Do You Suffer from Blog Stress?

Can blogging, like anything else, become a chore, a requirement, a source of stress? Can the life be sucked right out of it because we’ve made it be something we have to do?

I first began thinking about this after reading a post from Melanie B. Cee of sparksfromacombustiblemind who reprinted and answered questions from Salted Caramel. You can read Salted Caramel’s original post here.

Here are the questions:

What, in your opinion, is blogger burnout?

Have you ever suffered from blog-related stress?

What steps could you suggest to prevent blogging from becoming a stressful activity?

In my opinion, burnout is extreme mental fatigue caused by stress. This fatigue can manifest in very serious physical concerns as well – insomnia, a lowered immune system, blood pressure issues, heart attacks, strokes, and lots of other health problems.

Can bloggers become burned out? I believe we can. If given the right context, anything can be mentally fatiguing, as most of us know very well.

We have such a period coming up soon; in much of the world, December can produce a lot of stress. There is pressure to produce “perfect” gifts, meals, and happy family events. A lot of this pressure comes from advertisers but there are other avenues of cause, including the pressures we place on ourselves.

If the stressors are continuous and/or intense, there’s going to be a point at which we become exhausted by them and can’t go on or are only firing on one mental cylinder. We have to take a holiday, or a stress leave, or a “mental health” day, or maybe several days. In the aftermath of extremely stressful situations, people can develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

I am in my second year of a very stressful job as a CEO. It’s action-packed and very fluid, no matter how much anyone tries to impose a schedule on it. We have detailed, major inspections that we have to pass. We often deal with unhappy people who might head toward wigging out. I’m not afraid to get tough and I have that card stowed in my pocket. My “office time” when I get caught up on paperwork and emails occurs when most people have long gone home.

In my first year, there were periods when I recognized that I was nearing burnout, and I had to take action on it. I reorganised, I decentralised, and I reassigned duties and tasks. Not only did I have to create space for my employees to relax, I had to create space for me to do the same.

The idea of “productivity” has produced a false economy, in my opinion. We’re supposed to make use of all kinds of tips and tricks for reducing stress while on the job (do you see a contradiction there?) when the real stress reducers are reasonably simple and mostly instinctive: spend some time away from work doing other things and being with the people who love you. Having some time to yourself to do yoga is better than squeezing in some yoga between meetings. If that’s what you have to do, then the yoga just becomes another stressor. Does that make us any more productive? Or do we just become used up and unable to have a life outside of work?

So, do you need to take more vitamin D or do whatever the latest stress-reducing fad is or do you need to draw a boundary around some space for non-work?

Some stress is good for us, of course. It can keep us on our toes, alert and ready to go. But like anything else, too much can really be too much.

Blogging is the same. There has to be a boundary around it so that you don’t burn out or find it stressful. I’ve noted lots of bloggers who step away for a while, or who close comments on their posts or who still read but don’t post any more. I’ve done the same at times. One year, I was away from my blog for four months.

For me, blogging is a stress reliever. It takes me away from work, gives me a change of scene and I get to see what my blogging friends are doing. I like watching basketball for the same reasons (well, I’m not friends with any b-ballers, but you know 🙂 ). I don’t let those things consume me, though. That would take all the life out of them.

What do you think?

58 thoughts on “Do You Suffer from Blog Stress?”

      1. Balance, I think, is something we all have to maintain on a daily basis. Not sure it happens easily on its own, unfortunately. Thank you for your lovely comments on my site 🙂

  1. I totally agree with you, Lynette. Balance is key. I used to get stressed with blogging, but something shifted and now, it’s a way to relax with friends. I’ve learned that the more I have to do, the more I’m able to accomplish without getting stressed out.

  2. Totally agree! I had to quit my job as a in home caregiver because of the stress it was putting on my body, mind and soul,,,as well as the family! I was getting physically sick even thinking about work.Blogging and photography were an escape for a while, but I soon realized that being a caregiver was not the “job” I was supposed to have.
    Things have gotten better and after the holidays I will be looking into working from home!
    Thanks for sharing this!!

    1. You’re very welcome! 🙂
      Sometimes we have to make that decision to pull away and think about other employment. Life is too short and we should at the very least enjoy our work to some extent.
      Good luck with your job search. 🙂

  3. Blogging can be tiring. The more effort you invest in it, the harder it is to take a break, and when you mix that with a strong-willed personality, it can become problematic.

    The great thing about blogging, though, and personal blogging especially, is that we don’t have to post every day to keep our blogs alive and healthy.

    Stats may drop, but readers understand and tend to stay.

    1. I agree. Blogging can become a bit of a treadmill if we allow it.
      Yes, a personal blog is less demanding and it’s easier to maintain, but I’ve also never had a business blog. I imagine that those can push the stress levels!

  4. That is a big part of why I focus on more than just one thing on my blog. If I start to feel burned out on writing book reviews, I focus on pictures or recipes. If I feel pressure to post a photo, but haven’t gotten the opportunity to get out and take new pictures, I have something else to post instead. Then sometimes I just need a day or two to not think about it. Sometimes offline life gets crazy and I don’t have the mental bandwidth to do anything. Most of the time I don’t feel too bad about giving myself those breaks because I know they are important.

    1. I don’t think you should feel bad about giving yourself breaks. Life is, well, life. It’s unpredictable and doesn’t turn easily. As non-commercial blogging people we should understand that.

      I like how you mix things up on your blog. It’s so true that sometimes we need the space to think. 🙂

      1. I had attempted to keep all those different aspects separate. A blog for reviews. A different one for photos. Another one for art/crafty stuff. Trying to keep them all active burned me out. I’m so much happier with it all now that it is all combined into one place.

  5. Good post, Lynette. I just hit my 8-year anniversary for blogging this month! I can’t believe it’s been that long. I’ve never found blogging stressful and almost always have ideas for posts. My problem is that blogging sometimes gets in the way of me getting other things done, especially writing my novel. I don’t really get stressed, but I get frustrated with myself for procastinting with other things by putting blogging first. Sometimes I stress about finding the right photos for my posts, but that’s about it.

    Maybe you can help me with something. I have a friend who is constantly stressed over her job. She has absolutely no time for much of anything else, including our friendship. When we do eventually touch base, she is almost in tears with how her job is getting to her. I never know what to say to her, because I think she needs to do what you suggest in this post. I don’t have stress in my life, so she just figures I don’t understand. But seeing that you’ve figured out ways to help with your stress, I know that it’s possible. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to be there for her?

    1. Congratulations on your anniversary! 🙂 Right? Amazing to think you’ve been here that long! By blogging standards you are an old-timer. 😉

      I think that procrastinating is my brain’s way of slowing me down and letting me mull things over. I’ve learned to listen to it and ask myself why I’m doing it. I can usually come up with the answer.

      Thanks for your question. First of all, I think we all have stress. For instance, lately you’ve concerned about what’s happening in the world. I don’t think that’s any less a stressor than what someone experiences in a new and/or difficult job.

      Sometimes people can get themselves into a real jam and just can’t see what they need to see. Others can see because they’re more objective and they know what needs to be done, but saying it may be a whole different matter. This can be difficult even for the closest of friends. If you say anything, will she see you as unsupportive and critical? If you don’t, might she be upset that you didn’t say anything? So difficult to know what to do and I have no doubt you already have those worries.

      Maybe she hates her job but has to stay in it because of all the bills, etc. or maybe her relationship is breaking down or she doesn’t know how to handle the job but is too proud to admit that.

      In my case, I wanted the job, and I knew it was going to be hellish at first. I am over the worst hurdles but it continues to be very demanding, and I knew that would be the case too. So, I knew what I was getting into (sometimes, people really don’t, or think they know when they don’t). What I didn’t know was how I would come close to losing myself in it. A couple of other people pointed it out, one a good friend, the other my M. They required me to listen and I did. I started building some boundaries. I set myself a firm limit on home time and started putting the phone down to have dinner with M. Saturday is my day off – I don’t work at all on Saturdays. I started reorganising and delegating tasks to others. This was all very scary at first because I thought I needed to be all over everything, all the time, but that’s not true.

      Maybe all your friend wants is someone to listen, or maybe you should offer your insights and let her know that what you’re seeing and hearing is worrying you.

      I don’t know if any of this is helpful, but I send good wishes to you and your friend. It sounds like you are a very caring friend to her and that she maybe needs to hear you.

      1. Hi Lynette. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I know your time is limited and it means a lot.

        First let me say that, yes, I do get stressed about what’s happening in the world. I feel I can compartmentalize that though, because it isn’t affecting my every day life like a stressful job would do.

        Much of what you said about why my friend is so stressed out is pretty much right on. She does feel she needs to work for financial reasons. She has literally cried over her job a couple of times when we got together (and I hurt for her). She usually says she doesn’t want to talk about it or she’ll cry. So I don’t push it. I have to be careful with what I say to her, because since I don’t work, I don’t want her to be resentful. She does take work home with her after regular working hours. Maybe I can suggest what you do.

        BTW, I’m really glad that you were open to advice and set certain borders for yourself. Keep up the good work, and thank you again for your thoughtful response.

  6. Excellent, thought provoking post Lynette. I agree. The struggle to reach readers and post meaningful blogs can take its toll. If you make your posts all about getting followers and likes, you are bound to be stressed and this will show in your posts, possibly pushing more readers away. It is helpful to realize when you need to step away, before the stress causes bigger problems. I think it also can help to ask your readers questions or for their opinions, just as you did here. There are so many bloggers I used to read who have simply dropped out of blogging without any notice. I miss them and hope they are doing well. If bogging ever becomes a chore, I hope I have the courage to take a break. Allan

    1. Hi Allan, thank you very much. 🙂

      I like the point you make about chasing followers and likes. I think that can have an effect on your self-esteem if you’re a bit tender that way. And I think you make a good point about pushing readers away if that’s what you’re interested in.

      Yes, lots of bloggers just stop. I have often wondered about them too. How they are, what they’re doing now.

  7. Blogging, for me, is a replacement for e-mailing the 40 or 50 people (family and friends) who wanted to be kept up to date on my travels. Blogging means I can put in as many photos as I want, without having an e-mail unmanagably big, and not have to send it out three times because Yahoo didn’t like my sending to too many people at once. So, if I have nothing going on in my life to share, I don’t worry about it. If I forget to carry the camera, too bad. I have no expectation of getting something out every day – and couldn’t anyway, as I don’t have internet at home, or a smart phone. Communicating with my beloved community is the only responsibility – communicating with the rest of you is a bonus! And a way to find the blogs of like-minded people. I expect I’ll be blogging less as I go into winter mode, with no kayaking unless I go south again, and a lot of hibernating. If people enjoy what I share about my lifestyle, they’ll understand.

    1. Thanks for your comments. 🙂 I know of other bloggers who keep up with family and friends that way. It’s a great way to do it, and yes, you will collect others as you go along. I like landscape photography which is why I stopped at your blog. 🙂

      Enjoy your hibernation – stay warm and cosy and dream of more kayaking to come. 🙂

      1. Glad to know it’s the landscape photography – in the midst of all the rest – that attracted you to my blog in the first place. I enjoy the variety in the natural world that I am privileged to experience.

        Thank you –

  8. Totally agree. On my old blog, I somehow got this maggot in my head that I had to blog every day. I kept it up for over 4 years. I drove myself crazy trying to think of things to blog about. And then, I had to just stop.

    When blogging is not your job, it should be fun and something you look forward to. If it’s not, it probably needs to be set aside for a bit until it becomes enjoyable again. The Internet will still be there when we come back. 🙂

    1. You blogged every day for four years? Wow! I can’t imagine doing that, even though I’ve seen other bloggers posting every day. I would be the same – going crazy trying to think of topics.

      I agree, if it’s not your job, it should be fun and definitely something you look forward to. I agree – the internet will still be there. 🙂

  9. My blog developed a while back into a kind of orderly, regular feature thing… so there’s times when I feel like I have to write up a post when I don’t really want to, but it’s not all that stressful for me. I think that’s the only way you can get stressed by blogging is if you feel like you owe it to yourself or your readers to create something when you’re short of time or lack the desire to do it. Sometimes it’s best to just take a break when the eventual creative funk hits, though I’ve never taken that advice myself in 8 years!

    1. I agree. Feeling like you have to or owe it when you really don’t want to do it is going to create stress. It’s important to take breaks and listen to ourselves on this.

      Congratulations on your eight years. As I commented to another blogger above, that makes you an old-timer. 😉

  10. I do want to post 3 times a week so I feel my pressure to do that, but posting is not a priority and sometimes it feels to post something when I know someone special is dealing with something difficult, and I know they read my posts, my posting might seem to them (struggling for the right adjective) unfeeling. So I stop writing for awhile. I enjoy posting especially when the post is well received and commented on so I will resume maybe today or tomorrow.

    1. I try to post twice a week and sometimes that doesn’t happen. I let it go.

      It’s always great to get a response – we humans like that a lot. 😉 It’s great that you post as a support to others, but that can be draining as well, so I understand why you need to stop for a while. Stopping when you need to is important, no matter what you’re doing.

  11. Great post. I don’t suffer from blogger burnout because I only do it when I feel like it. It’s a recreational activity, somewhat akin to having a couple drinks with friends, most of the time. Sometimes, as in the case of “We Loved Them” , it was something I needed to say, but mostly not. I don’t think any of my twenty or so followers really have any expectations and my “Brand” is a thing of absolutely no consequence, so there’s really no weight on my shoulders at all. Thanks for a good post and stay warm,

    1. Thank you. 🙂

      You have a very healthy attitude toward it. If it’s not a part of work, we do need to treat it as a recreational activity. I think that even those bloggers with a brand can disappear very quickly. Nothing lasts forever…

  12. Great post Lynette. Blogging is everything…we always enjoy while posting our new post, we are stressed if for some reasons we are not able to achieve the goal, we gain knowledge from fellow bloggers posts…but overall how to balance everything should be the best way to enjoy blogging!!

    1. Thank you Deeksha. 🙂

      Yes, I think that having balance is best. Like you, I enjoy putting up a new post and visiting my blogging friends, but I don’t want to be stressed out over it.

  13. Really great post here! I use blogging as a way to reduce stress as well, but sometimes I wonder when I’ll get my post done, especially if we decide to take a trip or when holidays come up. However, limiting myself to just once a week reduces the expectations that I put on myself.

    1. Thank you! 🙂

      I’ll be going on holidays soon and I’ll probably schedule a couple of posts but won’t answer the comments for a few days (I’m going tech free for a week). I wonder about people who go on holidays and still manage to post every day AND respond to comments. I wouldn’t want to do that.

  14. I like your post! I’m getting stress out because of blogging too. I just started to focus more on it last year and I have 10 years of posts I want to share. Its stressing me to write it all. Any advice??

    1. Thank you. 🙂

      Wow – you have ten years of posts? I don’t have any advice really, just a suggestion: perhaps you should just post when you feel like it rather than forcing yourself to be on a schedule, otherwise it sounds as though you will lose the joy of it. Blogging should be fun, not an army march. 😉

      1. i know lol. Cause i really didn’t get into blogging till lately. Hopefully i can manage to post everything and at the same time have fun. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  15. If you’re in charge of your own blog (and don’t have something like, say, a business blog that you need to keep up for someone else), you are able to make your own schedule and whatnot, hopefully freeing you from experiencing burnout issues. That being said, some bloggers still suffer burnout, often from either nasty comments or blogging schedules that are just way too ambitious considering other commitments they have. Just my two cents.

    1. Your two cents are welcome. 🙂

      It’s funny what we can do to ourselves sometimes, the pressures we can exert on ourselves because we think we need to get lots of followers or likes. It’s always nice to be acknowledged but in the long term it won’t matter much. 🙂 Nasty (or provocative) comments can be very problematic. I just thank them for their comments but I won’t acknowledge them farther than that.

  16. I am new at blogs and the whole thing. OMG, SEO, SERP, PPV. DA, PA….WTHWIT (what the hell was I thinking). yeah there’s some stress. I don’t even have my website up yet and its already down. Enough about me, great article even for newbies as myself

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