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10 Guaranteed Ways to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas (#9)

Missed the first posts in this series? Check them out here.

#9 Breathe Deeply

If you’re constantly giving, giving, giving out and never taking time to breathe and replenish your supply, you’ll soon run out of oxygen. This is why it’s so important to have white space in your life — and as a blogger.

What is White Space?

Picture a book that had no margins — the words completely filled each and every page of the entire book. There was no white space at all — just words on every square centimeter of each page.

Would that book be an easy read? No, it would feel chaotic and busy, probably even overwhelming.

So it is with our lives. If we don’t allow white space to breathe and refresh, but instead pack every moment of every day full to the brim with to-do’s and projects, our lives will feel chaotic, disorderly, and likely exhausting.

How to Cultivate Margin & Breathing Room

If you have a full schedule, you won’t probably naturally find a lot of margin or breathing room in your life. Instead, you have to be intentional about cultivating it. Here are some ideas:

1. Allow Two Extra Hours Each Day

As I mentioned last week, instead of packing every hour of the day with an activity or project, schedule in at least two hours of margin time. This is buffer time to allow for the interruptions that are bound to happen. And if you don’t have two hours’ worth of interruptions in a day, you can use the extra time to do something relaxing and/or refreshing.

2. Schedule Time for Refreshment

We’re all wired differently, but one thing is true for everyone: we need to make time for refreshment. What this will be and how this will look will be unique to each person.

For instance, some people are refreshed by doing something like sky-diving or rock-climbing. Me? I’d prefer to have a heart-to-heart talk with a friend or to cozy up in a quiet and clean house with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a good book.

Ask yourself what truly refreshes you. Make a list of the things that come to mind and then think through how you can incorporate some of these things into your everyday life.

Maybe it’s taking time to call a friend to catch up for 15 or 30 minutes a few times per week. Maybe it’s hiring a babysitter so you can go out to coffee with friends for a few hours every other week. Or maybe it’s just shutting down the electronics early, making yourself a cup of tea and spending 15 to 30 minutes with a good book before bed.

3. Foster Beauty & Creativity in Your Life

You need to make time for beauty, art, and creativity in your life. Once again, what constitutes “beauty” for one person will look different for someone else. But we all need to take more time to soak up the beautiful things in our life instead of rushing through our days at breakneck speed.

One of the reasons I aim to always have some kind of handwork project going — be it knitting, embroidery, or something else — is because it gives me a sense of fulfillment to create with my hands. And this creativity often breeds creativity and energy in other areas of my life.

I also love to drink tea or coffee out of cute mugs, listen to music music with rich depth, try yummy new recipes, watch movies and read books with really great story lines, and burn delicious-smelling candles. Each of these are little ways that I seek to cultivate beauty, art, and creativity in my life — and in our home. They are such simple things, but they inspire and enrich my life.

4. Count Your Blessings

If I’m too busy to count my blessings, I’m just plain too busy. Life is full of blessings — even on the really difficult days.

Reading One Thousand Gifts really inspired me anew in this area. My mom gave me a blessing journal at the beginning of this year — I can’t find it available anywhere online, but it’s basically just a little journal with one line for each day of the year for you to write a blessing down.

I’ve loved this because it’s so simple: it only takes 30 seconds each morning to write down a blessing or two, but it helps me to start out the day reminded of the wonderful blessings in my life. You could do something similar with a notebook or journal.

Take time each day — either when you get up or when you go to bed (or anytime in between!) to recount the many things you have to be grateful for. This will change your whole outlook on life!

When you take time to breathe deeply and have margin in your life, you’ll not only be in a much healthier and happier place, you’ll also be more inspired as a blogger. Not to mention, you’ll just plain enjoy life a whole lot more!

What are your best tips for carving out margin and breathing room in your life?

photo credit; photo credit

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  • I plan to start dinner at 4:00 each day. We usually eat between 6:30 or 7:00. I have lots of interruptions at that time from my children, so giving myself a buffer is really important.

  • Love this tip, Crystal!

    To keep from getting burnt out on blogging, it’s so important to be able to take a step back and renew your inspiration. It’s also so encouraging to know that other bloggers deal with the same overwhelm at times!

    One thing I also try to do with my blogging – is set aside a day off! It’s hard to do sometimes when you’re blogging in between household stuff, homeschool, and toddlers but having a day where you don’t even really have to THINK about blogging is such a relief!

    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  • After my kids were too old for naps, we started having quiet reading time after lunch. This really helped all of us, but it really helped me to take time to rest after the busyness of the morning. And I found I really looked forward to having time to read some great books during this time!

  • Carrie says:

    Quick technical question… do you use a plugin to create a series of posts in WordPress? Thanks so much 🙂

  • Thank you so much for writing articles like this. I need to remember to make down time. As I’ve begun this blog I have put my whole heart into it. But I also must remember to put my whole heart into my relationship with God and my family, which are more important. It’s always a great reminder when friends can nudge us in the right way. Thank you, friend!

  • Thanks for this post! I started painting my nails for the first time in 11 years a few months ago. It seemed so frivolous but I do it for a couple of reasons:

    1. Force myself to be still for a few minutes and chill out.
    2. Make something creative that can be easily changed and replaced.
    3. Use up all those freebie and cheap nail polishes we’ve been getting from drugstore sales!

    I noticed how happy my daughter would get when I painted her nails. And doing this for myself seemed the easiest way to start adding beauty and creativity in my life. Even the smallest things can make a big impact.

    • Carrie says:

      I love this idea!

      What’s interesting about our brains is that when we take time to do small, seemingly frivolous things like this, we’re telling ourselves “I have plenty of time, I can leisurely paint my nails” – and that leads to a less rushed feeling.

  • I used to walk daily. I plan to get back into routine when both boys go back to school. When I walk the whole subdivision it is a 3-mile walk and takes me about 45 minutes. Walks always put me in a great mood and I do my best thinking then! We are in a semi-rural area so I love just taking in the nature as I walk. 🙂

  • Jo Lynn says:

    The pictures in this post are really calming. Definitely unplugging and reading a good book are my favorites for recharging. I’m trying to work on having times in my day where I steal away for a few minutes to read. Something about a good book even in the midst of busyness makes me feel like I have breathing room, like I have a place to go to get away without going anywhere if that makes sense. I decided to only read fiction and books on writing for the time being. I was reading to many non fiction motivation to do things books which made my breathing room time not as refreshing. However, I am going to be making an exception to my fiction/ writing only book rule when your new book comes out. I have a feeling it will help me find some good ways to have breathing room and margin in my life!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m not a heavy blogger. In fact I kind of disappeared off the face of the earth this past month it’s a hobby not a job but over all the suggestions could be used towards just everyday life but it is harder than it sounds. I’ve learned just to take moments as they come. I get about 30 min in the morning after all the children and hubby have left the house to read blogs, blog myself, clean up email, check facebook, etc basically things that I’d like to do but aren’t necessary for daily living. I take another break after work no matter how much housework I have to do I try to sit down for about 30 min. and catch up on my social networking sites and make a game plan on how to tackle things. I then take another break after putting the children down to bed generally for an hour or so before chores and bed for myself.
    Breaking up my breaks seems to be the best thing for me because it lets me partially recharge my battery throughout the day.
    As far as me time goes my favorite thing really is to curl up with a book in a quiet, clean house. As you can imagine that only happens a couple times a year. The quiet I can get my kiddos are old enough they aren’t attached at the leg but the clean… well I get things to you’re not going to die and at least the 3 second rule can still be applied when in conjunction with my floors. I’ll get more ‘me’ time for knitting and such during winter vacation because I always take time off of work then and there is no yard work or garden to worry about. 🙂

  • Ana Hoffman says:

    Love your analogy about the white space and how a book would look so chaotic without it, Crystal, and so does our life.

    We all know it: time for ourselves is extremely important, yet that’s the one thing we, moms, have such a hard time getting.

    By the way, love how you broke down your tips in a series of bite-sized tips. Gave you a shout in this post: (wish I learned how to write more bite-sized posts, lol).

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