There are a number of things you can do to promote better mental health. Besides therapy and medication, your diet, and your level of exercise you can also do use other skills to keep yourself mentally fit.
One of those is blogging. A blog can be a form of an online journal, but it can go much further than that.
Of course, if you are going to start a blog, you will need to get a domain name, preferably your name or something else relevant, a host, and decide on the theme and design for your blog.
When you choose a design, be sure it fits with those you would like to reach with your blog posts. Who are you targeting? Do you just want your blog to serve, at least partially, as a communication tool between you and your family and friends, or do you want to share it with others as well?
Here are a few ways blogging can be good for mental health, and this guide may also help you shape your ideas about who you want to read what you post.
Getting Your Thoughts Out
As stated above, one of the reasons for blogging is to serve as an online journal. This is often just a way to get your thoughts and ideas out of your head and in to written form. The writing process itself often helps you formulate your thoughts and get things you are feeling in order.
Think of it this way as well. You don’t have to post everything you write on your blog. Blogs offer you the opportunity to post things privately or you can just save the post on your computer for your own records. The point is more that you are writing things down, and you can share what you are comfortable with.
Why share them? Why not just write in a journal? Because the act of sharing itself can be cathartic. Sometimes getting your thoughts written down is not enough, and showing them to someone else helps. Also, your thoughts can help others as well.
A part of sharing, and one of the best consequences of doing so, is that you will find a community of people who share your struggles. One of the biggest issues with mental health is feeling isolated and alone.
When you find that there are others out there who share your thoughts and empathize with them, you can feel better about your own struggles. This community can provide you with a great deal of support.
Initially the validation you experience may be almost exhilarating, but your community will offer you much more than that over the long run, and having those you can turn to who truly understand where you are coming from will help you build a support group, something that will be invaluable when you have the inevitable hard days.
A blog can also help you find the kind of help you need. Whether this comes from the community your build around your posts or from the recommendations of others, the resources that will surround you will be much more substantial than what you have in your own network now.
This is especially true of finding alternative or unique therapies. It is easy to fall into the familiar methods of treatment, and not explore new things. Perhaps those have not worked before, and you are not sure if they will work for you at all. Different ideas about how to deal with your mental health may be the best option.
For instance, Todd Crandell, once an addict himself, helps other addicts deal with addiction by embracing extreme sports instead. His foundation, called Racing for Recovery, takes a unique approach. One of the best treatments for depression is also exercise of various types, and engaging in it instead of or in addition to other methods may be the answer for you.
Another reason to blog is so that you have that community you have built and others to hold you accountable. They can help you when you inevitably struggle, and praise you when you are doing well, lifting you up and offering encouragement.
Unfortunately. with the good that comes from public accountability, you may get detractors as well, those who are discouraging instead, letting you know how you failed, or can’t do something your way. You can use these moments for encouragement rather than discouragement, by setting out to prove those people wrong.
For accountability to work, you must also give others permission to keep you accountable. This means you must be open to someone you may not know other than online calling you out when you have made a mistake, or they see you heading the wrong direction.
This is very important, but something that blogging can help you with.
Writing itself is therapy. As mentioned above, the very practice is cathartic. Sharing your writing is even more so. This can also be helpful to your therapist or another professional you are seeing. They can, from your writing, tell a great deal about your state of mind, and where you need to focus your thoughts and their work.
Blogging is a great practice for a number of reasons. The writing is just a part of it. Developing a community and being held accountable are valuable side-effects, as is finding the kind of help you need. Use your blog to better your mental health, and your future self will thank you for it.