Self Care for Writers
Life gets to all of us sometimes, and it’s important to make sure we take some time to make sure we’re doing what we need to do to stay healthy.
The list I’ve compiled is more focused toward writers, but it could be used for anyone.
Learn good posture.
The more we sit at a desk or hunched over a computer, the worse our posture can get. By sitting with good posture we’ll be able to reduce back pain and increase circulation, which is better for you in the long run.
Master a few stretches.
If you learn a few stretches for your head, neck, shoulders, and forearms, you’ll be able to cause some relief in those long writing days we all dream of. Both typing and writing by hand can cause strain on your forearms and wrists. If you need some inspiration for this, I suggest looking up Yoga with Adriene on Youtube and watching or doing her thirty day challenge. Day one is really simple and feels really good, and it’s free.
Invest in a good keyboard and mouse.
Carpal tunnel is a common problem for people who type a lot, and it can be eased by investing in a keyboard that sits at an angle and allows your arms to rest in a more natural position.
Okay. That’s it for the directly writing related stuff. Now for the general life stuff.
I know, it’s cliche. But exercise is a vital part of feeling good. Find something that works for you. I like Karate. I also like going to the gym and using the elliptical and the pull up machine, because it’s been a dream of mine from a young age to be able to do a single pull up. And, if I’m honest, I want to be as cool as the legit characters I watch on TV *coughs* Oliver Queen *coughs*. So find something that works for you. I tried running. I injured my hip. Now I can’t run anymore. Plus, my heart rate skyrockets when I run for even five minutes. But I enjoy lifting weights. So go out there and experiment, even if it’s just by taking small walks and listening to your favorite music or a favorite audiobook.
Limit your caffeine consumption after 4 pm.
I love coffee. It’s that simple. I love coffee, I love tea, and I love curling up with a warm mug on a rainy day. However, I also have a hard time falling asleep at night, and if I was really living my best life, I would stop drinking coffee after 12 pm. But, seeing how I hardly ever go to sleep before midnight anyway, it’s okay to have a quick pick me up at 4, so long as it’s my last cup of the day. Caffeine can stay in the body for 8-10 hours, and while it affects some people longer than others, it will affect your ability to relax and fall asleep.
Walk around your house at least every 2 hours.
This is good for posture, for blood circulation, and for general health. It’s not good for your body to be stagnant in a sitting position for longer than two or three hours (maximum) at a time, and the more you sit the more likely you are to develop blood clots. Not to mention that it feels good to move a little in the middle of your writing, reading, or binge watching day. Even if it’s a trip to the bathroom, getting up and moving a little is a very good thing.
Drink lots of water.
I for one am almost constantly dehydrated. I almost never drink enough water, especially for someone who lives in Colorado where it’s dry and a higher altitude. Whoops. I’ve tried to remedy this by having a water glass next to me constantly and starting the day with a full cup of water instead of going straight for the coffee. This helps me not stay too stagnant all day, as well.
Sometimes when I get stressed I don’t feel like eating. I don’t have an appetite and I don’t want to use my energy to put food in my body. However, I’ve made a pact with myself to always take care of my body, and that means that even if I don’t feel like eating, I will make sure that I feed myself. Be it cereal, a Carnation Breakfast Drink, or a simple sandwich, I make sure that I put something in my body that will give my body the nutrients to keep going. Keeping the routine of consistent meal times can also be incredibly beneficial in training your body to be hungry or not hungry at certain times of the day, which can help make sure you remember to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even if one of the meals is significantly smaller than the others.
What do you do to make sure you take care of yourself throughout the year?
J. J. Hanna is a Professional Writing major at Taylor University. In her spare time she enjoys creating comics and Youtube videos and practicing Karate. She’d love to hear from you, so send her a note or leave a comment.