What is Self Care?
The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” So, anything you can do that helps you take care of yourself so you can maintain good physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health is self-care.
Ways to Practice Self-Care
Here are some suggestions that can help you improve the quality of your life. If your life is better, you’ll be less distracted, and that will show in your work.
Create a morning Routine
This advice is applicable to everyone, not just writers. It may develop a bad association between getting out of bed and working, making you want to stay in bed longer, if you roll out of bed last-minute and rush to get ready for work. After getting up, you might do some light stretching or exercise, have a cup of coffee, write in a notebook, or read the news.
Create a Writing Schedule
Piggy-backing on the morning routine tip, creating a schedule can help maintain your health and prevent burnout. When should you write—in the morning, the evening, or the late hours of the night? It all depends on what suits you the best!
Some people have day jobs and might want to write for an hour before work. And no, that doesn’t contradict the first piece of advice—if writing isn’t your full-time job, you might write as part of your morning routine for work. If it is your full-time job, you might arrange your day according to the conventional 9 to 5 schedule and then establish a different morning routine.
Write for a set amount of time (20 or 30 minutes) and then stretch
Writing all day without breaks can lead to burnout. It might be necessary to set alarms to remind you to take them. Don’t just hit snooze! Stop what you’re doing when the alarm goes off and at the very least take a few minutes to stretch.
Don’t compare yourself to other authors
We create impossible standards for ourselves and then berate ourselves for failing to meet them. Don’t write something and hope that others like it—write it because you like it. Readers may be able to sense your enthusiasm in the work and that may make them like it more.
Read a book
If you don’t have the time or money to take a vacation—read a book. Reading can transport you to a different place if the book is good enough. Additionally, it may serve as a catalyst for creativity or a chance to pick up new skills.
What do you do to practice self-care?