The Importance of Self Care
Writing can be a physically demanding job. We sit in a chair for hours at a time and hold our hands in a certain position on a keyboard, then type, type, type. It’s bad for our backs. It’s bad for our hands. It’s bad for our necks.
On top of that, we send our creations out into the world – our babies – and wait for criticisms, complaints, praises, accolades, never knowing what is going to come our way. The stress of that increases our blood pressure, takes away our sleep, makes us forget ourselves.
We monitor sales numbers, handle social media, interact with readers, keep up with the latest trends – while sitting in our chairs with our hands in a certain position on the keyboard.
In order to maintain this lifestyle, self-care is vital. If you want the energy to continue to produce, create, dream, then you need to love on your body.
- Pray. Pray before working, pray while working, keep an attitude of prayer at all times. If you’re writing for God, that communication needs to stay open. Prayer refreshes your spirit, your soul, your very being.
- Get up and move. Once an hour, go walk around the block, do some stretches, do jumping jacks. Whatever you want to do that requires you to use the muscles in your body for about ten minutes.
- Hydrate. You should be drinking ½ ounce of water for every pound of body weight. So, a 150 pound person is going to drink 75 ounces of water. That’s about a quart and 2 cups.
- Eat well. Eat fresh fruits and veggies, good proteins, natural foods. Avoid the easy processed foods. Even under deadline, I can make homemade meals because I menu plan well before the week gets on top of my and I run out of the creative energy to come up with what to eat for dinner. Save the pizza nights and taco runs for true treats or emergencies.
- Sleep. I know deadlines. I know stress. I know the to-do list. However, you need to sleep. You need to go to bed at a good time for you and wake up 6-8 hours later. Give your body that time for rest and restoration.
- Chiropractic care: Our bodies sit for hours and hours. The pressure put on our spines and necks is not a natural pressure. A chiropractor can keep everything aligned and in shape.
- Massage. I see a masseuse every 2 weeks. I can tell you that the ache in my neck is directly related to the muscles in my hands and arms. I can tell you that the pain in my hips is directly related to the way I sit – especially when I’m getting deeper into the story and I forget my posture.
- Schedule vacations. When I worked a full-time job, I had sick days, personal days, paid holidays, and paid vacations. I allow myself that time in my full-time writing job. On my production calendar, I have two separate weeks that are marked for vacation, and when I don’t feel well, I give myself permission to take a sick day.
The healthier our bodies are, the more creative we become and the more efficiently we can produce. It’s easy to ignore everything – until our health collapses on use and we are forced to take a break when we didn’t originally plan one.
With nearly a million sales, Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real-world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy. Hallee has served as the Director of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, President of the Faith-Hope-Love chapter of the Romance Writers of America, is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the American Christian Writers (ACW), and Novelists, Inc. (NINC). An accomplished speaker, Hallee has taught and inspired writers around the globe, from Sydney, Australia, to Dallas, Texas, to Portland, Oregon, to Washington, D.C., and all places in between. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her.