Do you feel like you are drowning in blogger overwhelm? Or maybe life overwhelm?
Or perhaps both?
You feel like you’re always trying to juggle a million different things.
You do your best to keep a to-do list. But every time you look at it, instead of helping, it makes you want to cry.
No matter how hard you work it feels like you’ve never done enough.
Or no matter how far ahead you get, it feels like you’re still so far behind.
You have big dreams for your blog. But as you lie awake at night staring at the ceiling, you can’t help but wonder if you’ll ever get there.
I so wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you a big hug. Because I totally understand.
Overwhelm and I have been frenemies for as long as I can remember.
Just when I think I have things under control, overwhelm pops in for a visit.
Sometimes it’s just for a few hours. It comes and then goes pretty quickly.
At other times, overwhelm stays for weeks on end. Until I feel like I’m drowning.
It just so happened that this week, overwhelm decided to hang around.
And that’s what started me thinking about my life and about how overwhelm is affecting my life.
Sometimes I absolutely love my life.
I see all that I have been blessed with and I feel such overwhelming gratitude.
My husband is incredibly supportive and always has my back. We’ve been together for 29 years (married for 24) and each year our relationship has gotten stronger.
We have a close relationship with all five of our children (ages 10, 12, 16, 18 and 20). And it’s been a real joy to watch them grow into amazing human beings. Plus a privilege to know that we had a hand in that.
Our household has been blessed with the presence of my grandpa. He’s 98 and still going pretty strong. He has an amazing relationship with his great-grandkids. They in turn have been blessed to grow up in an inter-generational household.
My sister is my best friend. She and her two boys moved in with us a year and a half ago. Every day is usually filled with laughter.
I have been an entrepreneur and work-at-home mom since 2003. This has allowed me to fit my work into my life, rather than the other way around.
It sounds a bit like a fairy tale doesn’t it?
But then there are the days where I look at my life and I cry.
My husband’s job is incredibly stressful and very demanding. Between late nights and travel, he’s gone anywhere from 4 to 6 months of the year.
I am always on the road, driving to and from school and extracurricular activities. On any given day I drive anywhere from an hour to three hours. And on any given month, I average about 2500-3000 km in distance.
As much as I love my grandpa, he also drives me nuts. Especially when he takes risks that he knows he shouldn’t. Which usually end in disaster.
Like bending down without the help of his walker.
He lost his balance, toppled forward, and smashed his head. Right onto the metal edge of our kitchen bar stools. Which happen to sit on a tile floor. Do you know what happens when metal + tile and a head collide?
My sister was working. My husband was about 3 hours away. I was the only adult and driver in the house. Plus I was 15 minutes from having to head out the door to get the kids to school.
And now, there was blood everywhere.
Turns out he needed 6 stitches. And I spent the entire morning in the emerg department. Thank the Lord it wasn’t worse. Because it could have been!
Then of course there are the inevitable interruptions for meals (he will never get food for himself). And appointments and errands (he can’t drive). Or all the little things he insists that only I can do (like cutting his hair, listening to his phone messages, making his phone calls…).
On the mornings my sister works (3 to 4 per week) I am usually scrambling to get 6 kids fed and out the door – our 4 youngest and her two).
And in the middle of all of these things, I am trying to squeeze in as much time as possible to build this blog and new online business.
It was yesterday, during on one of my “crying days” that I decided that I needed to write this post.
It all started when I was working on setting up my Pinterest strategy for this blog.
Whenever I sit down to work, I am very aware of the clock.
I don’t have a lot of time to put towards my blog, so every minute is precious.
Nothing was going right. I had already spent an entire day getting my Pinterest account set up.
Then I had spent another two days making sure my website was optimized for Pinterest (I had already optimized it for SEO).
With that out of the way, I signed up for Tailwind and was trying to get everything set up.
As with any new tool, there’s always a big learning curve. It’s not like that’s new to me. I’ve been through it before. I should have expected it.
But somehow it threw me for a loop.
Tailwind is an amazing tool, but it’s not super intuitive. You definitely have to watch the getting started videos. And then you have to play around with it.
The thing is, I wasn’t in a “playing around” mood. I was in a “let’s get it done” mood.
Learning a new tool and being in a “let’s get it done” mood, DO NOT go hand in hand.
Getting my Pinterest strategy in place had already taken longer than I wanted it to.
About 2 hours into Tailwind, I had a MASSIVE headache. Like, my head was just throbbing.
Now I am used to headaches because I get them a lot. I have ever since I was sixteen. Usually, I can keep working through them. Every so often, I get a real doozy that lays me flat out. And only lots of meds and a couple ice packs gets me through it.
I had one of THOSE headaches.
Lying on my bed, with an ice pack on my head, the tears just started.
And kept on flowing!
I knew that this was going to be one of those episodes.
I Was Drowning In Blogger Overwhelm
The word “overwhelmed” doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.
I have been dreaming of working with aspiring bloggers and entrepreneurs since 2010.
I didn’t take the leap until spring of 2017. Which was about 6 months after I had been forced to shut down my 6-figure blogs and businesses in the paper crafting niche (for family and health reasons).
Except it wasn’t really a leap.
Instead it fell into the same category as the Instagram fail videos my husband loves to watch.
I would start something. Then quit. Then start something else. And quit.
Why? Because each time, I let fear get the best of me.
I knew I had something unique to offer the world. But this was a totally different niche for me.
And, I had to start from scratch. I had no blog or social media presence. No audience. And no money.
Nothing at all.
That scared the hell out of me.
Finally, in the summer of 2018 I decided that THIS time I would do it.
I floundered around for about a month trying to decide what direction I wanted to take. And then finally started my market research in September of 2018.
I didn’t publish my blog until the end of February, 2019.
Almost 6 months and 700 hours later.
You’d think I would have felt relief when I finally hit publish.
Instead, I felt overwhelmed.
My goal with this blog is to replace the multiple 6-figure income I lost when I shut my paper crafting businesses down.
Ultimately, my crazy big, “I’m scared to voice it out loud” goal is that I want to retire my husband. As soon as I can. Before the stress of his job kills him.
And believe me, I’m not exaggerating when I say this.
My husband is usually great at dealing with stress. Normally I can’t even tell because he tries not to bring his stress home. But the last 6 months? It’s been brutal. He’s been great with all of us. But I can see the stress eating away at him.
The effect of his job on his health is a very real and very present worry for me.
Really, it all comes down to this:
I have a crazy big goal which I’m trying to hit while dealing with a crazy busy life.
The two don’t go hand in hand.
I can’t work on my blog full time. Instead, I have to squeeze my blog into the nooks and crannies of my life.
And when I can’t do it – because either life gets in the way – or in this case, when Pinterest gets in the way – I feel like I’m drowning.
Now obviously it’s not just Pinterest. Sometimes it’s writer’s block, tech-block, or design-block….
Usually though, it’s just the sheer volume of work I have to do to get this blog to where I want it to go.
It’s when I let myself think about everything I have to do and all the issues I’m facing that it happens. That is when I feel like I’ve been sucked into a riptide. And I’m fighting to get to shore. But I’m drowning.
Do you ever feel like that?
If you’ve read this far, then I’m sure you do.
Listen closely friend:
Blogger overwhelm is very real, and very dangerous.
The Danger of Blogger Overwhelm
Frankly, being overwhelmed at any time is bad.
But when you have big dreams, blogger overwhelm can totally derail them. IF you don’t deal with it STAT.
You see, blogger overwhelm usually leads to paralysis.
The problem is that you get stuck so deep in your emotions that you get lost.
And then when all of those negative thoughts follow (and believe me, they will) you get stuck.
I’m sure you know the thoughts…
Why did I ever think I could do this? I am never going to get my blog off the ground….get the traffic I need…finish my product…make money with my blog…____________ (fill in the blank).
Negative thoughts lead to doubt. Doubt leads to self-sabotage. Self-sabotage usually ends up with you giving up.
Believe me, I speak from first hand experience.
Blogger Overwhelm. Entrepreneurial Overwhelm. Business Overwhelm. Whatever you want to call it. THAT is what kept me stagnant for over a year!
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed…
With your blog…
Or with your life….
Or with trying to manage a blog AND your life…
You have to make it a priority to get a handle on it.
Before it spirals out of control.
Of course, to get a handle on it, you have to understand it.
Suddenly and frequently dissolving into a mess of tears is usually a sign that you are facing a full blown case of blogger overwhelm.
So it’s super important to understand that blogger overwhelm usually starts well before you feel like you’re ready for a meltdown.
If you can catch it before it gets out of hand, it’s so much easier to get through.
How do you know if you’re on the cusp of serious blogger overwhelm?
Well, there are symptoms. So let’s take a look at those next.
The Symptoms of Blogger Overwhelm
The funny thing about blogger overwhelm is that it has many faces. Blogger overwhelm in one person can show up totally differently than blogger overwhelm in another.
Of course it’s always hardest to recognize in ourselves.
So here are some signs to keep your eye out for.
Shiny Object Syndrome
I’m sure you’ve heard of this one. It’s where you’re constantly chasing after the newest, greatest thing. Usually, it’s because you’re convinced that it’s exactly what you need to help you.
Some examples are signing up for course after course (free and paid), but never actually finishing any of them.
Constantly buying new blogging or business books…faster than you can read them.
Signing up for a bunch of blogging tools. Even though you have no clue how to use them…just because you’ve heard they can help.
Netflix-style bingeing on blogging or business YouTube videos, podcasts and/or webinars.
Going on a binge, pinning blogging and business articles you want to read. But never actually getting around to reading them.
Trying strategy after strategy. But never actually waiting long enough to see if a strategy you tried is working, before you’re on to the next one.
If any of these look like you, that could be an early warning sign that a blogger overwhelm meltdown is coming.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
This one is closely tied to Shiny Object Syndrome. In fact, it’s often the underlying cause.
You jump on everything because you’re afraid you’ll miss a key strategy or tactic. One that could change the course of your blog and business.
You know, that magic bullet we all keep looking for.
FOMO also often leads you to try to be everywhere and do everything.
You know what I mean. Joining every blogging or business Facebook group that you can find.
Posting to every social media network under the sun.
Doing lives on every platform. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
FOMO is not only a symptom of Blogger Overwhelm, it can also lead to blogger overwhelm a whole heck of a lot faster.
In some ways, this one is the worst of them all. It’s when you never feel like you’re good enough.
It usually manifests itself in thoughts like:
“Who am I to….”
“What makes me think I can…”
“But I’m no expert…”
“Why should anyone listen to me…”
“I don’t have any qualifications in…”
We let these thoughts worm their way into our subconscious. Until they firmly plant themselves into our mind.
Usually, these thoughts can either lead us to information overload as we try to “become an expert”… or, they cause us to shut down.
Do you find yourself crying more often? Getting impatient more often? Raising your voice with the people you love?
Any emotion that is out of the ordinary for you is a sign that things are out of balance.
And they could very well be pointing to overwhelm. Either life or blogger overwhelm. And hopefully by now, you realize that the two are actually tied together.
Do you feel tired all the time? Are you struggling to concentrate when you write? Is it hard to find the energy to get through each day? Fatigue and low energy are often signs of overwhelm.
So are headaches, and stomach aches and insomnia.
Again, it may not be only because of your blog.
More likely it’s from trying to manage your life and your blog at the same time.
A Word of Warning
Now I do want to interject with a word of warning.
When it comes to emotional and physical symptoms, they can be a sign of blogger overwhelm BUT they can also be tied to other things. I am not a doctor and I am not a psychologist. So it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to rule anything else out.
What I am giving you are things to look for. These are all things that I have personally experienced. And blogging was at the heart of it.
So now that we have gone through the symptoms, cement them in your mind. That way you’ll recognize the symptoms no matter what mask they wear.
The #1 Cause of Blogger Overwhelm
Overcoming blogger overwhelm starts with understanding it.
What is it that actually causes blogger overwhelm?
You may or may not be surprised to hear this…but…
The #1 cause of blogger overwhelm is unrealistic expectations.
So our expectations for what we want to do with our blog, are bigger than what we can realistically handle.
In other words, our expectations for our blog collide with our life.
My own blogger overwhelm is a perfect example of that.
Do you remember when I told you that I shut down all my blogs and businesses at the end of 2016?
And I told you it was for family and health reasons?
The plain truth is that I was overwhelmed.
I could not handle the demands of building my blogs and businesses AND look after my family at the same time.
I was putting about 60-80 hours a week into my blogs and my businesses. My kids were 7, 9, 12, 15 and 17 at the time. And my grandpa, 95 at the time, had just lost his driver’s license. My husband was still travelling a lot. So I was alone, on the home front, pretty much 24/7.
Do you know how I found the time?
I barely slept. I ate poorly and didn’t work out. Every spare second I had, I would squeeze blogging in.
I was an emotional mess. I was also tired all the time.
Honestly – the combination of work (ie blogging) and life just about killed me.
When I shut everything down and went offline, my life changed completely.
Suddenly I wasn’t overwhelmed any more.
But after the relief wore off, I realized something.
I wasn’t happy either.
I missed blogging. And I missed being an online entrepreneur. Of course I also missed the extra income.
So here I am, in the blogging world, once again.
The point I want to make clear in this section, is this:
Most of the time blogger overwhelm isn’t actually caused by blogging. It’s caused by adding blogging into an already busy life.
So what can we do about it?
In the next section I am going to share 27 of my best tips and strategies to crush blogger overwhelm. These are all things that I personally use in my own life.
27 Tips to Crush Blogger Overwhelm
In this section, I want to share with you the tips that I (and many other busy bloggers) use to absolutely crush overwhelm.
Tip #1: Work With Your Season of Life
Just like in nature, life is a series of seasons.
It’s important that we know and understand what season we are in. We can then use that knowledge to guide the goals that we set.
For example. I am still in a season of motherhood.
I can vividly remember being a young mother with 5 kids under the age of 10. In the midst of the chaos, I would think about what life would be like when my kids were tweens and teens. How much easier it would be.
Now that I’m here, I realize that life is not easier. Or quieter. If anything, it’s busier. I have to be more places as they are involved in more things.
Emotionally, it’s more draining. I can’t just send them to their room on a time out. Plus, the issues you deal with are more complicated.
I am also in a season of caregiving.
My 98-year-old grandpa lives with us. He’s been with us for the last 10 years, and I look after everything. His meals, laundry, errands, appointments, phone calls, etc. I even cut his hair because he refuses to go to the barber!
Technically I’m straddling two seasons – looking after kids and looking after an aging grandparent.
When I told my husband I was getting back into blogging, he warned me that I was in a challenging season. And because of that, I really had to manage my expectations.
I went into blogging eyes wide open. I knew I would have limited time to work on my blog and growing my business. And I knew that it would likely take me longer to hit my big goals.
Here’s the thing to understand about this though. Managing your expectations is not a one and done thing.
It’s something you have to constantly remind yourself.
Tip #2: Stop Comparing Yourself To Other People
There so much truth to the saying “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
When we are just starting out, it’s so easy to look at others who have “made it,” and get discouraged.
We read about and hear about their income reports. And compare it to ours.
We look at the jillion comments one their blog posts, and compare it to our zero comments.
Or we look at their huge social following count and look at our single digit count.
Inevitably we start to wonder if we’ll ever get there.
But what we don’t see, is what it took them to get to where they are.
In my story From Peanuts to Profit: How Blogging Changed My Life, I talk about all the failure I experienced, that came before my blogging success.
From 2003 until somewhere around 2008 – I experienced failure after failure. And then in 2009, my blog hit it’s first $10,000 month, and it just kept going up from there.
Anyone looking at the $10,000 month would only see the month. They wouldn’t see what it took to get there.
Playing the comparison game is so dangerous.
It messes with our heads and messes with our emotions.
So keep your eyes on your own path.
Tips #3: Celebrate Your Wins, No Matter How Small
When I finally published this blog at the end of February 2019, my husband and I went to our favorite steakhouse to celebrate.
But that wasn’t the only time I celebrated during the whole process.
When I finished my market research – we went to our favorite little Tex-Mex joint. Then when I finished my audience research – we went back.
With every major task I accomplished, I celebrated – always at the Tex-Mex joint. And always with a Margarita in hand.
But it’s important to celebrate more than just the bigger things. Because sometimes there is a whole lot to do in between.
So whatever size the win – no matter how small – find ways to celebrate them too.
Tip #4: Keep Your Vision Front And Center
Some people would call this finding your why.
Why are you blogging? What does it mean for you? Your life? What do you hope to get out of blogging? What’s your vision for your blog.
If you’re a visual person, I would recommend creating a vision board. Either physical or digital.
Pinterest is a great tool for doing this.
And then once you’ve created your vision board, keep it front and center.
Remind yourself of it over and over.
That way, when you start to get overwhelmed you can remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
Tip #6: Set Realistic Expectations
We absolutely HAVE to work on managing our expectations at ALL levels and stages of the blogging journey.
It’s great to have big goals, but if your big goals are discouraging and depressing you, then you need to re-evaluate.
Sometimes that means scaling down your goal. Most often, it means scaling up your timeline for hitting that goal.
Tip #6: Set Milestones For Yourself
This is all about breaking down your big goal into smaller milestones.
The analogy I have been using for myself is that of a mountain climber with a goal to summit Mt. Everest.
The summit represents my big goal.
But mountain climbers don’t just set out to summit Mt. Everest. It’s impossible to do in one stretch.
Same goes for your blog. You can’t just start a blog and expect to hit your big goal right away. It takes time and planning. There are stages.
For Mt. Everest, the stages are the camps. First, it’s base camp. From there it’s camps 1 through 4. From camp 4, climbers then push for the summit.
Same goes for your blog. Break it down into stages.
When I finally published my blog, after 6 months and 700 hours, I told my husband, that I hit the base camp.
Now I’m working on getting traffic to my blog. My next goal or “camp” is hitting my monthly traffic goals. From there, my next camp is to get my product finished (I’ve been working on it for a while already too).
So break down your big goal into as many smaller goals or milestones as you have to.
A good rule of thumb is to check in with your level of overwhelm. If the thought of hitting a goal overwhelms you, then you need to break it down even further.
Tip #7: Have a Plan
This is the best way to deal with that huge to-do list.
When I decided that I wanted to get back into blogging and build an online business, I didn’t go into it blind.
I had a step-by-step path to follow.
I knew what my key milestones were, and I used that to guide everything that I did.
If you’re wondering what my key milestones were, you can read about it in the post: Make Money Blogging: The 8 Key Steps To Blogging Success.
I then broke down each key step into smaller steps. To keep track of what I needed to do at any given time, I used the free version of Asana.
Asana is an awesome project management tool.
If part of your overwhelm comes from the fact that you can’t plan because you don’t know what to do, then it’s time to get educated.
Whenever you get started on any journey, it’s important to know both your destination and how you are going to get there. If you randomly start driving or hop on a plane without a plan, you’ll never get to where you want to go.
So if you don’t know what to do. Do some research and find someone who does. Then, follow them.
Tip #8: Be Wary of Information Overload
There is SO much information out there. There are blog posts, videos, podcasts, books, online courses…it goes on and on and on.
When you’re doing something that is new to you, it’s tempting to read and research as much as you possibly can.
Especially when big goals are at stake.
However, you have to be super careful that you don’t get stuck in the learning, and never get to the doing.
Once you have an idea of the path you want to follow (from tip #7), focus on learning only what you need to get you to the next step in your journey.
For example, when you are first trying to decide on your niche – there is absolutely no point in immersing yourself in learning about traffic strategies.
So focus on learning what you need to know now. Tackle the rest, as you need it.
Tip #9: Focus on one thing at a time
There’s no two ways about it. When you’re building and growing a blog there is a LOT to know and to do. And that’s at every stage in the process.
Do you remember the timeline I shared when I first decided I wanted to start a blog teaching others how to make money and change lives? It took me a full month to really get going.
Why? Because I was trying to do everything at once. I was trying to research, build my blog, create content and develop my first lead magnet and product all at the same time.
It’s no wonder I was overwhelmed!
It wasn’t until I buckled down and narrowed my focus that I started to make progress. I started by looking at my overall path. From there I started with my first milestone (my first key step) and broke it down into smaller steps. I worked through all the steps one by one. As I finished one step, I moved on to the next.
Once I hit one milestone, I moved on to another.
I kept working away steadily until finally, I was ready to publish my blog.
And now, even though I am only at the halfway point, I am still doing the same thing.
I started with SEO – making sure my entire site was optimized. Then I moved on to Pinterest.
Right now I am working on getting my Pinterest strategy set up. Once that’s done, I’ll move on to the next social media platform I want to focus on.
One step at a time, one task at a time.
When you keep your eyes on what’s directly in front of you, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed.
Tip #10: Be Consistent
Overwhelm can happen when you have too many important things that need to be done all at once.
In my last tip, I talked about focusing on one thing at a time.
From there, I recommend you get into the habit of working on your blog every day.
Some days you’ll have a lot of time and you’ll get through a lot. Other days you may only have 15 minutes. But everything you put into it counts.
The 15 minutes you spend setting up your Pinterest pins for the week, saves you having to do it the next day.
Your blog will feel much more manageable if you work away at it, little by little, rather than in one big chunk.
This daily habit has other advantages as well.
The first is that you’ll notice a better creative flow. When I write a little every day, ideas flow SO much easier than when I try to sit down and write in one big session.
For me, it’s the “wait until the last minute” big session that usually leads to writer’s block.
You’ll also have more energy. A lot of the work we do for our blogs is draining.
For an 8000+ word post like this one, it takes me anywhere from 12-15 hours from start to finish. That’s from research all the way to social media marketing.
It’s way easier for me to break that down over 5 days, rather than creating it in a one day marathon session.
Tip #11. Schedule Your Blog Time
If you don’t plan for it, it’ll never get done.
This is especially true when you live a super busy life and you have a lot of demands on your time.
In fact, the busier you are, the more important it is that you schedule your blog time.
Every Sunday night I look at my calendar and plan my blog time into my schedule.
It gives me peace on two fronts. When I’m in the middle of stuff for my family, I don’t stress about it because I know that I have time set aside for my blog.
And, when I’m busy working on my blog, I don’t feel guilty about neglecting family stuff, because I know that stuff was planned first.
Tip #12: Be Gentle With Yourself
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, things just won’t work out the way you expected.
There will always be interruptions. And there will always be issues. Tech block, design block, writer’s block. You name it.
Things will take longer than you expected.
You won’t get as much done as you planned.
You’ll get distracted (hello social media!)
When these kinds of things happen you can’t beat yourself up.
You’ve gotta give yourself some grace.
Forgive yourself, and then pick back up again.
Tip #13. Shake Things Up
When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed it can really help to change things up a bit.
For example, I already have my editorial calendar created for the next 6 months.
Because my blog is still so new my focus is trying to create a lot of foundational content. The kind of content that I know my ideal audience is looking for.
However, a lot of the articles – especially the ones I have planned over the next few months – are really weighty. There is a lot of information. A lot to be covered.
If you’ve read my blog so far then you’ll know I’m a big fan of ultimate guide-style posts. I hate for my readers to have to search in a million places for the answers they need. So, I try to be as comprehensive as possible in each post.
As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work. And it’s mentally exhausting.
Last week I wrote a post on How To Choose A Profitable Niche (The Ultimate Guide). It was an 8000-word post and it took me about 15 hours to write.
When I sat down this week to write, the thought of creating another ultimate guide really overwhelmed me. I was still mentally exhausted from last week. That’s when I decided to create this post you’re reading now.
Turns out, this post is just as long. Who knew there was so much to say about blogger overwhelm?
But it’s different than what I had planned. And it’s very personal for me too. So that really helped.
Tip #14 Take a Break
As bloggers, we are under so much pressure.
Even though we know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, we still do. We see other bloggers posting multiple times a week, and we feel like we should too.
And even when we stop comparing ourselves, the pressure still doesn’t stop.
That’s because WE put ourselves under pressure.
I don’t know about you, but I am a very high achiever. I am the first born, classic Type A. People tell me that I have incredible focus. I could sit at my computer writing and working for 10 hours straight.
I absolutely hate unfinished tasks. It’s like an open loop. When there is something that I need to do, it really bothers me. I have have a really hard time relaxing.
The problem is, as a blogger and online entrepreneur, there are always things to do. The job is never done. You finish one post, next week another is waiting. You set up this week’s pins on Pinterest, next week’s pins are waiting.
It’s never-ending. And if you’re not careful, it can drive you straight into overwhelm.
So what’s the answer?
Sometimes you just need to force yourself to take a break. Or get someone to help you.
Usually, I enlist my husband to help. I tell him that I am going to stop working at a specific time – whether I am done or not. That way, when I struggle to hold myself accountable because I “just need to finish one more thing,” he steps in.
Tip #15 Set Boundaries
This is a really tough one if you’re a people-pleaser.
Which I am. I absolutely hate saying no because I hate disappointing people.
For me, this is a big thing when it comes to my kids.
And it ties back to my own childhood. You see, from about the age of 5, my sister and I were raised by nannies. My mom worked full-time. My dad had his own business, and it took up about 110% of his time.
I vividly remember a conversation I had with my dad when my oldest was born. He said to me that the greatest gift you can give your children is your presence. That was his biggest regret as a dad.
I believe in that wholeheartedly. I hated the constant carousel of nannies in our life and I didn’t want that for our kids.
The problem for me is that I tend to swing the other way. I bend over backward for my kids. To the point that it interferes with the (little) time I have to work.
As hard as it is, I have had to learn how to set boundaries.
Which has meant saying no to my kids more often than I would like.
Believe me when I say that setting boundaries is not easy. In fact, I still struggle with it. Some weeks I’m great, others, not-so-much. But I keep working at it.
So take a look at your own life.
Are you saying yes to more things than you should?
Are you allowing yourself to be interrupted because you don’t have the heart to say “wait” or even “no”?
If yes, then it’s time to think about what kind of boundaries you can set in your life.
Tip #16: Stop Trying To Do Everything By Yourself
I absolutely hate asking for help. From anyone.
I know what’s like to be interrupted and to be asked to do things I just don’t have time to do. So I’m very conscious of not putting other people into that situation.
The problem is that when you have a lot on your plate, it’s impossible to do it all. You have to ask for help…or go crazy.
For example, I hire someone to clean my house every week. She does the laundry for the younger kids. She also tackles special projects like cleaning out the fridges (we have 3) or defrosting the freezers.
My sister takes care of most of the dinners. I look after her kids in the morning when she is working. In turn, she helps in the afternoon so I can get some work done.
Even my hubby and kids are on board.
Getting help doesn’t have to mean hiring someone. It can simply mean reaching out to the people around you and getting them to take over some of the stuff you’ve been doing.
Tip #17 Remember That Your Dream Isn’t Yours Alone
Sometimes blogging can feel like a solitary journey.
I’ve often heard bloggers talk about the fact that their loved ones don’t understand what they’re doing. And therefore, they aren’t very supportive.
A lot of times the reason the people around us don’t understand what we are doing, is because we haven’t explained it to them.
My husband and kids know exactly what I’m working towards. They know that when I hit my goal, it will make all of our lives better.
Because of that, when I say no to picking them up at school (an hour round trip) because I have work to do, they don’t complain.
When my husband sits by my side when I have to work on the weekend, he doesn’t complain.
When my kids see me spend hour after hour in front of the computer, they know that what I am doing is for them too, so they don’t complain.
Let the people in your life know what’s in it for them if you hit your goal.
Tip #18 Guard Your Heart
In the last tip, I told you to let the people in your life know what’s in it for them if you hit your blogging goal.
In this tip, I want to give you a word of warning.
Not everyone will understand your dream.
Even in my own extended family, there are those who don’t understand what I am doing. Who think I have wasted my education and am wasting my life.
I don’t bother talking about my dream with them. Or trying to get them to understand. One conversation was enough. I don’t bring it up again.
So be discerning. If you sense that certain people really don’t understand or don’t want to understand, don’t open your heart to them.
Negativity can be soul crushing. The life of a beginning blogger is tough enough. No need to make it tougher.
Tip #19: Learn To Let Go
One of the most important lessons I have learned in my journey as a blogger and online entrepreneur is that sometimes I have to let go.
Do you remember in tip #1 when I talked about the seasons of our lives? Some things just aren’t meant for every season. There are some things we just won’t have room for.
For example. I hate clutter. But in a house with 11 people and a dog, clutter is inevitable. Especially with 7 of those people being kids. I have had to learn to turn a blind eye to the mess. We do our best to stay on top of things. Our house is always clean. But it’s rarely tidy.
I have had to let go of my art. As a mixed media artist and paper crafter, I am passionate about creativity. But as I have been building this blog, I just don’t have time to create art and create my blog and business.
So I have put my creative pursuits on hold. I haven’t painted a single thing or created a single card in the last 6 months.
Do I miss it? Absolutely.
But I know the time will come again. Right now, I have to focus on what’s most important. And that is getting my blog and business up and running.
So look at your life. Are you overwhelmed by all that you have to do and all that you want to do?
Then look at what you can let go of, or put on hold.
Sometimes it’s something tangible, like no more binge-watching of your fave Netflix series. Other times it’s about letting go of expectations, like a home-cooked meal every night.
It may even be having to let go or ease back on toxic relationships. In other words, those people who just don’t or won’t support your dreams.
Tip #20: Find a blogger support network
Blogging can be very lonely.
You’re typically working alone, so if you run into struggles or issues with your blog, there’s no one around you that you can ask for help.
That’s where having a support network of other bloggers really helps.
Only bloggers truly understand the challenges of blogging. And if they are in a similar season of life, or were in the same season you are, so much the better.
So find some blogger groups to be a part of. People you can turn to with questions when you get stuck. Or people who can just give you a verbal pat on the back when you feel down.
There are a ton of awesome Facebook groups for bloggers. Search for them under “blogger” or “blogging.” Just make sure they’re not too big – otherwise, you may end up feeling lost in the group rather than supported.
Tip #21: Don’t Forget To Look Backwards To See How Far You’ve Come
Have you ever been on a road trip and seen mountains in the distance? And have you noticed that they never seem to get any bigger until you are up close?
That’s what blogging can feel like when you have a BIG blogging dream.
It can feel like it’s always in front of you, and you’re never going to get there.
That’s why looking back is so important.
Looking back and seeing all that you have done, can be really motivating and inspiring.
Now I realize that looking back doesn’t help you get any closer to your goal.
However, it helps you see that you have accomplished a lot, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Tip #22: Find a Mentor
Having a mentor is really important when you have big goals. Especially if you’re in new territory. In other words, doing things that you don’t have any experience with and don’t really know how to do.
When I started out online, I didn’t have a mentor.
It actually didn’t even occur to me to look for a mentor. I have always been a DIY kinda person, so I thought I’d eventually figure it out on my own.
I did. But it took me about 5 years, and thousands of dollars in mistakes.
Do you know what my turning point was?
Investing in online courses from experts I respected.
I followed them online. And I started by reading everything that they put out for free. It was easy to tell if they knew what they were talking about.
If I found myself learning a lot from their free content, I would invest in their course.
Sure I had to pay. And sometimes a lot. But the time and stress it saved me was well worth it!
Remember, your mentor doesn’t have to be someone that you personally know. Or someone that you actually work with one-on-one. It just has to be someone who has walked the path you want to follow.
Tip #23: Don’t Be Afraid Of The Struggle
It’s a natural tendency in human beings to want to do things the easy way.
We hate struggle and we avoid it like the plague.
However, some of our biggest learning comes from our struggles.
So when you hit roadblocks in your blogging journey (or in your life)…
When you start to feel yourself getting overwhelmed…
Don’t be afraid of those feelings.
Or let yourself be afraid in those situations.
Even though we may not see the answer, there ARE answers if you look for them.
In the long term, pushing through your struggles will make you a stronger person.
When it comes your blog, pushing through your blogger overwhelm and your blogging struggles will make you a stronger blogger.
Tip #24: Remember It’s Only Temporary
No matter how bad the overwhelm, no matter how big the struggle, remember…it’s only temporary.
There is a lot of truth in the saying “this too shall pass…”
Follow the tips I’ve shared. I promise that you’ll notice an immediate difference.
And whatever you do…don’t let yourself give up on your dreams.
Keep your vision front and center.
It may feel like you’ve been struggling forever, but if you keep going…you will come out the other side!
Tip #24: Remember That You Are NOT Your Blog
When we invest a lot of time into something, it’s easy to become attached to it.
So attached in fact, that we begin to identify with it.
Then when things aren’t going the way we want or expect, we take it personally.
When we feel like our blog is failing, it can make us feel like failures.
Feeling like a failure is extremely destructive. You want to do everything you can to keep yourself from getting to that point.
Because when you feel like a failure, you are more likely to give up.
So please, remember…
You are NOT your blog.
No matter what happens with your blog…you are still a precious, valuable human being.
Tip #25: Remember That This Is Supposed To Be Fun
When you start to feel down and discouraged about your blog, remember why you started.
You started because you had a dream.
Something that you were so passionate about that you were willing to go to bat for it.
The whole idea behind pursuing your dreams, is that it is supposed to make your life better.
It’s supposed to be fun.
If your blog is making you really and truly miserable, then maybe it’s time to step back and reassess.
Go back through all the tips I shared. Think about and then implement every single one that you can.
If after all that, you are still overwhelmed, and still miserable, then maybe you need to re-think whether a blog is right for you.
If that’s where you find yourself, then read my post: Should I Start A Blog? Consider These Things First. It may help you find a little more clarity.
Tip #26: Know That Being Overwhelmed Is Not Your Fault
The worst thing you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed is to blame yourself. That does nothing except make you feel worse.
The lives of the vast majority of people are crazy busy.
I know there are those who would say it’s our fault because we control our schedules and we control our choices. But you know what? It’s not that simple.
Sure, having 5 kids was my choice. But I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Sure, having my grandpa live with us was my choice. But what was the alternative? Stick him in a nursing home? Just because having him inconveniences me? I don’t think so!
And yes, my husband’s job is our choice. But it enables us to do things for our family that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. Things which are important to us.
Starting a blog right now – despite how hectic my life is – is a choice I am making eyes wide open.
Even though it’s not the best time in my life.
But you know what?
When you start to wonder if you should wait for a better time, ask yourself: WHEN will it be a good time?
The truth is there’s never a good time for anything.
My brother-in-law died suddenly at the age of 46. All the dreams that he had on hold, died with him.
I don’t want that to be my story.
If I die tomorrow, I want to know that I died having taken the risk to follow my dreams. Even if it was hard. And even if following my dreams leads to overwhelm.
It’s important to make the choices that we feel are aligned with our values. And if they lead to overwhelm, we do the best we can do to get through it. In cases like that, it’s not our fault. It just is what it is.
Tip #27: Remember That Overwhelm Happens To Everyone
You are not alone.
I know you may sometimes feel that way when you’re overwhelmed.
It can seem as though you’re the only one feeling that way.
It can feel as though no one understands. Especially if your loved ones – those who surround you day in and day out – don’t understand.
But the truth is that you’re not alone.
Yes, I’m repeating myself. Because I really want you to hear this.
At any given moment there are thousands, if not millions of people feeling exactly like you.
There are thousands of bloggers and online entrepreneurs feeling exactly like you are right now.
That’s why having a blogger support network is so important (tip #20).
Only those who have been through it, or are going through it, can truly understand.
And sometimes, that’s all we need. Someone to say…I understand.
And you know what?
Because I’ve been there. Because I’m there right now. And because I know that even when I get through this bout of overwhelm, there will be more down the road.
A lot of people will tell you that overwhelm is a matter of mindset. Or a matter of perspective.
And in some ways, it is.
But it goes deeper than that.
In today’s world, overwhelm is a natural part of life. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying that it’s there.
And we have to learn how to recognize it and get through it.
That is exactly why I wrote this post. To try and help you understand overwhelm and recognize it. But more importantly, deal with it. In a healthy way.
Each of the 27 tips that I shared with you are tried and true, PROVEN strategies.
I turn to these tips virtually every day.
They have gotten me through countless bouts of overwhelm.
And they can get you through whatever overwhelm you’re facing right now.
Even if you’re skeptical, please, try them.
They work. They work for others. And if you give it a try, I know they will work for you too.
Information can only help you and change you if you do something with it.
My challenge to you, now that you’ve gotten this far, is to go back to the beginning.
Read through this post once more with a notepad in hand.
Write down each tip and the thoughts that immediately come to your mind. Then jot down a few things that you can take action on.
If this post spoke to you, I’d love it if you’d share it with your friends.
And of course, please leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear your stories and any tips on overcoming overwhelm that you may have.