I knew early on how important writing was to get my feelings out. I was ten years old when I started to journal out my thoughts. After I lost my grandfather and my dog, I was heartbroken and unable to even know how or what to think, let alone say it out loud to anyone.
When I was sexually assaulted in 2003, I stopped writing. I wanted to get rid of anything connected to the before version of myself, so I stopped. I closed myself up and threw away the key. In the moments and years that I needed it the most, I didn’t allow myself to do it.
There are times when I wish that I had kept a journal through those years. I wish that I could look back and see what I was feeling and what I was struggling with within those moments.
In the beginning, I didn’t think of myself as a mental health blogger. I just wanted to write to share my story. I never gave my mental health a thought. I was just a mom struggling through life, thinking that that was just the way that it needed to be.
HOW BLOGGING CAN AFFECT PHYSICAL HEALTH
Before we jump into the mental health benefits of blogging, I wanted to share with you some of the physical benefits of blogging. The studies have been going on since the 1980s according to the American Psychological Association.
A few of the benefits of short-term focused writing can help with (source)…
Enhanced immune function
Lower blood pressure
Decreased heart rate
Lessons sleep disturbances
Reduces asthma and arthritis symptoms
I think it is incredible that writing can not only have mental health benefits but physical benefits for our bodies. I know that I am now going to use writing as my reason for not getting sick very often. Think that is a great idea?!?!
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLOGGING
I want to share with you some of the benefits that I have experienced myself since I have started blogging. Some of these benefits you can feel instantly and some of them take a little while to build up over time.
Benefit #1| The ability to vent and release thoughts. I know that as a woman, I can hold my thoughts in and not share what I am feeling. The emotions build up inside of me and before I realize it, I am blowing up at my kids over something trivial because I just didn’t release the negative thoughts sooner.
There have been times that I have written extremely emotional blog posts and though they are sometimes the hardest ones to write and they leave me feeling drained, I walk away with a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I sleep better once I get those thoughts out of my head.
Benefit #2| I clarify my feelings. There are moments when I just don’t know how I am feeling. Trying to talk to someone seems impossible because I don’t know what to say to them. Writing gives me a chance to get it all out.
It may not make sense at first but once I start writing, I allow myself to just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t interrupt. I will then go back and reread what I wrote and sometimes it is clear as day to me what I was feeling.
Other times, I will send my blog post to a trusted friend and ask her to read it to ensure that it even makes sense. (Sometimes I get caught up in my emotions.) She will then talk to me and put my thoughts and feelings into different words and explain them back to me. She is like a magical translator who makes sure that what I am writing and feeling is being expressed in the blog posts that I write. We should all have someone like that in our life.
Benefit #3| Easier to express my thoughts in writing versus speaking. I can easily get caught up when I am trying to say something emotional. I fumble around as if I can’t keep my thoughts straight.
I don’t have that issue when I start writing. It is easier for me to write out my thoughts and feelings than it is to speak them. I can be more descriptive. I don’t have to worry about emotions taking over and not being able to actually communicate what I need to.
Benefit #4| It took my healing to another level. I am a HUGE advocate of counselling. It should be part of your healing process but there is more to healing than just counselling. You need to create a toolbox that you have access to throughout the healing journey.
When I was pregnant with my third in 2016, I thought that I had the whole mother thing down. I was a “pro” at that point and was ready to bring in baby #3 with no issues. I didn’t have postpartum depression with my first two so I thought I was safe.
It hit me hard. By the time she was three months, I was struggling but hiding that struggle. I wanted to be the woman who could handle her kids, home and life in general. I was ashamed that after the two years of being on my healing journey, I hadn’t gotten any further ahead.
It was then that I realized, it was BECAUSE of the healing journey that I was experiencing this PPD. I had worked through so much sh** and darkness that I was now noticing when I was off. I probably had PPD with my first two but because I was so deep into hiding all of my emotions and all of who I was, it just felt like my normal life.
It wasn’t easy. There were dark days and there still are but I know how to handle the dark days. For the most part, I can feel them coming and I can prepare myself.
Benefit #5| I was no longer alone. As a survivor, we know that we aren’t alone. We know that we aren’t the only person to ever become a victim but that doesn’t mean that it is any less lonely. For so many years, there was this hole inside. I couldn’t fill it. I struggled with it for so long that I thought that I would just need to live with it. I didn’t know how to even fill it.
It was the messages that I started to get. They started to fill that void that I had been feeling for so long. Women that were taking their time to send me messages. Thanking me for sharing my story. Telling me that I wasn’t alone. I was able to build a community around me that understood me. That knew what I was going through and how I was feeling. They understood the messy and the complicated. They were my people and I had been searching for them for so long even when I didn’t realize it.
Benefit #6| Creating a business based on my story. I never thought that I would make blogging my business. It was never in the plan for me. I struggled to know what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be for a very long time. Even now, when someone asks me how I started my business, I tell them that blog coaching fell into my lap with the help of a friend.
I love that I can take my story, my past and use it to help other women. October of this year will be year number seven since I started my blog. WOW!!! I have been blogging for seven years! I love being able to teach women that they can use their experiences to create a business and a life that suits them. Imagine having a business that is based on your story, your experience, your expertise. That is what I can help you with.
Benefit #7| An important piece of my self-care routine. Blogging is more than my business. It is an integral part of my life and my self-care routine. I feel lost if I am not writing. I can’t imagine giving it up. There have been moments that I have wanted to walk away, questioned what I was doing and wondering if I was making a difference in anyone’s life. BUT I know that even in those times, I can’t walk away.
My body and my mind crave the time that I write. It can feel the difference when I don’t write versus when I do.
If you are ready to start a blog to help you share your story, I am ready to help. The Blog to Heal program starts in September and I have room for 5 women to join. This program is a combination of group coaching and 1:1 coaching. I teach you how to set up your blog and create a blogging brand while also teaching you healing techniques that I use in my daily life.
BLOG TO HEAL SIGN UP BONUSES
Sign up by August 20 and you will receive these bonuses. Stay tuned for SPECIAL bonuses that are yet to be announced.
BONUS #1| Checklists to help you get ready for the program and a calendar to help you prepare for self-care.
BONUS #2| 30-day self-love journal by Goddess In Training coaching.