2019 is only a few days away, so let’s kick-off the year feelin’ good! 😉
The new year is the perfect time to make resolutions and goals, so why not add another to the list: self-care.
It’s so. easy. for writers to forget about self-care. Especially if writing is just a hobby (not a career), we don’t always take the self-care part seriously.
But I for one, plan on writing the rest of my life. I’m sure you’d like to too. 😉
That’s a long time. A lot of hours at a desk, on your bed, or wherever else. Writing, writing, writing. Doing anything with this much consistency is bound to wear on your body, one way or another.
But we can avoid the stinging-from-screen eyes, aching back, and low energy from desk jobs. Taking these few simple steps can keep you feeling healthier, not only for your body, but for that wonderful creative mind of yours. 😉
Tip #1: Drink water
Yup, you’ve heard this before (probably a million times).
But water is so good for us. Not only does it keep you hydrated, it provides brain power and energy, flushes out toxins, boosts the immune system, and prevents sprains and cramps.
I recently starting drinking water in the morning as I get started on my school work. Something that I’ve noticed is that I feel more energized and ready to go when I do this. I like to add essential oils to my water too, like lemon, lime or grapefruit. I think this makes it easier to drink more water, when it has a little flavor to it. 😉
Tip #2: Take care of your eyes
Not sure if you deal with this too, but if I stare at my laptop screen for too long without a break, I’ll get a headache or my eyes will starting burning (not fun). I kinda have to see to write. 😛
I mentioned the 20-20-20 rule in my post about surviving nano. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. Make sure your screen brightness isn’t up too high either (or too low for that matter). Your eyes will thank you. 😉
Tip #3: Exercise
I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty before too. When you have long hours of sitting, exercise is essential to keep you healthy and get your blood pumping. Have some fun researching workouts for your chosen area (I like to do ab and leg workouts) or just pick an all-around exercise.
Or just go for a walk and enjoy the outside. 🙂
Tip #4: Posture
I don’t often hear advice for this, but it’s so important. I can speak from experience that sitting slouched for hours at a time typing hurts the back. A lot, sometimes. It can leave you with sore muscles and an aching spine, and no one wants that. Practice sitting straight in your chair. Better yet, try and find an office chair back support, kind of like this one.
Also, make sure your chair level isn’t too high or low for the positioning of your laptop/computer. Position yourself so it’s not straining your back or neck in any way.
Writers are creative beings. And as such, we are very susceptible to burnout. If we don’t take time to refill our creative ‘tank,’ burnout is the result.
That’s why staying inspired and feeling creative is another big step to self-care for writers. So here’s some tips on staying inspired, recharging, and refill your tank.
Tip #1: Take time to just live
Go outside during the sunset. Don’t bring a book or your notebook. Just there and breathe. Think. Contemplate. Pray. Experience the sounds and smells of nature. Maybe even do some gentle stretches to release tension. Anything that makes you slow down and just enjoy living.
Tip #2: Don’t worry about what others think
Write that first draft like no one will read it. Don’t worry about what readers, agents, friends, or editors might say. You have a message, so write it. Write it for you. Maybe when second drafting comes around, you can focus more on the audience you want to reach. But the first draft is a delicate stage, and you have to be careful.
Don’t focus on what others think. What do you think about your book? What does God think?
Tip #3: Put some time into other creative hobbies
Your mind needs breaks, even from things you love. A creative brain loves to toy with new things.
Pick up a hobby you haven’t enjoyed in many years, or better yet, start learning something new.
Tip #4: Maybe we really don’t have to write every day
I hear this bit of writing advice a lot. And frankly, I disagree with it. Not everyone’s writing thrives off of writing every day. For me personally, I write more just when inspiration hits. Some writers write a certain amount of days during the week and does something else the other days. And some do write every day.
The thing is, you have to find out what works best for you. Finding your perfect groove will be very beneficial to your creativity and inspiration.
Tip #5: Journal
Don’t type it on your computer. Write in a notebook. Write down your feelings, thoughts, what happened that day. Don’t worry about if anyone will read it, just be real with yourself and write your heart onto those pages.
Tip #6: Take a break before burnout hits
You know that feeling when you feel The Burnout Monster creeping up, but hasn’t fully consumed you yet?
There. That’s when you take a break. Recharge. Refill your tank. Before burnout has taken you over and who knows how long it will be until it leaves. Just take a few days to step away from writing or some other activity you’ve been doing a lot. Refill your tank.
Tip #7: Look for inspiration everywhere. Expect it.
As writers, all of life is a source for inspiration and ideas. By enjoying simple things in life, you find more inspiration. The way dead vines crawl over a broken window, the sun’s glint off of a puddle on a street, a lone flower poking through the snow. Look for inspiration, and you will find it. Ask the “what if?” question about everything to uncover the stories in every day life.
I hope these tips will help you lead a happier, healthier, and more inspiring writer life! 😉
What are some ways you take care of yourself as a writer? I’d love to hear some of your own tips, so chat with me in the comments!