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To be a successful blogger, you need to feel your best. Read this article to learn how to optimize your mental health and physical wellness alongside top tips on productivity, time management, and ergonomics.
As bloggers, we talk a lot about optimizing our website for SEO rankings. But what about our physical and mental health? We need to optimize those as well.
When I started blogging, it was important to me to work to support my mental health and physical health. Blogging is a time-consuming activity. It is gratifying, and bloggers spend a lot of time online and on social media. It can be tricky to strike a balance between productive work life and good health at the same time.
However tricky as it is, it is essential to make the effort and time to take care of ourselves. Self-care has to be intentional. It was Stephen Covey who once said,
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
So, take some time out of your busy day to work on your mental well-being and physical health. In this article, I share my favorite tried and tested methods for self-care and productivity. Try out my tips to improve and protect your mental health and your physical health.
- What is mental wellness, and why is it important?
- What is needed for a person to be mentally and physically healthy?
- Working in Social Media: 6 Tips to Protect Your Mental Health
- What impact does ergonomics have on wellbeing?
- Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
- Additional Resources
- Final Thoughts
What is mental wellness, and why is it important?
The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Based on the definition, it is safe to say that mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Needless to say, mental wellness is essential for several reasons, mainly because our mental health influences our thoughts, behaviors, and choices we make. It is crucial for normal functioning.
To be a happy, productive, and successful blogger, taking care of your mental wellness is vital. It allows you to cope with blogging stresses, manage work-life balance, and contribute to your field.
Here are some of the benefits of having good mental health.
Enjoyment of life. Mental wellness influences how you enjoy life. You could be the most popular blogger around without mental wellness, but it might not bring you much pleasure. So, invest in your mental wellness to truly enjoy the benefits of your hard work. Have a curious approach and make time for connection with yourself and others.
Recover from setbacks. As a business owner, let me tell you, setbacks are almost a certainty. How you recover from them is what determines your future success. To bounce back from difficulties, a healthy sense of self-compassion is necessary. Work on your mental wellness to improve your mental fortitude. Then, the next time you run into trouble with your blogging website, you will be able to face it with a clear mind and rational thinking.
Manage stress. Even if you do not experience setbacks, the pressure is a natural part of being a blogger. From growing your audience, keeping track of subscribers, to monetizing your blog, there is a lot to worry about and hence, a lot of potential stress. Paying attention to mental wellness will help you manage these stressors. With less stress, you will be able to focus better.
Set fulfilling goals. Goal setting is an integral part of every business, including blogging. Goals need to be lofty enough to motivate you towards self-improvement and realistic enough to be achievable. To set clear goals, you need to feel optimistic and hopeful for what's to come. If you are not feeling your best, it can be challenging to view the future. Invest in your mental health to improve the health of your blogging business.
Make and maintain relationships. Relationships are essential, both on a personal level and on a professional level. As a blogger, you may find that many different people are vying for your attention, such as followers or other influencers. At the same time, friends and family would want to hear from you as well. A high level of mental wellness helps you manage all these different relationships. It empowers you to maintain your social circle without getting overwhelmed or unintentionally pushing away someone who wants to connect with you.
What is needed for a person to be mentally and physically healthy?
Health is a complex state of being. It is continuously changing, and several factors determine our health. Luckily, many of those factors are modifiable, i.e., you can do things to control your health.
Let’s start by looking at mental health.
The factors that affect mental health can be broadly grouped into the structural, community, and individual elements. The structural aspect relates to structures around us, such as the environment and access to resources. The community factor connects to a positive sense of belonging and a feeling of community. Individual factors include things like how we cope with stress and the social skills that we have.
For optimal mental health, think about these three factors concerning your life.
Are there any areas that you are lacking in or could improve?
For example, as a structural factor, perhaps improving your workstation would help you feel calmer at work. If you feel lonely as a blogger, you can enhance your community’s feeling by seeking out like-minded bloggers on Facebook groups or joining blogging forums.
Physical health is just as important as mental health.
The two often go hand in hand and complement each other. Physically, it is essential to have proper sleep. Sleep affects both physical and mental health and can affect your access to enjoyable activities. Practice proper sleep hygiene by keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and avoid the temptation to check electronic devices before bed.
To consistently take care of your physical health can help you go back to the basics. Focus on simple things like staying hydrated, eating healthily, getting some exercise, and maintaining positive relationships. It may seem like a lot, especially if you aren’t used to being health-conscious, but a little goes a long way.
Here are some quick and simple ideas for a mental and physical health boost:
- Take stretch breaks
- Prioritize sleep
- Prioritize tasks
- Have enjoyable tasks every day
- Embedding relaxation into your day
- Get involved with your community.
Working in Social Media: 6 Tips to Protect Your Mental Health
When your work revolves around social media, it can take a toll on your mental health. Research studies have found social media is linked to higher rates of depression, self-harm, and suicide among young adults. As a blogger, social media is unavoidable. While it has its perks, it is essential to be aware of its effects on our mental wellbeing and proactively take steps to protect our mental health.
Here are a few tips that I have found useful.
Tip #1: Make a Manageable Schedule
Prioritizing tasks and matching them to your energy levels support a healthy working calendar. Organizing tasks to help you reach success is monumental. Different tasks are often best done at certain times of the day. Identify what works for you and schedule your working day for maximum productivity.
For example, most people report feeling more energy in the morning and often schedule meetings or mentally challenging tasks in the morning and have more creativity at night time.
It’s normal to feel low energy or sleepy after lunch as our body works to digest the meal. Consider scheduling low-demand tasks right after lunch. After lunch is a great time to do active or interactive types of activities. For example, most people will opt to check emails or make phone calls to stay alert and awake.
Tip: Look at your schedule and spread out heavy tasks throughout the week, on days where you have less time and patience, schedule tasks that do not require great focus, such as scheduling pins.
Prioritize tasks that are more demanding to times when you have the most energy. For example, write blog posts in the morning and record Podcasts in the evening.
Tip #2: Monitor Your Screen Time
Time is a precious resource. As a blogger, how you use your screen time can profoundly influence your income. Since your screen time is related to your blogging revenue, it makes sense to keep an eye on your screen time activities.
Screen time across the board has risen, with views on Instagram Live doubling in one week and Facebook and Instagram Facebook and Instagram seeing a 40% increase in usage.
Bloggers often use their screen time to write posts, monitor and make changes to their website, social media, and a ton more tasks. Maintain mindfulness of your tasks and the time taken to complete each. While monitoring the amount of time you spend in front of a screen is essential, reflecting on how you spend your time is more critical.
Take note of the tasks that are taking you more time. Ask yourself these questions:
If I do this at a different time, will I finish the task faster?
What are some of the distractions that can I remove?
Is there a program or software to get this task done more quickly?
Can I outsource this task and spend my time on something more substantial?
Tip #3: Take Regular Breaks From Your Desktop
Taking breaks prevents decision fatigue as you work through your day. Taking a short five mini-break after a 40-minute work sprint helps to improve memory and quality of work.
As a blogger, 40 minutes goes by quickly, and not all tasks can be completed within that time. Be prepared to take breaks by breaking up big tasks into smaller and more manageable chunks. If you tend to lose track of time, set a timer to remind you to take a break.
Tip: Take notes on where you left off and additional notes on what is left to do to complete the task. By writing it down, you won’t have to keep it on your mind. It prevents you from becoming overwhelmed with figuring out what needs to be done next.
Another critical factor is your workstation. Your environment plays a huge role in mental focus. Use this by preparing your environment to be work-ready. Here are some ideas to optimize your area:
- Have books or notes ready.
- Set up cameras and lights (if filming).
- Make a playlist that will help you finish your task.
- Clean your workspace at the end of every workday.
Everybody is different. Find what works for you!
Tip #4: Manage Notifications
Managing distractions around your workspace is not always possible, especially as a blogger. Some bloggers have the luxury of spending dedicated time on their blog, while others juggle multiple blogging tasks.
While not all distractions can be limited or managed, some certainly can be. As best as you possibly can, identify distractions that you can eliminate or reduce. One big distraction that can be reduced is social media.
Around 50% of the world's population uses social media and the average internet user spends around 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day.
The first step to cutting down on social media distraction is to silence your notifications. Silencing notifications can do wonders for your focus time. Fewer distractions allow you to be dedicated to the task at hand. By committing to doing one thing at a time, you are less likely to make mistakes and might even complete the task more quickly.
Sometimes, distractions are in our minds. In those cases, I suggest writing them down to reduce your mental burden. Have a specially designated place to write down your thoughts. It could be using an online post-it, adding tasks to your plan, or merely adding comments to your writing.
Keep a piece of paper and a pen at your workstation. Whenever you get distracted by an idea in your mind, simply jot it down. Then, put it out of your mind and focus on the task at hand. Once you are done with whatever task you were working on, come back to this piece of paper and see if any of your previous thoughts were actionable.
Tip: Add tabs that you often monitor automatically open when you access your browser. This way, they don’t seem forbidden, and you can give them time and space and then put them away (or keep them pinned).
Tip #6: Make Time for the Things You Enjoy
Making time for enjoyment is my absolute favorite tip! As soon as you wake up in the morning, set an intention for the day along with tasks and activities to look forward to. Consider setting a lunch date with your friend, scheduling a music break, scheduling a lunch delivery, taking time to walk outside, or spending time with a family member. These are all enjoyable tasks that you can consider scheduling in your day.
Not all blogging is stressful and challenging work. A lot of it is delightful as well, particularly the nurturing aspects. Nurturing our blogging community is an integral part of maintaining a healthy and engaged audience. To do, think about what your community needs and how you can add value to their experience.
Consider trying something new to engage your audience and incorporate the blogging activities that you like more regularly into your day. Here are some ideas:
- Schedule a live on social media
- Respond to comments and emails
- Review feedback
- Draft your content calendar
- Write a thoughtful message.
- Support your favorite creator by sharing and commenting
Enjoyable activities can be free, short, and fun to do. Find what works for you!
From scheduling tasks, managing distractions, filling your day with joyful activities, taking regular breaks, and analyzing your screen time, there are many ways to reduce stress, improve productivity and boost your mental health. Invest in a little self-care and watch as your health benefits go a long way in increasing your overall productivity.
What impact does ergonomics have on wellbeing?
The way your workspace is organized strongly influences your productivity. Ergonomics focuses on the work environment- tolls, controls, workstations concerning physical requirements. Creating a supportive workspace promotes proper ergonomics. The aim is to prevent injuries that can come from chronic discomfort or repetitive movements.
An optimal ergonomic setup. (Source: Texas Tech University)
For bloggers, our whole body is compromised in our work. All our joints can all be affected from head to toe by the long hours we dedicate to our work. Complaints like backache, neck soreness, wrist pain, and dry eyes are all too common. The good news is that fixing the ergonomics of your workstation will solve most of these issues.
Plus, working in a low environment can increase stress, decrease happiness, and impact mental health. As bloggers working towards success, we don’t want to have poor mental wellbeing. Improving your environment in the form of ergonomic modifications can help you feel a lot better as you work, not just physically but also mentally.
Improving your workstation is a fundamental step towards caring for your body and mind and keeping yourself healthy while you blog.
Want a more ergonomic office but not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas.
Monitor height. Does neck pain sound familiar? Check your monitor height. The top of your screen should be aligned with your line of vision. So that you can look at the screen while keeping your neck in a neutral position. Consider using a desk riser or, even better, an adjustable monitor arm to adjust your monitor height.
Chair support. Your office chair should feel both comfortable and supportive. Always opt for height-adjustable chairs that come with lumbar support, armrests, and adequate cushioning. Adjustability is still great as it means you can set the chair to suit your own body. When seated, your knees should be at a comfortable right angle with feet flat on the ground.
Adjustable desk. The height of your desk plays a significant role in how you feel while working. An increasingly popular option is the standing desk. Standing while working has many benefits for the body. It is better for your back, and standing promotes a better posture than sitting. If you decide to stand while working, consider getting yourself a standing desk mat to stand on. Adding foot support will relieve any foot pain from long hours on your feet.
Ergonomic keyboard. As a blogger, there is a lot of typing to do. Email newsletters, social media posts, SEO-optimized blog posts, all of these require long hours at the keyboard. If you are not careful, carpal tunnel syndrome could become a problem. To keep your wrists healthy, think about investing in an ergonomic keyboard. These are often V-shaped to allow your hands and arms to rest more naturally.
Having an ergonomic office set up will boost your mental health, physical health, and overall productivity. It may take some research and shopping to get started, but an ergonomic office is well worth it.
Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
Here are tips and frequently asked questions.
If you find yourself compulsively checking social media throughout the day, I understand. Social media sites can be addictive. However, it’s not the best for your productivity. To limit your time spent on unproductive sites, you can use apps. My favorite is an app called Freedom. It is available for both desktop and mobile. Use it to block distracting websites.
I feel lonely as a blogger. How do I meet other bloggers?
One effective way to meet other bloggers is through Facebook groups. There are tons of Facebook groups for bloggers, and many of them are very active. You can even find specific groups to suit your needs, such as groups for female bloggers, groups for digital nomad bloggers, or groups for newbie bloggers.
How can I make my workspace more ergonomic?
One of the first steps is to ensure you have a suitable desk and chair. A standing desk is excellent for ergonomics as it takes a lot of pressure off your lower back and neck, particularly if you tend to hunch. When you do have to sit, it is nice to have a comfortable and adjustable chair to sink into. Apart from that, your screen should be at eye level, arms supported by the armrest, and wrists at a comfortable position as supported by an ergonomic mouse and keyboard.
I want to boost my mental health. Are there any apps that I can use?
You can use several apps to give your mental health that extra bit of love and care.
Here are a few:
- The Moment app guides you through using your phone more healthily. It is only available on iOS. For Android users, a similar app is a ZenScreen app. It lets you monitor your screen time, set limits and reminders to take breaks.
- Headspace is an app designed to help you develop a meditation practice. This app focuses on stress reduction and burnout as well as improved focus and concentration.
- If you are starting out with a new healthy habit, use The Fabulous app to help you stick to it. Some ideas include taking a walk every day or drinking more water.
Working in Social Media: 7 Tips to Protect Your Mental Health – Start to protect your mental health and take care of your wellbeing with these free resources and mental health tips for anyone who works in social media. (later.com)
How to look after your mental health using exercise – Practical guide looking at the positive impact that physical activity can have on our mental wellbeing. (mentalhealth.org.uk)
The 8 Dimensions of Wellness: Where Do You Fit In? – GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog – According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), these are the areas to focus on to improve physical and mental health. (goodtherapy.org)
7 self-care tips during the pandemic – Jul 30, 2020 … The social, financial, psychological and physical stressors … If regular meals are difficult try to keep a stash of healthy, protein packed … Now is the time to activate your support network if you haven't already. … Related blogs:. (eehealth.org)
COVID-19: lifestyle tips to stay healthy during the pandemic – May 22, 2020 … COVID-19: lifestyle tips to stay healthy during the pandemic … Diet and nutrition: Practicing self-discipline and avoiding “emotional eating” due … .mil/About-MHS/ OASDHA/Defense-Health-Agency/Operations/Clinical-Support- … (health.mil)
8 tips for staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic. – In an effort to prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), many spectator and participation sports have been… (medstarhealth.org)
Top 35 Health Podcasts for Healthy Living(Lifestyle) in 2021 – Healthy Living Podcasts list ranked by popularity based on social metrics, google search ranking, quality & consistency of articles & Feedspot editorial teams review. (blog.feedspot.com)
COVID-19 is transforming public health. It's not the first time. – The pandemic is the latest in a line of revolutions in public health. Learn how these changes are playing out in the Kaiser Permanente health system. (ama-assn.org)
Understanding mental health and wellbeing – Being mentally healthy and living well is important to every single one of us. It’s about enjoying life and being able to cope with stresses. (everymind.org.au)
Committee Opinions – ACOG – ABSTRACT: Morcellation is a surgical technique used to reduce the size of … the perioperative period, thus optimizing patient outcomes without increasing … delivery should consider patient wishes and the experience of the health care provider. … assessment of the physical maturity and emoti… (acog.org)
71% of U.S. Adults Rate Mental, Physical Health Positively – Seven in 10 U.S. adults are generally positive about both their mental and physical health, but the rate varies sharply by household income and type of insurance. (news.gallup.com)
Take a break, have some water, go for a walk. Do what you need to do to take care of your health, both mentally and physically. The happiest bloggers are those who have managed to strike a balance between work success and self-care. So, optimize your health for a successful blogging business and fulfilling life.
Enjoyed the self-care tips? Share this article with your friends. If you have other mental or physical health optimization strategies of your own, share them with me! I’m on social or post in the comments section.