Zoomed out? Bored in the house? Is working from home giving you cabin fever? Wonder how to create a blog? Blogging can be a great way to share your experiences with your friends and family while also keeping your mental health in check.
Whether you’re bunkered up and hunkering down in the midst of lockdown or dipping your toe back into the “new normal”, you’re probably experiencing some negative effects of social distancing.
As awesome as video calls are, it’s still nothing compared to meeting in person with close friends and family and spilling the tea.
For one, there’s Zoom fatigue. After a day of video conferences, it’s hard to muster up the enthusiasm for a deep and meaningful conversation via the same medium.
Secondly, because we assume video calls can take the place of face-to-face meetings, we don’t moderate how we communicate. Body language and social cues account for around 90% of our face-to-face communication, most of that isn’t communicable through Zoom, yet we do little to compensate for that.
So, if your conversations are feeling as stiff as a double whiskey on the rocks recently, or you feel you’re not getting the opportunity to express yourself, you’re not alone.
How can blogging help?
As a form of journaling, blogging is a great way to organize your thoughts and feelings and generally keep your mental health in check. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help you manage your anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression. It’s a type of mindfulness practice that allows you to reflect on your day and process it in a healthy way.
An added benefit of blogging as opposed to writing a private journal is that you can share it with your close friends and family. It can be hard (particularly over a video call) to properly express how you’re feeling, but blogging allows you your own time and space to verbalize your thoughts and communicate them clearly to the people who love you. Then the next time you talk together, your blog can act as a springboard to inspire deeper conversation and bypass the same old small talk.
You might be surprised at the level of support you receive and that people close to you can relate to how you’re feeling.
If you think writing a blog can help you, here are a few tips to maximize these benefits. If you are wondering how to create your blog, here are some tips below.
Tips for creating and maintaining your blog
1. Circle of Trust
Some people decide to keep their blog anonymous, which can help you express your thoughts more freely without fear of judgement.
On the flip side, you might decide to run a public blog, which can be a liberating way to own your feelings.
But for those of us somewhere in the middle, at least at first, it’s a good idea to limit who has access to your blog to just a few close friends and family that you can trust.
There are no rules about who you should share your blog with, just do what feels right for you.
2. Consistency is key
To maximize on the mental health benefits of blogging and journaling, you ideally want to set aside time each day to reflect and write down your thoughts and build it into your daily practice.
That doesn’t mean you have to post each day, though, and you don’t have to share absolutely everything you write.
3. Keep it real
The last thing any of us need is another platform where we feel the need to present our best selves. If you’re writing a blog for commercial reasons, by all means, look at your likes and click through rates. Otherwise, be kind to yourself and ignore the statistics.
Instead, focus on keeping it real.
Remember that your blog is first and foremost for you, to help you make sense of your life and to enrich your relationships.
4. Vulnerability is powerful and beautiful
Ever since Brene Brown’s mind-blowing, game-changing TED talk, vulnerability is no longer a nasty word. In fact, showing vulnerability is key to authenticity (see point 3). Sharing your fears, your insecurities, and your perceived weaknesses with others can help deepen your relationships with those you trust.
5. Troll-free zone
Blogs on host sites like Medium are open for comments. If your blogs start gaining traction with the general public, be aware that you might have to deal with the all-too-pervasive monsters of the internet: trolls. Not as cute as they are in Frozen.
If you’re dealing with social anxiety, and you want to keep your blog low-key, it’s probably a better idea to run your own WordPress blog site and choose a theme without a comments section.
We hope your new blog helps you navigate this new and crazy world. While regular blogging and has its health and social benefits, it shouldn’t replace therapy, so if you’re struggling while social distancing, make sure you see a trained mental health expert.
If you want JDP to help you manage your professional blog, feel free to contact us. Take care of yourself and get blogging!