Journalling

5 Quick Happiness Boosts for Bloggers

Calling all bloggers! Love your blog and your life with these 5 happiness boosts. Working on a blog can sometimes be a lonely, frustrating business, and I’m here to help you get happier and enjoy your work more. Click through to read these quick happiness boosters for bloggers and download your free cheatsheet.

You have passion. You have ideas. You have something to say. When it comes to this whole blogging thing, you’re in!

Although there is a lot to love about being a blogger, it is certainly not without challenges. When you're starting out on anything new your initial enthusiasm is enough to carry you through for a while but once you really start digging in, unexpected challenges come up and it’s easy to start questioning everyone.

Blogging is no different.

Let me tell you, I’ve been there my friend and am here to help!

I’ve looked at some of the most common happiness detractors for bloggers (newbies and seasoned!) and have put together happiness boosts to help you overcome these. Quick and clean, these tips have been designed to help you get more done by lifting your overall mood. Plus, by getting into good habits you’ll become an unstoppable blogging machine before you know it!

Happiness Boost #1: Step away from your desk. Go for a walk or even just look out the window. 

Sitting down all day can be a real happiness drainer. You may the day feeling fresh but before you know it you’ve been sitting in front of a screen for hours on end without a break. Your eyes are feeling glassy, your brain is muddled and your back (and derrière!) are sore from prolonged periods of sitting. When you get to this point it’s time to get up and move around

Getting up and walking around returns much needed blood-flow to your body and your brain, and helps straighten out the tiredness that comes from inactivity. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Or, if the weather is a bit crap then even just standing by a window will benefit you by extending the distance of focus for your eyes. Our cave-dwelling ancestors didn’t spend all day staring into the short distance, and this evolution means our eyesight needs to be stretched to long distances in order to not become strained.

Bonus points: get up and move around before you get to full fatigue.

It’s easy to forget to take breaks when you’re caught up in your work, so taking regular breaks will keep you from getting to this fatigued state. If you find you seem to forget to take a break, maybe you just need to schedule this in every hour or so. Your body and brain will thank you for it.

Happiness Boost #2: Meditate

Meditation is awesome and it’s not just me saying that. Research has shown time and again how beneficial meditation is in positively impacting anxiety, depression and stress, improving our relationships as well as helping to boost creativity, focus and happiness. No longer just the practice of monks and mystics, meditation has been adopted worldwide to improve lives and overall wellbeing. Taking some time out – even just a few minutes – can help focus your mind and reduce stress, and meditation is a great way to enhance the benefits you experience from a break.

Bonus points: practice every day for even more benefits

Bonus resource: Personally I really like guided meditation as it takes the pressure off me having to sit in silence and attempt to still my monkey-mind in full swing. Being able to hand my thoughts over to the process of just listening in really helps me feel calmer and more centred right away. It is because of this that I created a series of meditations to help with common work- and life-related problems, two of which can be accessed for free as part of my self-care series – a five-day email course that was created to help bloggers and online creatives implement a self-care plan in order to get more done.

Want to get these meditations? Enter your details below for access:

Happiness Boost #3: Daydream

I love me some daydreaming. I’m a big ol’ dreamer from way back. I love to just sit (or lay down!) and think, letting my mind wander all over the place. I adore exploring my mind for ideas on living an amazing life I love. The more I allow myself to stretch the possibilities of what I want and what I could create, the more intuitive I become. This holds me in good stead in shaping a meaningful life, and as a result I have some pretty amazing visions for my future, which in turn guides the work I do in the present to create these dreams.

I find it's important to let go of the ‘how’ when dreaming. Trying to figure out the ‘how’ only puts limits on what you envision and it is the expansive nature of daydreaming that gives you the best insights into what you truly want. Just go with the flow and see what you can come up with.

Sometimes when we’re working on the beginning stages of a project (such as starting our wonderful new blog!) we can lose sight of the bigger picture. Daydreaming can help you reconnect with the reasons why you started out on this project and help you fall back in love with it, instead of just feeling bogged down by all the work.

Bonus points: try journalling your thoughts

I love journalling and often find that my true thoughts magically start to appear on the page when I put my thoughts down in writing. I try not to question what I will write but instead just let it just happen. Intuition plays a big part here and I often leave a journalling session feeling less burdened and clearer on what to do next.

Happiness Boost #4: Get in touch with a loved one. Connect with others.

Spending so much time alone can be detrimental to our happiness. Loneliness and isolation quickly become regular features in our lives if we block out our relationships because we’ve ‘got too much to do.’

I’m speaking from experience here, my friends. I love spending time alone, but know that too much is not good for me. As I tend to be a bit of a homebody, having work I enjoy to keep me busy often means I don’t always book time in to spend with others. However, too long between catch ups with family and friends means I become grumpy and a bit depressed, not to mention feeling guilty that I’ve been neglecting my loved ones. I have found it’s better to just make this a regular priority, and get so much benefit when I do.

The trick is to find the balance between your commitment to your dream and taking the best care of yourself by cultivating your relationships. This may take time, but by taking time to be mindful you will naturally attune your intuition and recognise how much time you can spend alone before it becomes unhealthy and unproductive.

Bonus points: spend time in person with loved ones. Technology is fantastic at helping us humans stay in touch with each other but it will never replace the benefits we get from the eye contact, touch and connection we get from a face-to-face experiences.

Happiness Boost #5: Rest. Nap. Chill out.

Sometimes you just need to stop and switch off. If your mind reaches a point where concentration feels impossible, you’re not going to be able to get much done. Even if you’ve been loving the work you’re doing, your brain will eventually reach a point where it needs a break, and if you don’t listen in, your mood can go south very quickly. Taking a nap, reading a book or just doing something restful can help you reset your headspace and allow you to refresh a tired mind.

While it may feel counterproductive to stop work, getting some rest may just help you get your happiness back on track and allow you to return to your work feeling positive and re-energised.

Bonus points: sometimes you just need to call it a day. The work may feel super important and must be done as a matter of urgency but spending your time feeling jumbled and frustrated is not going to allow you to produce the best outcome, and if a break isn’t going to cut the mustard then maybe you just need to accept that you’ve done all you can for the day. If you do this, it’s important not to beat yourself up for not working – the benefits you get from stepping away from your work will be hampered by guilt and stress over not working.  Enjoy the break guilt-free, and return to your work tomorrow, refreshed from the space you've given yourself.

Want a handy reference of all these tips? Download the free cheatsheet below:

I hope these tips have helped you add a boost of happiness to your work and life. Do you practice any of these already? What is your favourite? Leave a comment below.

Three ways to journal for a happy life

I love me some tasty journalling. Writing has always been my thing so I know this is one of the greatest ways to get myself out of a spiral when my head and heart are feeling all tangled up.

While journalling can and should be done in your own personal style, I definitely find that I look to different ways when I'm looking to solve different problems.

1. Go big and sketch it out

When I'm feeling really low or that I'm a bit lost, I take out a piece of A3 paper and in the middle of the blank sheet I write down a question or a theme for what I'm hoping to understand. In my life, I've been very unhappy in my career (part of the reason it has been so important for me to find my passion, and create this space for sharing ideas) and so an example of something I might have journalled would be a question like "How the hell do I get myself out of my stupidly horrid job?" I like to think a bit of humour mixed with a dose of desperation really drives home the message! From this central question I then start to brainstorm outward. I put down words or lists of things related, so in this example I might write down a bunch of alternate careers or jobs to see if anything else jumps out at me. If so, then I explore that further by brainstorming what it would take to start a new career. I might write down all the options for how to leave the job or make it better, however grandiose the suggestion ("just quit!" has been a recurring favourite over the years), again looking for ways to tease out these options. I do this until the page is full or until I'm feeling much more relaxed as now I have had a vent as well as hopefully written out a map of what to do next. Works like a charm.

2. Back to basics

Old-school-journal style has been my preferred method of late. I think this may be due to the type of delving and reflection I've been undertaking when it comes to intentionally creating a purposeful, engaged life. When I'm feeling stuck or mentally jammed I get out my journal, my favourite pencil and just write the first thing that comes into my mind. Then I keep going until it feels right to stop. I also love some deep journalling while travelling and find I can't get enough of writing down my thoughts. Rather than writing about where I've been and what I've seen, journalling while travelling gives me the best opportunity to really listen to my thoughts and uncover what is most important to me, and to come up with ideas and ways to improve my happiness. For me, being away from home quiets all the usual noise and I'm tuned straight into what is true in my life. Pretty powerful stuff, right? Writing this all down in my journal is the best way I know to get it all down.

3. Say it loud and say it proud!

If I am in a hurry or as I'm falling asleep, it's not always the easiest to access a journal or jumbo piece of paper, so this is where an old fashioned dictaphone comes in handy. Well, these days it's not so old fashioned as most phones have some sort of voice recording functionality. Many is the time where I've mumbled something semi-coherent into my phone at 2:00 in the morning to make sure I don't forget a good idea or to remind myself to do something the next day. Indeed sometimes saying something can work even better than writing as speaking is a lot quicker than writing. Just get it down!

The important thing for me is to tune into my thoughts as I know that deep down, I know what it is that will help me be happier - I just need to listen. And then write all that gold down, or it'll be lost.

These are some of my favourite ways to vent frustrations or explore new ideas, and it can also be rewarding and enlightening to read or listen back to these brainstorms when facing a similar problem or looking for ways to tackle life. You already have the answers. You just need to look a bit more clearly.

How about you? Do you enjoy journalling? If so, what are your tried and tested ways? I am always looking to learn more about peoples' processes so please let me know in the comments below.