the problem, but it was that I wasn’t taking time out to relax when I came home from work. It would pretty much mean working a 9-5 job, coming home and sitting at the computer until 12 midnight blogging, commenting, and everything else that comes with it. That includes weekends.

Needless to say, I wasn’t spending enough quality time with my partner or getting enough me time. From one thing to another, I pretty much never switched off. It began to affect my sleeping patterns, my mood, and my energy levels. And triggered some stress related health problems.

I announced to a few friends that I was taking a blogging break. And you know what happened? As soon as I announced it, and allowed myself the time to rest and relax,Β my mindset changed. Why should I take a break from something I find therapeutic and that I really enjoy? Why should I cut myself off from friends and from conversations that lift my moodΒ on Twitter? There’s no one standing at the door expecting me to respond to them straight away. Page views don’t matter. The most important thing that matters is your health, your wellbeing, and your relationships.

BeKindToYourselfWebsiteWhile blogging may have been the trigger for these issues occurring, it’s the sign of an underlying issue. I lead a busy life, bouncing between work, friends, my partner and family. On top of all that, I’m constantly reading, blogging, planning, having conversations, gaming, reviewing, gymming. Where’s the time left to sit down and relax with a book? Where’s the time where I simply just zone out and relax? For those of you who recognise the signs, it’s anxiety that doesn’t allow your brain to relax or switch off. It’s the anxiety of thinking that if I step back, if I let go, that I’d be forgotten, that people would move on and that I’d lose what makes me happy. Which of course, sounds ridiculous when I see these words on paper.

This isn’t something a blogging break will fix. This is a long time issue that I’ve struggled with, knowing that I can get absorbed and fixated on things and over commit my time and the energy.Β It’s an inability to be self aware, to know when I’m getting tired and to know when I just have to say NO and to look after myself. It’s not up to my friends, my partner, or others to pick up on these signs and to tell me that I need to step back. It’s up to myself, because I’m the one that’s meant to look after myself.

At the end of the day, I need to be kind to myself. I need to look after myself. Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.

xoxo_jeann

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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66 responses to “Chatterbox: Be Kind to Yourself

  1. Oh Jeann, I'm sorry you've been super stressed and overwhelmed! I can totally understand how that can affect blogging, as I've done it to myself where I came to a point I HAD to take a break or I was going to quit. It stopped being a positive aspect, and so since then, I've just been taking my time, posting when/what I want, and not worrying over ARCs and and negativity in the community. It's been wonderful, and you know, we all deserve a "break" now and then. We all deserve more kindness than we give ourselves. If something is wrong, life keeps getting in the way, and you can't blog, that's okay. Your followers will still be here, waiting patiently, because your mental and physical health is more important.

    That's all what I've been trying to tell myself, and it's working, believe it or not. And I KNOW a semi-break was the best option for me at the point where I was with blogging. But I'm glad you figured out what the problem was and that you realized that the positivity of blogging outweighed a lot of the negativity in your life. But I also think it's okay to just step back a little, not put so much pressure on yourself to post and socialize, and just take care of yourself first. We all need those tiny breaks sometimes. So definitely do what you need to do and remember that we all love you and wish you the best. πŸ™‚ (And I hope that it's been better since you posted this, since I'm clearly just way behind on everything and have no idea what's going on half the time).
    My recent post Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

  2. redizabzh

    I can relate, that's why I decided to blog when I could but mostly, when I wanted to. Taking time for us is essential, running around and try to do everything and do it right is simply impossible. You are right, taking a break won't fix it, the problem is deeper. It helps taking 5mn breaks now and then during the day, relaxing and listening to ourselves. *Big hugs*
    My recent post The Sunday post #56 : The week from hell !

  3. Being kind to yourself is definitely very important, Jeann! And I'm glad you figured out that blogging may be a way to BE kind to yourself, as you enjoy it, even when it becomes a bit much.
    I have taken breaks from commenting sometimes, even if the community is one of the things I love the most about blogging! It just became so stressful to visit all my favorite blogs and leave thoughtful comments I got completely stressed out about it. I'm back on track now, though, after a little while of being kind to myself as well πŸ˜‰
    Have a fantastic Friday and happy reading!
    My recent post Review: A Madness So Discreet – Mindy McGinnis

  4. When I took a break, it definitely replenished me. I really had a burn out, but when I told myself that I really need a break, no one is obliging me to do these things. I am blogging because I enjoyed it, and if I don't, I don't have to force myself. If I forced myself, I might hate doing it altogether. But don't worry, even if you actually took the break, I'd still be here πŸ™‚
    My recent post Review 256 : Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

    • Glad to hear you were replenished and I missed you during that time Dre, but I\’m glad to see you back now with your brilliant reviews and everything <3 Thank you so much for your support.

  5. Hi Jeann!! I've missed you as well! I tried a blogging break for a month, I'm so used to it now I barely want to blog now lol I'll eventually get into it again. I do hope you take some time to relax though, you have been blogging for many years and that is incredible πŸ™‚ Wonderful post overall!
    My recent post ARC Review: One by Sarah Crossan ♥

  6. JEAAAAAN I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, WOMAN. <3 I totally get what you mean–blogging is something I love doing, and even if I'm stressed out by life, I don't want to give it up! But as long as we treat blogging as a hobby and not an obligation, things are still A-Okay. πŸ™‚ I hope you're not tiring yourself out too much and that you have lots and lots of time to spend with your loved ones. <3
    My recent post Review: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

    • Aimee thank you so much for your lovely comment and support <3 I miss blogging so much but I'm still here and there. I couldn't 100% go on a break entirely lol!

  7. This post is absolutely everything, Jeann!! When you told me that you wanted to take a break from blogging, I was all support because sometimes we just need to unwind and not be stressed, but at the same time, changing one's mindset (and lifestyle in a way?) is also a way to solve this. This is what I did, really. I took a blogging break back in 2014, two months to be exact, and when I was coming back, I became stressed at the notion that I would be experiencing all the stress levels again, and I kept wondering if it would be worth it? Then I did what you did – I decided to just NOT care. Not care about the views. Not care about the stats. Not care about the deadline. But I'll still blog, write, and review; I'll still talk to my friends on Twitter and do the things I love. It has done amazing things to me <3 <3 And I'm glad it has done the same to you!
    My recent post BOOK VIDEO DISCUSSION: Queen of Shadows by Sarah Maas (SPOILERS!!!!)

  8. Oh Josephine you wonderful thing! It sounds like we're both at the same stage, I get depressed and anxious as well and I just know when it gets to that point that I'm not being kind to myself, or looking after myself. It's definitely not the blogging that's the problem, it's us being worn thin and that does happen, especially if we come home and just keep on going. We should place ourselves and our rest, and looking after ourselves as the no. 1 priority! Please don't quit blogging, it's hard to maintain at a steady pace especially with everything else going on at life. Thank you so much! Let's message each other support on Twitter <3 I am here for you too.

  9. Vane J.

    I can relate to this, Jeann. And I agree 100% with everything you said. Blogging surely is a hard job, so I admire you for keeping up. Sometimes I even feel blogging has become an obligation for me, and when I get those thoughts, that's when I know I need to take a break.
    My recent post How Books Influence Us

  10. Very true, Jeann. You just have to find that balance that works for you. That's why I don't do tour post/cover reveal and stuff like that. I only post 2-3 times a week now, but don't care if I only get one out. It's what keeps me interested in blogging and not burned out or overwhelmed again.
    My recent post When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

    • Yeah, I don\’t do many of those unless publishers invite me and it\’s for a book that I\’m interested in reading. I\’m going to work on posting less as well. So glad to hear that its helped you!

    • Thank you so much Cyn! After 3 years of consistently pushing myself to blog, it can get a little tiring especially when things happen in real life. But I do feel better in being able to relax with things!

  11. *hugs* Jeann!
    Your health and personal life comes before blogging ALWAYS. And your blogging friends and readers will always be there for you. It sounds like you really need a break and not let so much pressure crush you. Good luck with everything, and I'll be haunting you on GChat too like Aentee! πŸ˜€
    My recent post Review : Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

  12. Romi

    YES. Simply, utterly- yes. I take regular blogging breaks and it’s important for me, and glorious, but when I’m stressed out it doesn’t mean I won’t be going right back into the same thing. And that makes it nothing more than a short time fix, which isn’t enough. So I did an overhaul of my schedule this year and things are working so much better, and I’m working so much better. I thought I’d end up quitting blogging, which I’m so glad I didn’t. Not because I’m not coping with other things, not when it’s so utterly awesome.
    I’m really glad you’re working on a way of making your time work better, Jeann. Could be you need to take a little break to work out how it’ll fall best into place, could be you’ve already got a way. But I’m proud of you for realising what was going on and deciding it needed to be different. xx

    My recent post The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts…

    • Good to hear that you have been able to take blogging breaks successfully Romi! I\’m glad you\’re working so much better. I think my first thing would be to post less, so I\’m already working on that. Thank you so much for the support and the lovely comment <3 sometimes pressuring ourselves too much to keep on top of things aren\'t sustainable.

  13. Anne

    I often come home from work and feel so frantic that I only have a few hours let of the day before I go to bed. There never seems to be enough time to keep house, exercise my dogs, blog, read, see my husband, etc. My husband has been on second shift, not coming home until 10:30 p.m., which forces me to stay awake until at least midnight. It has been exhausting to say the least. So I feel you 100%. We need to listen when our bodies are saying take a break. We should all take a staycation and just relax with no agenda. I hope you can find the right peace of mind, and this is an important message for us all to remember!

    • I can totally see how you can relate Anne, it just feels like we don\’t have enough time in the day. I used to sleep at 10pm and wake up at 6am every night, but these days I\’d be lucky if I got even 7 hours of sleep. Staycation, I love that term! Thank you so much Anne. I hope you take the time out to relax as well!

  14. I would make quiet time by yourself to relax a priority. A lot of people feel like their wasting time when they take time to just relax everyday, but I don't think that's true at all. It can clear your mind and help relieve stress. Running everyday without a break is like going day after day without sleep- you aren't doing yourself or anyone else any favors when you're ability to function is impaired by too much stress or lack of sleep.
    My recent post Four Myths About Introverts

    • I totally agree Tiffany, I always feel like I\’m doing nothing when there is so much to be done, but I have to look at it as refilling my energy as well. Thank you so much for your support!

  15. Awww, Jeann, I'm so sorry to hear you've been having a bit of a down week. *hugs* Blogging is such a demanding task, and sometimes it's easy to get so caught up in it that it's easy to forget real life. I hope you're able to take some time to yourself, your real-life friends and your family and come back refreshed and inspired. <3 Thank you for sharing this and, as always, wonderful discussion!

    • Thank you so much Zoe, I totally agree with what you said 100%. I\’m already feeling better about things at the moment, and will work on posting less in the meantime.

    • Thank you so much Cyn, it\’s so easy to do isn\’t it? I think I\’m still working on a more relaxed schedule when it comes to blogging.

  16. Great post! This is something I struggle with sometimes as well, I always expect 110% from myself and I have to reply to comments the same day and lately I've been trying to just just leave replying to comments on a day for the next one so I can still read a bit before bed and then anshwer them the next day. It is hard, but it does help me take some time for reading and other fun things as well.
    My recent post Sunday Post #143

    • Thanks Lola, I think we are too hard on ourselves when it comes with those expectations. I\’m learning to take it a bit easier when it comes to replies as well.

  17. It's always a work in progress for us all… Yesterday I didn't have anything up on the blog even if I had originally planned to work on something, but I was a bit tired, then went to run some errands and spent some time catching up with neighbours and then spent an awesome evening being a geek with friends, so yeah… I abandoned the blog plans for something that was good for me, so I will not feel guilty!
    *hugs Jeann*
    My recent post Friday Reads: ARC Review of Into The Fire by Manda Scott!!

  18. Jeann, I'm so glad that you are able to recognise that you need to put yourself first — we will always be here, and you're definitely right. No one is standing there expecting you to reply straight away. You don't need to push yourself to constantly blog, because I will always be back regardless of the quantity of content you publish, and I'm sure a lot of other readers can say the same. I enjoy your blog not because you are constantly communication through comments, but because of your content. And most of all, I want you to be able to enjoy your time blogging!

    I personally know what I neglect my own blog too much, but honestly? Sometimes I just cannot be bothered to blog/read after 10 hours in the office. Of course I feel bad about it, but at the end of the day, I definitely feel more refreshed/relaxed. I hope you can continue to be kind to yourself, because you absolutely deserve it! <3 <3

    • Thank you so much Joy, your comment just made me realise that no matter what I do, as long as I still post, that I'll still have readers. I can definitely see how you allow yourself the energy to blog when you have it! <3

  19. Rachel Lightwood

    I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling, Jeann! *tackle hug* I hope that you manage to find the balance between blogging, work, reading and everything else. I know it can get a little crazy at times but know that a) we are all here if you ever need us and b) YOU are what is most important so do whatever is best for you and your health. All the best! <3
    My recent post {Bookish Babble} Rachel’s Redemption Readathon | Week 2

    • Thank you so much Rachel, I think that perfect balance is an elusive goal, but at least to schedule some me time in would help. I really appreciate the support! <3

  20. amanda_gray

    I think this is such an important posts Jeann! You shouldn't have to feel as though you need to step back from blogging because life is a tad busy, you can just cut down on it. Make time for the things that make you happy and let you relax and chill a little. So nice to see you're taking care of yourself πŸ™‚
    My recent post How I Manage To Blog Without Spending a Penny

    • Thanks Amanda! I have already finished the colouring drawing I was procrastinating about and finally finished my book. Definitely enjoyable πŸ™‚

  21. I think it's so easy for people to not put themselves first. There's always something that needs attention, or something to worry about, or something to get out of the way. It is very important that we look after ourselves, you're right.

    We only get one shot at this life, and I, personally, don't think stress should be a big part of it (which of course, is much easier to say than to put into action!) We all have work stress or home stress, but it comes down to management and knowing the signs of when you aren't handling it well, and removing all the unhealthy things we can. It's always a work in progress, but you certainly aren't alone in trying to achieve that balance. Good luck πŸ™‚
    My recent post Showcase Sunday #33

    • It's SO easy to do Wattle, and it's something I need to constantly remind myself to do. It's definitely doing that, relaxing, doing the things that make us happy, and being self aware. Thanks hun!

  22. Aw, Jeann, this is really true! I struggle with this too. A lot. When I have heard about people taking breaks, I am almost jealous, but then just like you, I realize that I LOVE this. In fact, blogging is THE only part of my day that I like. So why on earth would I stop it? The problem is, there are just not enough hours in the day. But you are SO right, I need to try to remember that if I am super stressed, whatever the post, or comments, or whatever is, it can wait! I am so, so glad that you are prioritizing your own care and needs!
    My recent post This Week At Midnight (78)

    • Exactly, I was about to post up my "I'm on hiatus" post and then felt depressed about it because I love blogging so much!! Thank you so much Shannon <3

    • Thanks Emily, I can see you've done exactly that during study times, you've posted less and it seems to have worked for you. So I'll definitely take your example!

  23. Yesss to this post! YES. It's actually really hard to take a step back. Agh, I know from experience. Although I've decided to post less just recently, not because I find blogging stressful, but just because I don't have the TIME to do it all. Like I want to read blogs and write posts and answer comments and review and read a million books…but I find I'm cramming to do things at the last minute and then falling into bed SO EXHAUSTED. I'm not keeping up very well. >_< Although, for me, blogging isn't a 100% hobby. I'd like it to be maybe an avenue to an author platform or earning money one day. *shrugs* WHO KNOWS. So I tend to approach as a job, a bit, but still. The pressure gets intense.
    I HOPE YOU DO TAKE SOME MORE YOU-TIME, JEANN!! I do miss when you don't blog, but be kind to yourself for sure. *nods emphatically*

    • I know what you mean Cait, I mean we both have active blogs and blogging isn't just reading, reviewing and writing a post. It's also commenting back, being social, etc. which I enjoy so much, but yeah it can be exhausting. Thank you so much hun *hugs*

  24. It's time for one of these posts on my blog too, Jeann. I've been having one of those weeks as well. This one, I feel the same way. I just don't think quitting what I love doing will help. I think i need to do some life changing decisions that can affect the entire family. That includes, selling our house and moving to the country. Unfortunately, I can't make that decision for myself, as my kids and my husband has a say in that too.

    Posts like yours remind me that we all have lives outside of blogging.

    <3
    My recent post Photo Vomit [23]: Lost and Found

    • Looking forward to your post on this Joy. Sometimes it's about working out how you're going to cope in the mean time, if you can't make any life changing decisions. We're at a point where we need to buy a house and move out, but I need a holiday badly, so it's just going to put that goal further away.

  25. Yup, I'm there with you, especially this week. I actually get really guilty at times because between work, kids and general life I barely get enough time for any reading, let alone blogging about it. It can be hard to fit in any me time on top of all that :-/ thanks for the reminder, and I hope the chance to put your feet up helps you to feel refreshed. Xx
    My recent post Review: How To Be Happy, David Burton

  26. booksbonesbuffy

    Oh Jeann, totally understand! I nearly had a mental breakdown the other day because I'm so behind on review books, my house is a mess, my kids were kind of a mess too, and I had no time to deal with all of it, because I work a full time job too. Last Saturday I literally zoned out in front of the TV all day, and after that, somehow I got my mojo back and felt like doing stuff again the next day. You just have to listen to your body and your soul and do what's right for YOU. Hang in there, and please don't worry about leaving a comment on my blog, only if you really feel like it:-)

    • Thanks Tammy, that zoning out sounds like exactly what I've needed. You just need time to renew your energy before you can thrust yourself into other things! Thanks for your support <3

  27. aentee @ read at midnight

    *BIG HUGS* Look after yourself Jeann, I will always be here to haunt you on either twitter or Gchat. I can definitely relate to what you said about blogging taking over your life. I've only been doing it for a short amount of time as well, I cana only imagine the energy required to keep it up for years like you did. We love you Jeann, kick back and relax! Read, colour, lounge by the beach, and NEVER feel like you are obligated to work on a hobby.
    My recent post Book Review: A Thousand Pieces Of You