We are all too aware of how tough times are right now, and self-care has never been more important. Not just for writers, of course, but for everybody. However, this is a writing blog, and so it is the importance of self-care for writers I am focusing on here today. Discussing burnout, relaxing, and getting started again, I hope this advice will help you take some time for yourself.
The impact of burnout
Burnout is a very real side effect of being overworked, over tired and overwhelmed. It’s all very well to push yourself towards your goals, but with all your other commitments too, it’s important to get balance between what keeps you busy, and taking time to chill. For writers, the impact of burnout usually leads to less productivity, writer’s block, a lack of ideas and inspiration, and feelings of self-doubt. It can become tempting to give up. Recognising these feelings as signs of burnout can help you address them and move forward, rather than stopping your writing all together.
Why self-care is so important?
Self-care is important to either ensure you don’t reach the burnout stage addressed above, or to help you recover from it if it’s too late to prevent it. In looking after yourself, and giving yourself guilt-free time to rest and relax, you will reduce stress, feel well, and leave your mind fresh and ready to accept inspiration and new ideas. Fundamentally, it is important because you deserve kindness and patience, and allowing yourself that can have a really positive effect on your life in general.
Ways to practice self-care
There are many ways to practice self-care, and it’ll be different for everybody. This is because you should look after yourself by doing things you enjoy, things that help you unwind, and no two people are the same. However, some suggestions include sitting down to read a book, taking a walk, having a bath, watching your favourite movie, talking to a friend, or simply laying down in bed with your eyes shut. It could be getting your haircut, or having a spa treatment, buying yourself a little gift or eating your favourite snack. Essentially, do things that make you feel good.
Re-starting when you’re ready
It’s easy to feel guilty when taking time out for yourself. It’s hard not to think about all the things we ‘should’ be doing, and the things waiting to be done. But pushing yourself is counter-productive, and burnout will lead you to a place where far less progress is made. When you take time out for self-care you are able to relax, refresh and re-start. Don’t dive into anything too fast, or think you have to take on everything at once. You don’t need to catch up on everything in one go, and you certainly aren’t under any pressure to meet deadlines. Ease yourself in slowly, and before you know it you will be back on track.
Do you practice self-care? What are your favourite methods to help you relax and unwind? Share your thoughts in the comments below.