5 Self-Care Tips for Chronic Illness Bloggers and Group Admins
I got a question on my Facebook page about how to practice self-care way as a blogger, community or Facebook group moderator or, group member. Sue said “I love my little group and mostly find it rewarding and supportive but at times I find it overwhelming.”
Being a chronic illness blogger or group moderator is a passion project. Connecting with the community of others like you, sharing support and information can be one of the most meaningful things you can do.
It also never stops. The Internet happens 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and there’s always more you can do to. But when you have a chronic illness, it’s already taking up a fair amount of your time. In fact, I have often argued that it’s a full-time job. And now you’re supposed to add all this online stuff?
No one ever talks about how exhausting it is. If you want to last and to continue loving what you do, it is essential to take care of yourself. Here are five tips for self-care when you are a chronic illness blogger or group
Posting regularly helps the people with whom you’re connecting know when they can expect to see you. But you don’t have to do it every day. Once or twice a week is fine for blog posts and a few times a day in your group and/or on social media to support the work you do.
And then start talking to people. Because regardless of all of the articles about how to be a social media machine, at its core it really is just about having conversations.
I have written before about how I feel I have found my tribe, the place I belong, in the online community. These kinds of conversation can be intoxicating and invigorating and before you know it, you are on Twitter at 1 AM. It’s wonderful to talk to your peeps, but if you don’t set some boundaries, you are going to wreck yourself.
So much of learning to manage your energy and live better with your chronic illness is about figuring out where your limits are and (most of the time) working within them. And this means setting boundaries for what you do. It can be hard to say no to spending time with friends or family, but you do. Because you have to.
But chatting on Facebook or Twitter, that’s easy, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. Yes, you can do it in your PJs lying on the couch with the dog on your stomach. But it is actually takes quite a lot of energy, as well. The constant nature of social media means you can end up in a situation where you never get any rest. Make sure that doesn’t happen by organizing your day. Decide how often you will be on social media and for how long. Set times when you are not online. Maybe even turn off your phone.
I know, that’s crazy talk. If you can’t make yourself turn it off, at least turn off social media notifications. You might be surprised how blissfully these for your life can get without the constant buzzing and beeping.
Automate & schedule
Whenever possible, schedule as much as you can. This enables you to a work ahead. You can write posts for your blog or social media when you have the energy and schedule them for publication days or even a week or two ahead. Then you can focus your energy on the conversations that are created because of some of these posts.
Pinned posts on Facebook or an automated Direct Message on Twitter can be great ways of saying welcome to new members or followers. Even want to include a mention of the fact that you have a chronic illness, too, and need to conserve your energy. Make a note to yourself to get in touch with them. Not immediately, sometime within the next week will be just fine.
You don’t have to do this alone. If you are a moderator or group admin, get people to help you. Find the people who offering solid information and support in the group and invite them to become more involved. Talk about alternating with being the lead so everyone who is in that supportive role gets some predictable time off. This is invaluable — it helps you get the rest you need so you can be fully engaged when it is your turn to moderate the group
If you are blogger, ask people to share their story or specific information in a guest post. Perhaps do the same for them. You will give each other a day off, and share your message with new people.
Spend time in real life
Step away from the computer on a regular basis. Put your phone down. Read a book, go for walk, spend some time with friends laughing and having a good meal. Time away from the screen is important for balance. And having an off-line life will also give you more to post about!
How do you take care of yourself when blogging or running a group?