Mental Health and Book blogging: Finding the balance?

Well , g’day there friends.

I’ve been tossing up whether or not to write this, only because I feel like I keep on bringing this up and it can get repetitive and annoying. But here we are!

A few weeks ago I took a mini-hiatus from twitter and from my blog (the only posts that went live were those which were scheduled). I took to instagram just to kind of talk things through on some days, but honestly, I went off Instagram too.

I don’t really know what happened? Anxiety can either come at you like a truck or crawl so insidiously that you don’t even realise you’re suffocating until you can’t breathe.

For me this time round, it was the latter.

I think, i think, it was a culmination of a variety of factors.

I realised that for me, the issue that I was having and unfortunately will sometimes continue to have, is attempting to find the balance. We all have extremely busy lives, and I wish I can say that I could blog full time and make this my actual job, but that is not the case. There is life, work/uni and my mental health that I need to ensure are taken care of so that instances like what happened, don’t happen on the regular. Because it honestly makes you feel like absolute shit.

I think I mentioned that what I was feeling wasn’t ‘sadness’ in the original sense, but more of an emptiness as though my soul has left me and my body is just a corporeal form, a vehicle or a vessel.

Just going about its daily business. It’s not disassociative, but there is a disconnect between my mind and my body.

There is no feeling. Just a blankness and the awareness that something isn’t right.

It fucking sucks.

Side note: As I’m writing this, I’m kind of in a weird sense of self also – mainly because I was a fucking idiot and forgot to take my anti-anxiety medication on Thursday so now I’m feeling the effects of my absolute stupidity.

But I digress, let’s talk about balance – more so, about how the fuck to find it when you’re feeling like you’re drowning! I say that not only because of my anxiety, but also because of my NetGalley shelf.

Honestly, I should be banned from NetGalley! I AM SO BEHIND IN MY REVIEWS!


When I realised what was happening in terms of my mental health, I am not sorry to say that I took a day off from work/uni. I needed to just be present within my own space. I stayed at home with my psychotic puppy and watched Criminal Minds re-runs, took my puppy for walks ate some food that made me happy and plotted around the house. This step for me is super important, because it lays the ground work for feeling like myself again and for getting out of my funk. Usually, I would also read a good book, but because of my anxiety and all-round state of mind, I was in such a reading slump!!!! So, instead of burying myself in Marvel fanfiction, I picked up a book that I have already read and enjoyed, and just chilled. I was in a more crime/thriller mood, so I picked up Naked in Death by J.D. Robb, a pseudonym for Nora Roberts, because I love the way she writes her crime and romance. It was actually one of the best decisions I made during this period, because I just didn’t put the books down! I re-read the first three in the series and read the fourth in four days.

I started to feel like myself again!


Another major factor was my work/uni life that was overwhelming me. During this period, I was working to a few deadlines and it just made me go insane. Usually, writing to-do lists and scheduling work wonders for my state of mind, but in this case, the typical ways that I would get my shit together, were not working.

So what the fuck was I to do.

I just stared at my desk at work/uni for a while. Attempted to do some work and then procrastinating the shit out of my day because I couldn’t think.

And then I remember something that a my sister-from-another-mister did to help her get on top of her worklife, and that was basically consider what I wanted to do in terms of my thesis and assignments for that month and write it down. Create a sort of flexible but tangible timeline so I could visually see where I was at and what I needed to accomplish in order to work towards getting my shit together. This is similar to what I would usually do, but more ‘big picture’ and it honestly helped so much. I think for me, it was feeling as if I had so much to do but no idea what to actually do. But this way, I could see what I was working towards, I could note down the research that I would have to complete in order to get ‘x’ done, etc.

Then I moved onto my actual desk space. I’ve watched enough ‘how to be productive/motivated to study’ YouTube videos, that I know that people always say to make sure that your work/study space is ‘clean’ and ‘organised’. Sounds logical, but at this stage my desk was just a huge pile of books that I needed to read for research. So I got to organising.

I realised that a good quarter of the books I had on my desk were not actually directly relevant to my research, so I put that in the ‘take home’ pile.

I had all the books just lumped together, so I divided them into thematic categories dependent on the topic. For instance, all of the books pertaining to philosophical frameworks were placed in one pile, methodology in another, masculinity in another, gender and sexuality in another with religion in the final group. I then combined the piles of methodology and philosophy as well as masculinity and gender and sexuality.

After that was done, I then looked at these books and actually decided that I needed to be a bit more proactive in how I go about my research. So, I put the books that I was currently working my way through in a pile that I categorised as ‘READING THROUGH’, I then picked the first five books that were the most crucial for the next stage of my writing and placed them in a small pile labelled ‘READ ASAP’ and another pile where I placed the books that I don’t need anymore and could return to the library.

It has helped me so much because, yet again, I can visualise what I’m doing.

I have been more productive at work/uni and this system, for the moment, is working very well for me.


It is my blogging which unfortunately takes the hit in my bid to find my balance. I’ve been trying to write the same review for months, but just can’t seem to find the words. I love my blog, but sometimes it can be super challenging to push out content that I want to write and that people will want to read.

Does anyone else feel that way?

The pressure can be slightly intense, and I think that was also another factor. But I am working on it – I fully know that I haven’t written a new post in a few weeks, but I want to start writing again because I do miss it. But I realised, again, that I spend 7 hours everyday at uni writing. And when I come home, I don’t want to write anymore, I want to just be with the family, watch tv and read.

But I’m taking back my weekends! I use to utilise the weekends as blogging days – whatever I could. Because I do get that urge to write, and HELL NO am I doing thesis work on the weekend.

I did this today and I am feeling fabulous! I feel productive but also at peace and with such a strong urge to just continue writing until well into the night!

How I got to this point was taking time away, time to breathe and to remember why I absolutely love blogging and being a part of this community.


What a rant, holy gods.

I hope you all are having a great day or night. I just want to let everyone know that my DMs are always open if you ever need to chat about anything. I don’t think I would have felt so supported without the wonderful people who messaged me on twitter and instagram just to check in. And that was super powerful friends, just knowing that people care and will help cushion the fall. I don’t know how to thank you.

I have so much love in my heart for the friends I have made here, so thank you.

All the love,

Allie

xx


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6 thoughts on “Mental Health and Book blogging: Finding the balance?

  1. Blogging is not a job; it’s supposed to be fun and fulfilling. When that quits happening, it’s time to back off for a bit and get your head back on straight. We’ve all been there. I’ve been book blogging for 12 years, and believe me, there are some substantial gaps of empty time in there, especially in the last four years. I’m just coming back to it again on a regular basis – and there was no point to do it until I was ready. You will know when that day comes. Until that happens, take care of yourself and get on with the rest of your life. I hope it all works out well for you.

    Like

  2. The thing I’m struggling with now as is also partly that I don’t have anything more to say about books. It’s like I’ve said it all in those years I’ve been blogging. But I still want to stay in the community! What a conundrum.

    Like

  3. It’s important sometimes to take a wee break when needed, blogging is a lot of work – it’s fun but demanding.

    Everything else can always wait but your mental health is important – I’m glad you are taking the time to look after yourself

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so so much for your comment, i really appreciate it! i completely agree – it’s so much fun but also can be extremely demanding. im in a much better place now in terms of my mental health so i need to figure out ways to ensure that i remain healthily balanced…if that makes sense! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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