How to Find your MOJO again
I don’t know about you, but if you are anything like me, there are a number of days in a month which I would categorise as down days. Or just downright crappy days!
I have been slowly weaning off an anti-depressant. I tried going cold turkey and it nearly killed me. So I did some research and I am now slowly weaning off, using a 10% drop system every few weeks. I have been at it for six months, and by my calculations have another year to go. The problem is, that even with the small incremental drops, the side effects are drastic. My mood bottoms out, I can barely get out of bed, never mind write, engage on social media or do my day job! I feel like a failure. Add to that the ‘normal’ PMT and peri-menopause symptoms and you have a life lived on a pogo stick.
As a creative you probably go through very similar fluctuations of your own. I wanted to share with you a few tactics that I employ during these times which may help you through your own tough times.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
If you are anything like me you are driven and switched ‘on’ most of the time. Your head never stops with thoughts and you are always planning the next venture or reading advice or learning how to get a grip of your SEO. When you wake up one morning and the world feels like cardboard and it takes gargantuan effort to function, let alone write, you feel angry at yourself.
At times like these I have to make a mental note to be good to myself. So what, if you don’t feel like writing today? You may feel bad about it but remind yourself that even the greatest writers in history have off days. It’s all part of the human journey through life. Maybe your body is telling you it needs some down time. So use this time to switch off. Don’t think about what you’re not doing, think about what your body is telling you it needs. Take a day off from your online ventures, hell, take a few days. Put your energy into what you need to do, take the kids to school, go to work, walk the dog. Then use your free time to relax. Read a book, take a walk, a bath, sleep. Don’t feel guilty. You know in your heart this will pass.
GET AHEAD OF THE GAME
In reverse you will have days when you are switched on. Days when you have boundless amounts of energy and a seemingly never ending supply of enthusiasm. Use these days to get ahead. Write two or three blog posts. Edit all those photos you took the other day and get them ready for publishing. Brainstorm your next steps, what do you want to do, how will you get there, what steps do you need to take, are there any courses would you like to enrol on or posts you want to read. These efforts will help you relax a little more on your off days. There is not such a sense of urgency when you know you have a week’s worth of posts set up to publish.
As I only publish once a week, I am at the point where I am four weeks ahead right now. That’s great for me because there are a number of factors in my life at the moment, which are slowing down my travels and I have been limited to the amount of trips I can do. I am much more relaxed about these blips though because I have plenty stacked up and ready to go.
Part of your life as an online entrepreneur is engaging with your audience. I like to post an Instagram or Pinterest picture and then go through the photos of those I follow, like and leave comments. Leaving comments grows your connections and I have people all over the world who I talk to on a regular basis through these social media apps. However, when I’m feeling down the last thing I feel like doing is being all perky and positive. I don’t even feel like posting my own photos. The task of finding something in my albums and then writing some witty ditty and hashtags has me hiding under my covers. This is where Tailwind comes in. I have been using a scheduling app for a while, but recently changed to Tailwind having seen their promotions. I currently use their free version and I will see how it goes before I invest further. However on the face of it, it’s a fantastic app which will let you schedule posts a week in advance. It lets you set how many times a day you want to post and then it tells you which times are best for your audience based upon the performance of your previous posts. Add to that the fact that you can save your favourite hashtags and all of a sudden, the only thing you need to do, is press ‘post’ when it pings you. Now even I can manage that on a bad day.
TAKE A BREAK
This is akin to being kind to you, but it’s more of a physical than mental step. Do just that, take a break. Your writing suffers when you’re heads not in the game, your audience will see it, you will see it. You have worked hard to get where you are, so you deserve to only post your best. If you’re not writing your best at the moment, take a break.
Tell yourself you are taking two days off. And do just that. Don’t ruminate about what you ‘should’ be doing/writing/posting. Fill your time with other things. Go for a walk, this is my biggest pick me up. I usually run most days, but on my down days I really cannot face running, so to counter my guilt somewhat I will go on a walk instead. It’s amazing how energising being in the sunshine, the fresh air, nature, can be. You’d be surprised. I’ve sometimes given myself permission to take a few days off, and after only one day I’ve woken the next morning and I’m back in the game.
It’s tempting when you’re miserable to start comparing yourself to other bloggers. You start looking at their numbers and beat yourself up. “I’ll never be that big!”, !what are they doing that I’m not?” stop it. This is your walk, you are not them, they probably don’t even write about the same things. No good can come of this comparison. I know. I do it. I spend a day thinking “what the hell am I doing? Wasting all my time writing for no-one”, oh woe is me!
The truth of it is, you are not in the right frame of mind for this malarkey. Compare by all means, but do it when you’re feeling positive and do it with a positive frame of mind. Be objective. The questions you should be asking are things like..what are they doing that I like? What are their most popular posts? What is it about their website that appealing? What don’t I like? Where else are they? Instagram? Pinterest? Facebook? How do they translate across all platforms and what can I learn from them.
I hope you have found this useful.
If you too are suffering with coming off your medication or know someone who is, visit THIS SITE. There is a wealth of help and advice and some very lovely people.
Wishing you wellness and happiness