For the past few months, I have been feeling burnt out.
Each day, I open up my laptop, look at my looming list of content I want to create for The Baker's Almanac, and immediately feel overwhelmed.
Since starting my blog, I have spent most of my free time pouring my heart and soul into it. From editing blog posts on weeknights to shooting recipes all weekend, I have routinely struggled to find balance in my life. And after months of churning out content and not taking enough time to relax, I honestly lost my motivation to keep going.
But, slowly but surely, I've been working through this latest phase of burnout, and I finally feel like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, in case you have experienced something similar, I thought I would share some strategies that have been helping me move forward and deal with blogger burnout.
1. Take Time Away
First and foremost, this has been the #1 thing that has helped me feel better.
I will be the first to admit that I am way too hard on myself. I have big aspirations for my blog, and I get caught up in my own head about them. Sometimes, I feel like I need to be constantly working to achieve my goals, and I berate myself for taking any sort of break.
When the feelings of burnout started creeping up in July, I decided to take a step back.
I made the decision to take the entire month of August off from posting, and it was such a good choice. I was actually staying with my parents for three weeks, and I spent my weekends lounging by the beach, going on long walks, and reading books just for fun.
And guess what? My pageviews stayed the same, my Instagram account even grew, and my mental health drastically improved.
Now, I'm not saying you need to take an entire month off from blogging.
But, if you're starting to feel burnt out, take a step back and see if it's time for some sort of break. Put your blog on the back burner for a short period of time, and examine ways you can bring more balance into your life.
2. Set Realistic Goals
I can't tell you how many times I have looked at the most successful blogs and wondered why I don't have as many pageviews and Instagram followers as them. But you know what? A lot of them have been working for years and years to get where they are.
Once I realized that I was in it for the long haul—and not just the short term—I started to feel better.
I want to produce content for The Baker's Almanac for a long time, and that's only possible if I find a balance between my life and my blog. For me, that means sharing only one new post or recipe a week. It also means not being as consistent on my YouTube channel as I would like.
So, I highly recommend taking a look at your posting schedule and current workload. Is there anything you can cut out or delegate to someone else? Focus on setting some more realistic goals for yourself to make your day-to-day a bit easier.
3. Learn New Skills
If I'm being honest, one of the reasons I have been feeling discouraged about my blog lately is my lack of photography skills.
While I definitely think my photos have improved over time, I am nowhere near where I want to be. Looking at other blogger's gorgeous photos, I found myself criticizing my own, and I began to dread shooting new blog posts.
But, I finally decided that the only way forward was to keep improving.
In my spare time, I have been taking photography courses through Foodtography School and Food Blogger Pro. Though my photos aren't drastically improving overnight, I am slowly but surely feeling more confident about my blog as a whole.
You can apply this logic to any skills that relate to blogging—writing, video editing, recipe development, etc. Just get out there and focus on getting better, one step at a time.
4. Get Ideas Down on Paper
If you're anything like me, you're constantly thinking of new ideas for your blog.
I have a huge idea backlog on Asana, and I jot down all of my recipe and video ideas there as soon as I think of them. I find that getting my thoughts out of my head clears my mind and helps me focus on other tasks.
Then, when I'm feeling uninspired or down, I like to comb through my idea backlog to see if anything seems exciting. If a certain recipe is calling my name, I will shift my content calendar around and let my inspiration guide me.
Whether it's in a physical journal or through an online platform, I highly recommend writing your ideas down for later. Who knows where they will take you?
5. Create a Ta-Da List
I recently heard about the concept of a ta-da list, and I absolutely love it.
Instead of tacking more items onto your neverending to-do list, start writing down your accomplishments—both big and small. You'll probably be surprised by how good it feels to celebrate the little wins.
And honestly, your ta-da list doesn't have to just be related to your blog. Write down all your accomplishments throughout the day, and I bet your overall mood will improve.
While I don't think a ta-da list will make feelings of burnout disappear overnight, it's definitely a step in the right direction. Stay focused on the positive, and the rest will come with time.
6. Find Inspiration From Others
I oftentimes find that my best inspiration comes from the places I least expect.
Personally, I love reading blogs in other niches to get new ideas. I'm obsessed with interior design and lifestyle blogs, and I spend a lot of time reading them for fun.
Though the content doesn't directly relate to The Baker's Almanac, I am always getting new ideas for blog post formats or unique ways to structure my website.
I also spend *far* too much time watching YouTube videos and TV shows, and I am always writing down new recipe ideas and inspiration. Because guess what? Binge-watching The Great British Bake Off is indeed blog research, thank you very much.
So, shift your focus away from your own blog, and find inspiration in new places. You never know what you might find!
7. Follow Your Passion
Over time, it's easy to get bogged down by the analytics.
Your blog becomes a numbers game, and you're constantly trying to create content that will perform the best. And it just gets really, really exhausting.
When you find yourself focusing too much on the numbers, try and think back to why you started blogging. What inspired you to hit publish on that first blog post?
For me, it came from a desire to share my love of baking with the world. I wanted to make baking more accessible to everyone and use my blog as a creative outlet. I love spending hours in the kitchen, experimenting with new flavor combinations and putting a spin on a classic recipe.
Keep that as a reminder in the back of your head when you start to feel burnt out. Start actively working on following your passion—and not just the numbers—and see where it takes you.
Over to You
I hope you have found these tips on how to deal with blogger burnout helpful!
Feelings of burnout can be really discouraging, but I know firsthand that you can work through them. Take it one step at a time, and just keep pushing forward each day.
Now over to you—what are some of your best strategies to deal with burnout? Let me know in the comments below, and I'm sure others would love to hear your tips.