You have a job. You also have a couple paid writing assignments, a blog to maintain, friends to visit and a family who seems convinced that they deserve some of your precious time. Oh, and you’re trying to write a novel in your “spare time”.
With everything else going on in your life, it’s easy to ignore self care. When was the last time you read a good book purely for pleasure? Enjoyed a sunset by yourself? Had a relaxing bath? Did yoga?
Odds are you’ve heard about how important it is to take care of yourself, but how deeply have you thought about it? Is self care part of your daily routine?
Here are 3 reasons why it should be:
1. You need your health to write.
This includes your mental health. When you’re too tired or hungry to think, you can’t write. When you’re deep in depression, writing becomes extremely difficult. Refusing to take care of yourself–and take regular time away from your work–can even lead to repetitive strain injury. Scheduling time for your health, especially time to stretch out those wrists, can prevent all kinds of health problems that can interfere with your writing.
2. You’ll start to resent other people.
If you spend all your spare time with other people–whether it’s helping them or just socializing–you will start to resent them. This is particularly true if you’re spending so much time with other people that you’re unable to finish personal projects. Demanding time for yourself can save your relationships by making you a happier person overall.
3. It won’t happen otherwise.
With the sheer amount of things you have to do every day and the number of people and media outlets vying for your attention, the only way you’ll find time for yourself is if you make it. Odds are you probably already schedule your writing time every day–so why don’t you schedule time for self care? If you don’t make time for self care, you’ll fill the day with other activities and soon come to resent your life and the people around you.
It’s easy to forget about self care, but the results are disastrous. Even a small amount of “me time”, say 20 minutes every day, can make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself and your life.
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