Tips on How to Recover from Blog Burnout

burnout

This post is by Michelle from Wicked Whimsy
We've all been there: burned out, frustrated, staring at the screen and willing inspiration to come to us. Obviously, the best way to beat burnout is to avoid it, and an older IFB post covers that topic quite well. That doesn't change the fact that sometimes, burnout sneaks up on you before you even realize it, and then all of the prevention in the world won't do any good!

So what do you do in that scenario? I can't guarantee they'll work for everyone, but here's some of my tried and true methods:

     

  • Meditate. I know it sounds really hokey, but hear me out! We can all agree that burnout is a mental block and that it's made worse by overthinking; you can't think of ideas, and then you feel like a failure for not being able to think of an idea. You beat yourself up, you become stressed out, and then after all of this you feel even more like a failure. It's a vicious cycle. Meditation is proven to help anxiety and stress – once you're de-stressed and less anxious, it's a lot easier to regain your inspiration and work ethic. Best of all, you don't need any fancy equipment or tactics to do it. Just sit in a comfortable position and count your breaths (one on inhale, two on exhale). Try doing it for ten minutes (set an alarm on your phone, glancing at the clock is distracting!) and see how much better you feel at the end!
  • Yoga or other exercise. I particularly like yoga – the focus on breathing makes it nearly impossible to think about anything except for what you're doing. If yoga's not your thing, try pilates, running, Nia…you're sure you find some kind of exercise that helps you reach a calmer, happier state. I recommend the Yoga for Every Body DVD, I have it and love it. Bonus points for your health, too!
  • DIY something. Browse through the Craftster forums or the Outsapop archives and find something you like, then go to town! Sewing, crocheting, knitting – whatever floats your boat. You'll have your mind taken off the burnout during the process, and at the end, you'll have something to show for it. Plus, you can do a post about it later.
  • Read a fiction book. This gives you some “brain off” time. I suggest something fluffy yet fun. Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, something along those lines. Another variation on this one is…
  • Watch a movie! Rent a movie or a season of one of your favorite shows (no distracting commercials). Have a marathon. I guarantee you'll feel better afterwards.
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If you're really burned out, take a week or so off, if possible. Line up some guests posts or schedule some posts you already had written. By day four or day five you should be feeling much better, but you might have some lingering apprehension about trying to write for fear of getting stuck again. I suggest surrounding yourself with inspiration, going through old lists for posts ideas (if you have them – I keep a large file with all of my ideas), and forcing yourself to write. What you initially write might not be the best you've ever written, but it will get you past that block and back on track.

Image by zhushman / CC BY 2.0

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30 Responses

  1. Ashe Mischief

    These are all super great tips! I think one way to definitely avoid burn out is to do those regularly… I’m constantly reading fiction and watching tv/movies, and they provide me constant inspiration and a necessary break on marathon writing days.
    .-= Ashe Mischief´s last blog ..IFB Presents: Links á la Mode =-.

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  2. eyeliah

    Burn out it tough, I find the best way to avoid it is by having a schedule (mine is monthly) to organize my posts and alway have the next post idea. And yes, meditation and yoga and renting movies are huge apectes of my life. Plus, I started some diy jewelyry lately so you really nailed it Michelle.
    .-= eyeliah´s last blog ..Americas Next Top Model Season 13 Episode 12 =-.

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  3. Sheena

    This is some great advice and I definitely agree that these are some great ways to deal with burnout. I think meditation and exercise are great ways to clear your mind and movies/reading are great for finding inspiration. Sometimes, you just have to get away until you feel that you’ve gotten that inspiration/mojo back and these are some great ways to do so.
    .-= Sheena´s last blog ..Inspiring Friends =-.

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  4. lisa

    Great advice. I work in software when I’m not blogging, which means I spend a large chunk of my waking life in front of a computer. Sometimes the burnout gets to the point where the thought of even looking at a computer is revolting. When that happens, I like to spend time with my friends or my boyfriend, watch movies, paint my nails, go dancing…basically, anything that doesn’t involve staring at a monitor.
    .-= lisa´s last blog ..Two of Hearts Sample Sale =-.

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  5. Fashion Without Guilt

    This was written for me. I am going through this episode as we speak. I have no inspriation and have had a drop in reading. It is taken down my spirit. I will use these methods for sure.

    I need to step back and just take time for me and then give back to my readers. Thank you so much for this. I need it. 🙂
    .-= Fashion Without Guilt´s last blog ..Black Friday Websites 2009 =-.

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  6. Grace

    I don’t feel like blogger burn-out occurs because I am too stressed out. Stress, I can handle. Burn-out really happens, for me, when there is a lack of inspiration. My best advice is to surround yourself with inspiration. Read blogs, magazines and books that are written in a thought-provoking style. Go to art museums. Look at your favorite designer’s new collection. Go window shopping. Anything that gets those fashion juices flowing is going to parlay itself into a new blog post!
    .-= Grace´s last blog ..I’m so sorry to do this to you… =-.

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  7. Piper

    Great post! And to add on to what Grace said…I find that when I’m suffering burn out or stress I just need to leave my home and find beauty in the world. Look for the types of things that inspire me. As bloggers, I think we sometimes feel too much pressure to be sitting in front of a computer screen.

    And Michelle I love your idea of a DIY project. I think I’m going to try to find one to do this weekend. Thanks for the great tips! 🙂
    .-= Piper´s last blog ..When Mom Joins Facebook =-.

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  8. Anna Jane

    Great post… and I’m sure this applies to bloggers of all kinds out there.
    I also find having a nice hot bath works wonders for getting those clogs turning – some of my best posts to date have been thought up whilst enjoying a soak! xxx
    .-= Anna Jane´s last blog ..A bit of Fashion Zen =-.

    Reply
  9. Retro Chick

    Great post Michelle!

    What I do when I feel uninspired is just give up on my blog for a day and read other peoples, read magazines, books, watch movies. Like others have said it’s about finding inspiration again. When you go looking for inspiration it can be hard to find.
    .-= Retro Chick´s last blog ..Countdown with Class… =-.

    Reply
  10. HauteWorld

    Terrific advice… my burnouts have less to do with lack of inspiration and more to do with the fact that most of our daily lives involve sitting in front of the computer or another digital device (blackberries, iPhones etc.). As Lisa said, sometimes just the idea of spending another few hours in front of a computer screen to blog or even browse other sites is unbearable.

    I think anything that gets you away from the online-world should definitely help clear the mind and revitalize it. Spending time with friends, family, going out and just enjoying the city/nature (depending on where you live), doing sports or any other hobby and not thinking about blogs… or even fashion, will help. My entire blog content relies on me going out and posting about my discoveries in the ‘real world’ anyway, so in a way I’m doing my blog a favor by removing myself from the internet. Sometimes I find that even reading too many websites or constantly checking online/press/tv media will stump the mind, because many of these will cover the same topics over and over again.
    .-= HauteWorld´s last blog ..Frimousses de Créateurs (Paris, France) =-.

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  11. x Corrine/Frock & Roll x

    I love these tips. Sometimes, when you’re experienced a burn-out, the hardest thing to do is actually walking away from the computer with the acceptance that you’re just not being productive, but it’s the very best thing to do!

    Reply
  12. Bag Brag

    I am running three blog simultaneously and I sometimes feel that I am paying too much attention to just one. Like a mother, there are no favourites and all deserves equal treatment but how do you balance it?

    Reply
  13. Lilly

    Hi IFBs,

    What HauteWorld wrote in her answer is pretty much true for me, too. I never feel uninspired…those little butterflies always linger literally around my head. For me it is more the question how to integrate blogging sustainably into my daily schedule…because in the worst case it consumes several hours and you feel guilty for neglecting your duties and the people you love! Taking a break would work for both scenarios, that is for sure!

    Lilly
    .-= Lilly´s last blog ..Links á la Mode: Food for Thought =-.

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  14. Alice

    Great post!

    I tend to feel not as much uninspired as overwhelemed. Blogging involves not only writing posts but reading other blogs, surfing the internet. Spending so much time on the internet can result in a burnaout. I usually try to do some sort of decluttering, reorganize my wardrobe, clean the house, etc.

    Another way is to forget about bloggin and just look around without an agenda.
    .-= Alice´s last blog ..White Rabbit is again in Links à la Mode! =-.

    Reply
  15. Michelle

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I appreciate it, and contributions on

    Lilly, Alice, & HauteWorld – I wish that was it with me; when I’m burned out it’s a complete lack of inspiration. Which is muuuch harder to regain!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Saturday Shoelust =-.

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  16. honeybeflyy

    Great list of tips!

    I’ve had one “burnout” since I started blogging just a short time ago. I didn’t blog for about 10 days straight. Nor did I let myself worry about it (I did feel guilty, though). I don’t think it was lack of inspiration. I wrote down a list with many ideas for posts during that time, which I’m still working off of, and it seems like break did a lot of good. I am re-energized! Perhaps we all need mini vacations every now and then, just like the necessary time away from anything else…

    I’m glad the community is gearing up for recovery for the next leg in this “fashion bloger marathon”. You all have me worried with all of this burnout talk!
    .-= honeybeflyy´s last blog ..What’s On My Christmas List and A Complete Holiday Shopping Guide =-.

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  17. KIRAFASHION

    I try to do almost everything! Trip once in a while for a no internet access place is also useful…it is important to disconnect at your free time…I love all your posts!
    So helpful!!!
    It is not easy to be a blogger…it is so true….

    kisses for all of you 🙂
    .-= KIRAFASHION´s last blog ..RETRÔ!!! =-.

    Reply
  18. Toucan Boutique

    I like all the tips, but also think that setting goals (like one post a day for a whole week, then two posts a day for a week, then back to one) keeps me motivated. And when I stick to them and actually achieve them all, I feel even more inspired to keep going. And if I don’t, I shake it off, go for a walk and start over…

    Reply
  19. Prêt-à-Porter P

    i think a good tip is to only post about stuff that you are truly interested and passionate about. and not repost the same thing that 347027350 other blogs already have. It’s pretty annoying to me when i see blogs that recycle this same content or have the same sort of formula of i love balmain this, i diy studded that, i want these pair of Topshop, Sam Edelman, Acne, whatever wedge boots….

    Reply
  20. IdStyle

    great ideas, i like to sketch, doodle or DIY (as you suggested), movies and fiction books are fantastic ideas too! Anything that let’s me “play” is the perfect break and usually sparks some creativity along the way!
    .-= IdStyle´s last blog ..Links A La Mode: Food For Thought =-.

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  21. Jenny

    i know how this feels, i used to get the same feeling playing video games from sunrise to sunset, its always good to take a break from blogging just like video games 🙂 x x x
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Nicole Kidman’s Hands Uncovered =-.

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  22. Artistic AYA

    I try to surround myself with inspiration to avoid blogger burnout: pictures, gallery visits, parties, flowers, music. And when I really can’t come up with any words…I just draw pictures.
    .-= Artistic AYA´s last blog ..Overachiever =-.

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  23. meg, reckless daughter

    I was just thinking about “blogger’s block”, as I like to call it, earlier this week! great timing for me to find this 🙂

    I don’t get it all that often but every few months it rears it’s head. I agree with the above things but I especially like having an emergency post (or posts) that is worthy of the rest of your blog. That way you have a small but helpful stockpile to choose from and you can work on getting re-inspired in the meantime. I’m still learning how to deal with burnout but it’s like every other area in life, sometimes you just have one of those days/weeks/months.
    .-= meg, reckless daughter´s last blog .."god ain’t gonna put it in your lap" =-.

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  24. Sonia

    Good tips!!
    I have just tried meditating- it actually works 🙂
    .-= Sonia´s last blog ..Howl Clothing… =-.

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  25. agha wajid

    Early on, when I first started blogging I used to get quite fatigued. I felt like I had to put out content 2-3 times a week.

    Now I tend to focus on putting content out once a week or once a fortnight, an dfocuss on making trying to make it good quality. 🙂

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