Write 2 Be Magazine

For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box

Self-Care for Writers: Key Issues, Key Steps by Harriet Hodgson

Starting a new writing project is exciting. You had the idea, planned the chapters, and the time for writing has come. When I’m working on a book I write for hours, think about revisions constantly, and even revise in my sleep. If I don’t monitor myself, however, I can become obsessed with writing. I work longer than I should, get behind on household tasks, have an aching back, and tired, gritty eyes.

None of these things foster writing. While I’m writing I think of my disabled husband and my caregiving duties. Although I take good care of him, sometimes I don’t take good care of myself. To be productive, writers need to care for their physical and emotional selves. Self-care can prevent debilitating colds, long-term illness, and burn-out. Here are some suggestions for you.

Adjust your chair. Mayo Clinic, in its article, “Office Ergonomics: Your How-To Guide, says your knees should be about level with your hips when sitting in a computer chair. My chair is comfortable, but it doesn’t support my lower back, so I use a small beanbag pillow. I bought the travel pillow from an airport shop and it’s a useful thing to have.

Use a foot rest. Your feet may not reach the floor if you are a short person. The solution is to rest your feet on a small stool or stack of books. Usually my feet are flat on the floor. Still, after I’ve been working a long time, I worry about the veins in my legs, and stretch my legs out straight, and rest them on a stool beneath my computer desk.

Get moving. Short breaks are surprisingly effective. I get up every half hour, do some stretches, and walk around the room. You may do this or walk in place. Desk exercises are pictured in the article, “Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work,” on the Greatest website. It describes stationary jogging, squats, leaning your back against a wall, chair exercises, and more. Choose some exercises and do them regularly.

Eat healthy snacks. The calories in snack foods add up quickly. In fact,they may equal a total meal. Limit your sweet and salty snacks. You’ll find more ideas in “10 Healthy Office Snacks to Eat at Your Desk,” by Leyla Shamayeva, on the Calorie Count website. It recommends cereal cups, nuts, whole wheat crackers, peanut butter, dried fruits, and sealed fruit cups in water. Technically, water isn’t a snack, but it’s wise to keep bottled water on hand. “Sip throughout the day and watch your productivity and mood improve,” the author writes.

Aim for eight hours of sleep. Even if you’re a “night owl” you need to get enough rest. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Lower the temperature in your bedroom to promote sleep. Avoid big projects and upsetting television programming before bedtime because they can keep you awake. A body pillow may help you to sleep more comfortably.

Nurture your spirit. I’m a health and wellness writer and when I bog down it usually is due to lack of information. Searching for additional information can be tedious. Instead of doing the research immediately, I call time out and renew my spirit with poetry (I love Robert Frost), or read a magazine article, or look at photos on a royalty-free website. Fifteen minutes later, I’m energized and ready to get back to work.

These tips will help you stay energized and ready for writing.

http://www.harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 34 books. Her latest releases are Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life after Loss and Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids. Watch for her forthcoming books, The Family Caregiver’s Guide and Affirmations for Family Caregivers, slated for fall 2015 release. Visit Hodgson’s website to learn more about this busy author and grandmother.

 

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About jcladyluv

Jimmetta Carpenter was born and raised in the Prince George’s County Maryland and has had a very big imagination since a very early age. She has been writing poetry since she was in elementary school around the age of ten. Her love of words has allowed her to express herself in ways in which verbally she can not. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and the author of a collection of poetry, The Art of Love under the Pseudonym Gemini, and a novel titled The Diary: Succession of Lies under the Pseudonym Jaycee Durant. She is looking forward to producing two new online magazines, Write 2 Be, and Write 2 Be*Kids, in 2013 under Write 2 Be Media Co. She is currently working on her third and fourth novels and is looking forward to having a very long and rewarding career in writing and hopes that through living out her dreams she can inspire someone else out there to realize theirs. Her advice to other up and coming authors is to NEVER stop believing in your dreams and don’t ever be afraid to dream big.

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2016 by in Contributing Writers and tagged , , , .

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