Welcome to the world of blogging breaks. A magical world full of myths, fairy-tales and flat out lies. And I am here to be your guide.
To be fair, I have only been blogging for 5 months but if there is anything I learned it is about blogging breaks.
Do you recognise yourself in any of the following?
You come up with new things to do for your blog all the time but executing they seem to be difficult
You get slightly nervous when away from your blog/computer/phone
You think often “I would rather work then/now”
The last thing you do before bed and the first thing you do when you wake up are checking your email or blog?
If any of these apply even in the slightest, I have bad news for you… You might need a blogging break.
I know this seems crazy but don’t click away yet. It might not be as bad as it seems. Let me help you.
Myths, fairy tales & lies.
First; about all these myths, fairytales & lies, let’s talk about them.
Fairytale; If I just keep working very hard all the time, I will succeed at all my goals
Truth; You probably will… if you don’t get burned out before that.
I am not saying you shouldn’t work hard.
When you only focus on work it is easy to forget your body, mind and health. Working is great and so is being productive but you need to give your body and mind some rest.
Otherwise, you risk ever making your dreams come trough because you might end up sick, demotivated & stressed out. Don’t risk your goals for that.
(Also, maybe watch the Princess and the frog Disney version. It contains some very wise lessons and a talking crocodile!)
The three main reasons to take a break are these;
- Motivation and inspiration
- Body & health
Mind & health
Myth; My views will drop (and I will never recover from that)
Truth; Your views might drop. They might not. When I took a two-week break my views didn’t drop. My blog was down for almost a week n total but I ended up with the same amount of views on the end as the last month. And even when your views do drop, I am here to tell you all about how after your break you will be all the better.
Lie; Everything will crumble when I walk away from my computer
Truth; this might be just me but there were times when walking away made me physically ill. I would feel nervous and my heart rate would go up. What if when I come back something drastic happened. Now to be fair, I am the most easily stressed person I know.
I am something we would call a “stress chicken” in Dutch (don’t ask me why). But for the longest time I believed this and that was not great for me at all.
But for the longest time I believed this lie and that was not great for me at all.
So now that that is out of the way I hope you feel a little bit more peaceful. I did when I realised this.
Let’s take a look at the kind blogging breaks and the art of succeeding at them. First the tools you are going to need.
- Something to write on (blogging notebook)
- Something to block web pages with (try stayFocusd for chrome)
- A lot of warm beverages
Now let me talk about the kind of breaks and why to take them and then we talk about how that piece of paper and your cup of tea are going to help you do it.
The kind of blogging breaks
Wow, 5 minutes? 5 entire minutes away from that blog post you’re writing? You know how many blog posts I have read that promise me, I could take one single action that would take 5 minutes and give my blog more page views and traffic? (A lot)
Here is my single trick for improving your blogging in 5 minutes;
get a glass of water
touch your toes and reach up
twist and stretch and definitely turn your neck a few times
Now you will have a lot less likelihood of terrible things like carpal syndrome and so more chance to make your blogging career a success.
You might also feel like you can focus better again or maybe you even got a good idea in that 5 minutes of stretching.
These breaks are simple but they can be so good for you. (I told you it was a magical land, the land of blogging breaks)
Great break for those of us who like to eat lunch very hastily. Personally, I like to use these breaks for snacks & warm drinks. Making such a drink is a great way for me to get my mind of off my work.
I know it is starting to sound crazy, taking an entire hour off.
Things you can do in an hour
take a shower
go for a walk
eat a fresh and hearty lunch
watch an episode of your favourite series (unless that is Sherlock holmes of course)
do some sketching, knitting, creating
1 day or more
They did not invent days off without a reason. Sometimes we need an entire day for something else. You know what does not help when you have the flu? Having the flu while trying to work.
Sometimes you do better when having some rest. For example, when I was poor after getting from the hospital I had to take a break. But now that I feel better I have done more work than all of the last week.
If you have recognised yourself in any of the first statements at the top of this page, a 5-minute break is probably too late to save you.
Here is the deal, those feeling are being overwrought or even burned out. There is almost nothing as bad for the human body as high amounts of stress. And as being someone with a burn out herself, I can know.
When you are feeling that maybe there is no different solution than taking an extended amount of time to rest. If you are on the brink, trust me, you can better take that full week instead of going over it.
If you don’t feel like this at all, great! Take that break to keep it that way. If you want you can write blog posts ahead and schedule them. That way there is still some content going out. Just inform your readers you’re on a break & they will understand.
How to take a break
Remember the tools you would need?
something to block websites
cups of warm beverages
This entirely depends on the kind f person you are but I, for example, am not the best at taking breaks. I can find myself sorting through all my paperwork on my day off or write entire posts when I was supposed to do nothing of that sort.
So I found some tools and ways to make it easier for myself.
First, you need to know what kind of break you’re planning. Write this down on the top of you page and take a sip of warm beverage.
Then you need to make a list of pages that you can feel stressed about or check for work. Think; stats, social media, platforms & groups. You need to block these for the amount of time that you want to take a break! (I definitely recommend at least blocking your stats if that is something you will worry about)
If you are taking a longer break and feel stressed about the things you still need to do make a list of all your plans and goals and put this away. Now that you have gotten it out of your head you might feel more at peace. Plus when your break is over you have a simple list of where you stopped and need to pick up again.
Thirdly after you have taken care of all of this just start with relaxing with your warm beverage, maybe start a book or magazine. Regardless of what you are planning to do with this break getting in the mood will help a lot.
Taking breaks is important so don’t skip yours!
What do you like to do when taking breaks and how often do you take them? Let me know!