The little known benefits of blogging

I never really kept a diary when I was growing up.  I always used to have a notebook on the go but, looking back through them now, there is only the occasional diary entry.  There is a diary entry about how I felt when I kissed a girl in a nightclub as a student in France (tingly, excited and a little bit scared).  There is also an entry about how I felt bullied by my ex’s sister nearly a decade ago.   

When I was at University, I scribbled down quotes from great philosophers and political theorists like Jean Jacques Rousseau and Jean Paul Sartre.  There are post-cards and newspaper cutouts.  There are also some very mundane ‘to do’ lists and I even went through a phase in my late teens of recording every single penny I spent in my notebook.  Hardly riotous teenage years!  

A diary always felt a little bit self-indulgent, whimsical and just a tiny bit school-girlesque.  I wish now that I had been a regular diarist.  Having kept a blog for over two years, I now know the benefits of blogging for my mental well-being.

I am a very reflective person.  All of the psychometric tests that I take at work on various management training courses always score me high on being reflective.  I am also, according to the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), an off-the-scale introvert.  Introversion doesn’t mean I don’t like to socialise, in fact I really enjoy socialising, I just find it quite tiring.  I need to spend some quiet time, on my own, to recharge and to replenish my energy. 

I sometimes wonder whether my off-the-scale introversion is the reason why single motherhood quite suits me.  I will never drown in a well of loneliness, but rather swim contentedly in a sea of solitude. 

I digress…slightly.

benefits of blogging

I am one of those people who allows ideas and stresses of the day circulate in my head, often for days on end. Blogging has been the most wonderful therapy over the past two years, because it has enabled me to get the ideas out of my head and onto the computer screen. 

When the words are written in black and white in front of me they somehow make more sense.  I am able to digest them. I am able to reorder them.  I am able to work through and rationalise my reaction to an event, an argument, a tragedy, a crisis. 

Blogging doesn’t solve everything, but over the last two years, blogging has given me a lot more than I have given it credit for.  Blogging has enabled me to get the dark words out of my head and onto the page.   Blogging has enabled me to reflect on my separation and analyse it with a degree of distance and objectivity.  Blogging has enabled me to compartmentalise the really bad times, to put them in a box and to store them away, safely, never to be forgotten, but addressed, assessed and digested.    

I have been able to write myself out of my emotional funk.  Time and again. 

Probably the most important thing that blogging has done for me over the last two years is to remind me that bad times pass. 

Nothing lasts forever. 

Island Living 365

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52 Comments

  1. July 14, 2017 / 8:58 am

    Love this for your honesty because there are dark times, and writing the down does help. I did keep a diary in my formative years, and it’s hilarious to read now, so angst ridden with such HUGE problems of a 15 year old’s life. But I then stopped when I went to uni as I think I thought it was a bit naff and also I think I was more afraid of writing my feelings down. Blogging is so therapeutic you’re right, and anything that helps our mental wellbeing has got to be good. #FridayFrolics

    • thesingleswan
      July 14, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Wow, I would love to read your 15 year old self diary. Sounds brilliant. Pen x

  2. July 14, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    I totally agree – just putting down the words on a screen can help you make sense of things . It’s one of the best things about blogging by far. #FridayFrolics
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…Is my toddler racist?My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 14, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      Absolutely. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  3. July 14, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I completely agree. I started blogging when I was stuggling with adapting to life in Jersey and being a stay-at-home mum. I was missing everything and everyone and no longer recognised myself. I wanted my old life back and my career back. I look back now and I realise that blogging did so much good for my mental health. It kept me sane, and like you, it allowed me to get my thoughts out. #FridayFrolics
    Emma recently posted…10 Reasons Why I Love Living In JerseyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 14, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks Emma. Pen x

  4. July 14, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    This is spot on. I always feel better about things when I write them down and get them out of my head. I’ve written some quite personal posts this year, and the response has been so overwhelmingly supportive, it’s really helped me. Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics
    Claire – Life, Love and Dirty Dishes recently posted…Friday Frolics Linky – 14th JulyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 14, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Me too Claire. Thanks for your comment. xx

  5. July 15, 2017 / 10:45 am

    Absolutely spot on. I started doing morning pages about a year a go and can honestly say it’s like therapy. Just to empty your thoughts onto paper is so therapeutic. Love this, thank you.
    #FridayFrolics
    Liz Deacle recently posted…Living with Hormones. Surviving on Hormoans.My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 16, 2017 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks Liz. Pen x

  6. July 15, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    I used to keep a diary when I was younger. Now I have a book, that I write in each week. I write down all of the good things that have happened that week, whether it be something small such as taking the kids to the park, or something big. I’ve made a rule that I won’t write anything negative. Just positive things. I love the idea of looking back at it in a years time to remember the good things from the year. Writing things down can be great for your mental health and wellbeing. Great post. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    • thesingleswan
      July 16, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      I agree. Thanks Emily. I find it is important to write about the negative things too. Life isn’t a bed of roses. For me, writing about the bad times reminds me that I have the strength to get through them. Pen x

  7. July 15, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    This post is so honest and I applaud you for writing it, amongst many things blogging is my therapy, thanks for writing this fab post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please
    Nige recently posted…Improving Your Humble Abode This SummerMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 16, 2017 / 2:43 pm

      Thanks Nige. Pen x

  8. July 16, 2017 / 10:22 am

    I completely agree, I found that blogging also helped me a lot #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      July 16, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      July 16, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Indeed. Thanks for your comment Becca. Pen x

  9. July 16, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    Love this, very honest and exactly what my son who is 9 was trying to explain in a more limited way about why he likes blogging in his own small way- it’s a great way to get things straight in your mind, even if you choose not to publish what your thoughts are at that moment sometimes just committing words to paper or screen is enough to help. #ThatFridayLinky

    • thesingleswan
      July 17, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Hi Catherine, it is really good for children as well – not necessarily to put their whole life on the internet (that’s another debate) but certainly to get their thoughts out of their heads. Learning to process what’s in our minds is a real skill. I haven’t mastered it but I am working at it. Pen x

  10. July 17, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    I LOVE keeping a diary for this exact reason. And I’ve neglected to keep one for a few years now – sporadic posts here and there, across a number of different journals. But I’m back to writing regularly now, and it helps to get the rest of the writing work flowing nicely. I’m glad to hear this has helped you. I always feel so much happier when I’ve connected with myself and settled the thoughts bouncing like pinball in my mind.
    Fiona Chapman recently posted…Corfe Castle: Purbeck’s very own treasureMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 17, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Hey Fiona,

      That’s exactly it. The thoughts bounce like a pinball in your mimd and the only way to slow them down and to calm them it to write your thoughts down. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      July 19, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you Kate. Pen x

  11. July 18, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    I’ve certainly found it very therapeutic over the years. It’s also great to look back when things have passed by and very often look at situations with a different perspective. #AnythingGoes
    Jaki recently posted…Triumphant Tales Linky #20My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 19, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      That’s interesting. Maybe I should delve back into old posts and question whether I would see things differently now. I suspect I will find that time is a great healer and that the rawness of some of the emotions is no longer there. Pen x

  12. July 18, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    Spot on!! Although blogging can be hard most times, it’s helped me a lot with things! It’s my little space on the internet, where I can write my feelings and it does help! #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      July 19, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Absolutely! Pen x

  13. July 18, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    I think blogging helps you to realise that life is a rollercoaster, the bad times may be hard but the good times more than make up for it. Great to have a record of events and feelings. #RVHT
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…Minky pegsMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 19, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Yes, I agree. thank you. Pen x

  14. July 19, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    Totally agree with this, I still find it hard to get my exact thoughts onto a blog though knowing it will be read by so many. I definitely credit blogging, along with CBT and a bucket load of prayer for dragging me out of PND. #sharethejoy
    Lizzie Roles recently posted…Share the JoyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 19, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks Lizzie, that’s really interesting. Someone very close to me was diagnosed with severe PND. I recommended blogging. She didn’t try it, but I really think it can help. Pen x

  15. July 20, 2017 / 12:12 am

    Very interesting. Because I don’t blog about personal things, I don’t use blogging this way. But I am also extremely introverted, and also suited to single mothering. Not sure if that is the introversion, or how unpleasant it was to be with their father. Probably some of both but, yes, I don’t struggle with feeling lonely being alone. Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Friday Frolics – 14th July 2017My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 20, 2017 / 10:18 pm

      I don’t think I have time to feel lonely to be honest. thanks for your comment. pen x

  16. July 20, 2017 / 12:38 am

    Love this. Blogging for me is therapeutic. It makes me feel better knowing that someone else out there in the world is reading my words are relating to them. I do this because it keeps me from going insane. #anythinggoes
    Barrie Bismark recently posted…Mom Named “Worst Mom in World” by SonMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 20, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      I agree. Although I am never entirely sure whether blogging sends me insane or stops me from going insane. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      July 20, 2017 / 10:16 pm

      Thanks Ruth

  17. July 20, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    I’ve never kept a diary either, although when things are swirling around my head bothering me, I often sit and mentally write a diary entry. I realise that sounds crazy but it forces me to put the thoughts in a coherent order and find a solution.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery: Book ReviewMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 20, 2017 / 10:16 pm

      Hi Debbie,
      It doesn’t sound crazy, it is a really important exercise to force you to spend time reflecting and digesting the day. it is good for your mental health. pen x

    • thesingleswan
      July 21, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Yes, it absolutely can. Thanks Madeline. Pen x

  18. July 22, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! Blogging is such a great outlet…I wish mine was anonymous though, so many things I would like to write about that I can’t for fear of upsetting people! #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      July 23, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Oh dear. As I said to Jenny from Accidental Hipster Mum, quite a few bloggers I know have two blogs- one public, one anonymous. You could give it a go. Pen x

  19. July 23, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I used to have terrible diary when I was a teen but I was so depressed it was all self indulgent misery and complaints that no one fancied me! I tend to barely share anything on my blog because it’s not anonymous and I would hate people to know how I’m feeling. I feel I might benefit from an anonymous blog to help me a bit.

    #RVHT
    Jenny (Accidental Hipster Mum) recently posted…Noddy & Big Ears Fruity Scone Recipe #NoddyChallengeMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 26, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      Thanks Jenny. Pen x

  20. July 26, 2017 / 6:11 am

    Beautifully written and I completely agree. I don’t blog about myself (I think reading it back would make me cringe) but I do find writing about something I’m passionate about very therapeutic. #kcacols

    • thesingleswan
      July 26, 2017 / 9:34 pm

      good for you. Pen x

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