I usually refer to myself as a wellbeing blogger. However, on social media and in the blogosphere, the term mental health blogger is more widely used and understood, so I kind of use the two interchangeably. The reason I personally prefer wellbeing is that I don’t claim to have an expertise, or diagnosed experience of any mental health problems/mental illness. I am someone who has struggled with self-esteem, confidence, self-care, and managing everyday life. I have never been given a label or diagnosis for these struggles.
I believe that every single one of us, regardless of if we have a mental illness, a wellbeing struggle, or are ambling through life pretty ok-ish, can all do active work to look after our wellbeing. This isn’t taught in school (well it definitely wasn’t when I went) and not everyone has adults to guide them with it growing up. So I’ve made it my mission to document my own path to improve my wellbeing, and hopefully along the way help others with their journeys. Every day is the chance to start new positive habits and actions, and I want to support and inspire people to start their next chapters.
The contradiction at the heart of this, and one of the things I wrestle with when I’m trying to blog is the fact that I still struggle. A lot. I have days and weeks where I feel overwhelmed with my brain and trying to be a ‘normal functioning human’. So if I don’t have all the answers, how can I help or tell others what to do? I feel like I should have a perfect, healthy, robust routine, and great self-care rituals before I can advise anyone else to live better.
Of course that’s my perfectionism talking, and I know really that documenting my journey is a positive thing, and will hopefully help people along the way. But sometimes that worry is so big it overwhelms me and makes me seriously doubt my writing and my work. Who am I to be telling people how to look after their wellbeing? I can’t even take care of my own! My anxiety and self-doubt laughs at me. I feel that I should be super-confident and have it all together in order to give advice to others on wellbeing. That is often not the case though. So I end up feeling like I’m failing, and not good enough to be doing this.
Well I’ve had enough. After a good chat with M, I’ve really come to see that recording my journey though this complicated thing called life, and sharing how I’m struggling, failing, and sometimes succeeding, is exactly what I should be doing. I’m done with letting a bad day or a stumble from my routine hold me back. The best time to start is now, and I am ready to dive in.
It’s like Instagram. You see that amazingly lit healthy smoothie post, and you feel like you don’t measure up. You’re sat at home in your yoga pants eating chips, so you must be a failure. But what you don’t know is that the person posting the drool-worthy smoothie recipe spent half the night deciding which glass to use, and after they’ve take the picture they might curl up in their pjs with a big coffee and Netflix. Does that make the yummy, healthy smoothie any less good? Of course not!
So I’m going to start sharing my metaphorical smoothies with you (and maybe a couple of real ones) as well as my struggle-to-get-out-of-bed-pj days. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Get ready for more real talk, my often contradictory struggles to build routines and do fun spontaneous things, and the ramblings from my overwhelmed brain. It’s time I walked my talk, and that starts with being honest about my challenges, as well as the amazing realisations I want to share, but sometimes struggle to follow myself.
Here’s to a new chapter, one where I share all the parts of my journey, instead of waiting for things to be ‘right’. Hopefully it will inspire someone out their on their own journey, and show them that it’s ok to trip up. I know along the way I’ll grow and learn things too, and I’m excited to get going!
Are you a MH/Wellbeing blogger? Do you struggle to keep up the ‘perfect’ appearance online? Let me know your thoughts/any stories or tips in the comments. If we all share our ups and downs we can build a stronger community together!