May is Mental Health Awareness Month and although this was written in April, I still wanted to talk about how blogging is a great method to help mental health and why this is an important topic for Mental Health Awareness Month. I am proof of how my mental health has drastically improved simply because I blog due to its profound benefits.
Before I made blogging into a business, I actually started this blog in my early 20s while I was a junior in college and during that time, I kid you not that it was one of the most stressful times in my life. I was really, really in the dumps and I kept going on with my blog because it was one of the only things that helped me out for years.
I felt my mental health deteriorating because of the events during that time: I just transferred to a 4-year school from a community college, found myself struggling through my studies during this new transfer and experienced how hard my university was while still taking the pre-reqs, and I was in a very unfulfilling relationship with lots of problems that eventually ended for good. Aside from those things, I do struggle with anxiety.
Just like everyone else I know, I struggle with my mental health from time-to-time, especially when I have become physically ill. There are days that it becomes so hard and I get sad about how I’m in pain and how I question the future. But my blog has helped me out more than I give it credit for.
You don’t need to start a blog as a business to help you with your mental health. You can create one as a hobby! (This can even mean making a social media account to display your content and writings.)
I do have to note that if you are deeply struggling with your mental health, I would seek a professional to get the help you’re looking for rather than this route as this route is a result of doing it over time and only a fulfilling hobby, and it may not be the answer to your problems.
I also want to note that blogging was NOT my one and only true cure for my former depression or for my anxiety because I still feel like many days are not perfect and I still get sad over things, but it’s rather just an additional form of wellness therapy I chose to stick to.
I go over the 5 benefits to blog for your mental health:
1. Blogging helps with ruminating
I find my mind running 100mph some days. I was not able to combat those anxiety attacks that would be coming if I didn’t find an outlet like writing. In fact, research shows that writing, especially expressive writing, can decrease symptoms of depression, anxious thoughts, and enhance self-awareness.
Blogging will help you with a lot of things you may be overthinking. Because let’s be real, overthinking takes a lot of energy right out of us and it can easily disempower our moods. Blogging will allow you to put your thoughts out there when you feel like there’s no place to let it out. It’s a way to release those thoughts rather than keeping it burdened inside, and by doing that, it is a way to have your feelings eat you up.
2. Helps me spend time by myself
Blogging is great for introverts (like half of myself – I’m an ambivert) because you will find yourself spending a lot of time working on your blog on yourself. I admit I can get socially burnt out quicker and those are the times I need to recharge by doing low key quiet things by myself. One great way to do that is of course through blogging. I purposely sacrifice time just to blog because not only does it help with the site with providing content, but it just helps me spend time with myself. I know I can just chill out and watch a movie or do something for myself, but blogging is also my hobby that keeps me fulfilled.
I also find that I spend plenty of time with others, especially close friends and family, and blogging is my way to remember to be there for myself too. It reminds me to not stretch myself so thin and to stay grounded and give myself the chance to “come home” to myself.
3. Inspired me to get out there, do more things, and be productive
Before I started my blog, I was already productive, especially as I had to be during college, but I found myself giving it my all when my blog pushed me to do a lot more. You see, I wasn’t as outdoorsy until I moved and I became so interested in my state and started hiking wherever, which then my blog became this outdoor adventure blog. Whenever I had a chance to explore a new place, I knew I had a new place or thing to write about and it constantly excited me to keep getting out there.
It inspired me to go take a chance at things in my life such as experience solo hiking, to be confident to spend time camping with friends around the west coast, to reach out to brands to work with even if most of the time I’d get turned down, and to able to build my blog from scratch and work on it day in and day out. It gave me purpose, overall.
Having a sense of purpose does help you with your mental health by reframing our stress through productivity and by being productive, it can help us to recover from trauma because we start to focus on other things than what was in the past.
4. Helped me focus on not burning out in other areas of life
For some reason, I find myself prone to burnout often. It must be because I’m a Type A person or it might be because I can find myself working in several different roles. (I’m a blogger, photographer, and marketing freelancer.) I’m also highly involved/active with my church especially now that I have a calling.
It’s super easy to burnout in life when you have so many things going on and you’re constantly finding a way to manage it all. I love that with blogging, it helps me to find balance in my life. I don’t feel like I’m stuck with deadlines with blogging because there really isn’t when it comes to that – I just try to provide value consistently to my readers.
Blogging is truly therapeutic. I have loved writing since I was as young as 8 years old and I love how I have a digital space to transfer my thoughts. In fact, it’s my favorite hobby and job put in one.
5. Made me improve my self-esteem, confidence, and emotional distress
I really was NOT the same person I was 5 years ago when I started this blog. I was in so much more confusion of my life and I was an immature young woman who was navigating life and new feelings while still building up my foundation inside. I like to look back time-to-time from my old writings and see how much I’ve grown but also feel nostalgic of my own adventures that I cherish and hold close to my heart.
Because of all the things I was able to push myself to see and do, it built up my confidence and it made it easier to talk to anyone, go after things even if it resulted in rejection many times, and helped me improve my skills. I do feel that blogging has allowed me to feel a sense of accomplishment and that can impact your mental health positively.
I do believe I was able to find myself to be a radiating woman with purpose, clarity, and stability in the long run as I’ve had my blog and as I kept working towards my life goals. I was also more depressed when I started this blog and before and it’s because I did not have much of an idea about my identity, my purpose, and what truly brings me happiness.
My life was often faced with several trials and it tested my growth in many uncomfortable situations and lots of things made me easily question what was worth investing into. For some reason with blogging, I can get an idea what my answers were.
And because life is so often confusing and hard, when we rely on what stayed: There’s something very profound and amazing about having that thing that makes you happy. It would all come together the more I kept up with my love for writing.
If you’re a blogger too, do you think these points relate to you or have improved your mental health?