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Content creation is rewarding, but it can be a draining profession to be in. This is especially true if you talk about vulnerable topics like mental health, addiction, abuse, etc. Some people will welcome your content with open arms and thank you for all that you do. Others will do their best to be the nastiest, most vile creation that has ever left a slimy trail all over your comment box.
If you talk about religion or politics on top of the other topics I mentioned, the latter might be what you deal with the most. It can be hard to subject yourself to seeing some of the worst sides of humanity on a regular basis. I find myself envious of my friends who do not have a Twitter or Facebook, let alone a blog! But I know that what I do is important to the people who need it the most. That said, I do have to make sure that I take care of my emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being in the process.
I firmly believe content creators need to practice self-care, and while this may look different for every person, here are some of the things I suggest.
#1 – Have office hours
Boundaries are important, especially in business. Having office hours can help you be present with your business during delegated times. This also means that your business time won’t bleed into your private life. This will give you uninterrupted time where you can be present with your family or have time to yourself.
#2 – Schedule things
This goes hand in hand with having office hours. I just recently was pointed in the direction of several free scheduling options like Gramblr for Instagram and Buffer for Twitter. My husband also showed me how to use the scheduling options on WordPress, Medium, and Facebook so that I can schedule all of my content and not have to lift a finger when it is published. This has freed up so much time and energy that I have been funneling into creating more, higher quality content or spending time other hobbies.
#3 – Turn off comments
I get a lot of nasty comments on this blog. Some of them would probably blow your mind. For this reason, I have always vetted every single comment that has been submitted. My top priority is protecting the community I have here, not the free speech of people who are not a part of it.
Recently, for the sake of saving time and sanity, I turned the comments off completely. Shortly after I set them to turn off after 24 hours on new articles. I honestly wish I would have done this sooner! Not only so I do not have to worry about comments, but I have actually seen an uptick in shares because people who want to react positively to the content will share it when they can’t comment!
#4 – Have someone else run social media
Social media is a place that I tend to get a lot of nasty comments. I have weeded out or blocked a lot of the repeat offenders, but I can’t do this with everyone. If you have the resources for it, I recommend having someone else manage your social media if the comments on it get overwhelming. If not, just don’t check it!
I have a policy now that if Facebook notifies me of someone having left a comment but they haven’t liked the post, I won’t check it. Usually, it is some irate person that didn’t even read the article! It has saved a lot of time and headache for me when I stick with this policy.
#5 – Commiserate with other content creators
I highly recommend blowing off some steam with other content creators after a bad week. They get it, they’ve been there. All of us have the horrid comments, but in my experience, banding together and laughing over them makes them seem inconsequential and provides some perspective as to what is really important – the people you create content for.
#6 – Pray
Since I started blogging, some days have been incredibly hard. I am not a very forgiving person, especially when a perfect stranger comes out of left field and displays hostility. Sorting through hateful comments will make you want to give up on humanity pretty quickly.
I’ve talked about it before, but my anger issues are something that I battle with daily so that they don’t impact my ministry. There is nearly always some hurt that I am having to let go because of the blog and pass off to God in prayer. I find this helpful because it allows me to grow closer to Him and generally I find perspective in the fact that these people who comment are hurting and lashing out because of that.
#7 – Take a break
Sometimes content creation just gets to be too much. You fall behind schedule. You get a lot of bad comments all at once. You get a jealous streak with another content creator. Whatever the reason, you are stressed out about the thing that you usually enjoy doing: creating!
In these times, I recommend taking a step back and focusing on creating content that you won’t be sharing with the world. Work on some private creations to harness that energy without having to show it off and have it picked apart. My husband is fond of saying people are like chickens, you give them something nice and they will peck at it and crap on it. Sometimes, it is best to take a break from the chickens and create something for yourself to enjoy. During a break, you can regain hope so that when you come back, you’ll be refreshed and ready to share your message with the world again!
What are some of the ways you practice self-care as a content creator?