Writing Wednesday and Health Tips for Writers…

WRITING WEDNESDAY

Writing and Health

Let’s face it we writers spend a lot of time sitting and spending too much time sitting isn’t healthy. It puts us at risk for heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, circulation issues, vein problems, back; joint and muscle pain and more.
As a writer I’ve experienced and deal with several of these conditions. It’s time for me to be a healthier writer and I’m hoping you’ll join me. We’re always better together!

Move away from your desk:

The first thing we need to do is to get up and move every 30 minutes. Even if you are in the middle of the best scene you’ve ever written, take the time to get up and move. I set the alarm on my phone for 30 minutes and I walk up and down my steps 3 times. Sometimes I’ll bring laundry, trash, shoes, books or whatever needs to be put away up or down. I also try to get outside for some fresh air at least once a day. Taking a simple walk around the block can clear your head which allows new ideas to formulate. If you have no where to go, try Yoga for writers:

Hydration:

One habit all of us writers have is drinking caffeinated drinks. For me it’s tea. Whether you drink coffee, tea, soda or energy drinks it’s time to reconsider the amount you’re consuming. Dehydration causes so many health issues. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Treat yourself to “good water” and rather than chugging 8- glasses a day, try sipping it all day long. I do not like drinking water, but sipping is working for me. I ‘m NOT giving up my tea and I’m not asking you to give up your coffee. I also treat myself to a glass of wine or two if I write at night. It’s all about finding a balance.

Eating:

One of the worst habits I ever started was snacking while I write. I would fill up on cookies, chips and chocolate, lots of chocolate. When it was lunch or dinner time I wouldn’t be hungry, so I’d keep writing and keep snacking. When I realized I was putting on some pounds, I knew it was time to stop. No matter what time of day or night you write, it’s important to take the time to eat regular meals at the same time every day, away from your desk.
If you write in the morning you should include protein rich snacks. There are many prepackaged choices out there such as KIND bars, yogurt and cheese sticks. I try to keep them on hand but whenever possible I prefer having a couple of hard- boiled eggs, some cheese and some fresh fruit. Bananas and pineapple are my favorites.

Snacking:

Did you think I was going to say you have to give up your chocolate? NOT A CHANCE! It’s all about balance. I simply started treating myself to my favorite chocolate snacks as an afternoon pick me up or as a reward for finishing a chapter or some other major accomplishment. In between those special times or when I’m craving something salty and crunch I cut up celery, cucumbers and radishes and add a bit of sea salt. I’ve acquired a taste for healthier snacks, and you can too, just try!

Sleep:

When my kids were young, and I worked a full- time job I did all my writing at night. No exaggeration I believe I didn’t sleep for at least 5- years. Not getting enough sleep puts us at risk for heart disease, diabetes and an unhealthy immune system. It can also cause brain and even cognitive thinking issues. Supposedly the most restorative hours to sleep are between the hours of 10:00 pm and 4:00 am. If you can add an hour or two before or after those times, the better your health will be. When we sleep we dream and dreams can hold great writing prompts. On the other hand too much sleep isn’t good either. It can negatively affect our muscles, joints and backs. Again think balance.


Goals:

If you start slow, say by adding an extra hour of sleep each night, a glass of water a day, substituting one healthy snack before you know it, you will start feeling better and when you feel better you’ll write better. It takes 22 days to break a bad habit and replace it with a good one.

Do you have any tips or suggestions?
Happy writing,
Doreen

 

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4 Responses to “Writing Wednesday and Health Tips for Writers…”

  • You’re so right that writers spend too much time sitting and need to get up frequently. It helps that I have dogs who need to go out and walk every few hours. I love the yoga moves.

  • Great post! I nodded the whole way through. I employ most of these already—I rarely snack while writing and have recently increased my water intake—although I’m bad at the 30 minute rule. Working on that, though. “They” say that sitting is the new smoking in terms of negative physical consequences. Everything you’ve said here is valid, and even for those of us who may have heard this before, it certainly bears repeating. Thanks for the yoga moves, too. I’ll definitely give those a try!

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