Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Healthy Outlets

Although I enjoy blogging and social media in general, sometimes I'm weirded out by the online world and am tempted to delete everything. Recently, it's the amount of negativity on the internet that's got me feeling that way. Perhaps it's because I'm dealing with my own stuff and hearing others vent or spew opinions is more overwhelming. Or maybe I'm venturing into cyber territory I don't want to be in, that of negative bloggers, tweeters or Facebook friends. I'm working to figure it out.

It's made me think though, about how I utilize or don't utilize the online world.

I was talking to a friend recently about some of the struggles of living in London and she pointed out that she wouldn't have guessed things were hard from reading my blog. It's true, I namely share positive things here, but things are never perfect. It hasn't been my goal to paint a false picture of how things are, I've just decided my blog isn't where I want to bear all or vent. I'm not confident that it'd actually help and I'm even less confident that it'd be helpful to other's. It's impossible to first gauge where people are at and know if they're prepared to hear or help. But I know we all need outlets of some sort.

Growing up my outlet was journaling. I have so many journals, even from six, seven and eight years old. I also found solace in nature. I grew up in the country so it was easy to escape into the woods or a nearby field (something I wish I could still do, darn city life!). In college I woke up early to be by myself, pray, etc., or I'd go to the gym. Recently, I've had Kurt to help me work through things, a therapist at times (scary, I know), and I go on lots of walks.

It's been crucial for me to learn healthy ways to process because I don't easily trust people with my feelings and I'm often tempted to keep things bottled up. I've tried a lot of things though, I guess I thought I needed five different outlets or something, but I realize now that I shouldn't have outlets just for the sake of having them. It isn't productive. I have to find the one or two that are realistic for me and helpful.

I'm curious, what are your healthy outlets?

I'm sure if you're a Christian, we can agree that there's always comfort and encouragement found in God's Word and in prayer. That's huge. What are some other practical ways that help you process? Do you use your blog? Why or why not?

Michaela Rae


  1. i have 2 blogs: a private family blog and a public design blog. We live 20 hours from family, our son has some delays and a recent diagnosis I haven't blogged about publically. I think blogging privacy looks different to each individual and family.

  2. Especially with a blog, it's hard to figure out what to say and what to left unsaid. I fear that many people read lifestyle blogs and then become miserable about their own lives because they think that bloggers have everything together. That's why I tend to allow a little more of reality into my own blog. I think it makes my blog less enjoyable to read and maybe I'll never have a large following, but at least I know I'm being honest (although not so honest that I hurt people I love or air all my dirty laundry) and not painting a false picture to others. I recently deleted my blog, then reinstated it for these same reasons. There are some things that are too vitriolic or personal to post publicly and finding that line is important. - Leah


  3. Sometimes I want to give up on my entire online existence as well. The negativity can be really scary and harsh, but I've found that the amount of positive feedback I've receieved far outweighs the negative, even if it's sometimes the negativity that sticks with. I think I'm pretty open on my blog about what's going on in my life, but I don't overshare either. I recently started a physical journal again and I find it helps. I also have a few close real (and bloggy) friends that I can email or call when I'm having a hard time. Having people you trust to give you honest but helpful feeback is worth so much.

    1. Very true, finding people you trust is crucial. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I hesitate to share personal things online though, I never know whose reading and if I can trust them! But I know there's a balance and I hope to find it. Getting positive feedback is great! It goes such a long way, doesn't it? So thanks for your comment! :-)

  4. I know exactly what you mean about the negativity online and wanting to delete your online profiles. I recently just went through my list of blogs/twitter/facebook and deleted the ones that weren't consistently lifting me up. There's a difference between being "real" when writing your blog (which I think you are!) and just spewing stuff out, ya know? For me, a healthy outlet I have is texting back and forth with my best friend who lives in Florida. We share the journey of parenthood/marriage and can be totally honest with each other, so throughout the day when I have something come up or need extra support, we chat and pray together. I also love journalling!

  5. I feel like when you live abroad, people back home always want to know how things are going, is it difficult, and if you'll end up coming home early. That's why it's hard to let anyone back home know about the struggles because you don't want them to think that because of that, you will crumble and come back. I know that for me personally, when I am having a hard time with living overseas I typically turn to people around me, especially my husband, for comfort and not those back home or online because I don't want them to worry. I also know that those struggles usually don't last long so why publicize it? I can't speak for everyone, but that is just what I have found to be true.

    1. You're right! I hadn't really thought about it that way, but it's true. I know our time here will fly by and I want to document the wonderful things, not just for people back home, but also for myself as well. When you have people you're with to work through the difficult things with that's normally enough. Some things only need to be talked about once, especially when you know they're temporary. Thank you!


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