When working in sedentary careers like Book Writing, Authorship, Freelance Editing … or any type of sit-down entrepreneurial activity, self-care is more relevant than anyone might first realize.
Self-care is often overlooked and pushed aside for “more important,” more pressing commitments. The truth is that self-care should be a priority.
Strong Immune System
Being healthy and keeping your immune system strong isn’t about doing one or two things, like eating well or exercising. It requires a daily regimen—a lifestyle—of numerous activities.
Without it, we’re unable to function at our optimum level, and so, many areas of our life can be detrimentally impacted. If you talk to most people, we treat exercise and other healthy activities as “luxuries” we can do “when we have the time.” But self-care has never been something nice to do; it is a necessity of life, more than most people have ever realized.
Pandemic Influences on Writers and Authors
Without question, the pandemic we’re living through today has changed a lot of perspectives about health and self-care. But once this is all behind us, we cannot slip back into a complacency with our health.
The modern lifestyle is a busy one, with individuals often rushing between commitments. However, there are still ways you can implement self-care in your life.
Here are eleven ways to add self-care to your routine so you can maintain good physical, mental and emotional health.
Take your own test to see how many of these you actually do regularly. You may be very surprised at the results:
1. Identify What Self-care is to You
We all have different needs and different ways of unwinding. Identify what kind of self-care is most effective for you. It may be taking a walk and getting outdoors, or curling up by the fire with a good book. It may be surrounding yourself with good friends, taking a bike ride or soaking in a long, hot bath. For some, it is a grueling workout at the gym or a tough, sweaty run for many miles.
Whatever it is, learn to define self-care for you as an individual so that you can better take care of yourself. Your litmus test for whether it is right for you is, do you feel better mentally or physically after you’ve completed it?
2. Establish a Routine
Once you understand what self-care works for you, add it to your routine. Commit to engaging the activity regularly until it becomes a habit, something that is simply a normal part of your life.
3. Get Regular, Good Quality Sleep
Establish a sleep routine so that you are getting enough high-quality sleep. Sleep is a critical part of maintaining good health and should not be underestimated. By implementing a sleep routine, you can ensure that you are getting enough rest and are therefore optimally prepared to perform at your best.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
Diet is an important part of self-care and has a significant impact on your health. Make sure to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding soft drinks and processed foods.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is great for physical, mental and emotional health and should be a part of any self-care routine.
6. Get Some Sun
Catching some rays may seem like what slackers would do, but there is scientific evidence that there is something more to it than meets the eye.
The sun gives off an electrical charge that assists in our attitude. That’s why we’re more cheerful on sunny days! The sun also provides the best source of vitamin D found anywhere, which is essential to boosting the immune system.
So on your lunch break, go outside and catch some rays for 20-40 minutes a day. The best concentration of vitamin D can be gotten from the shortest rays between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. The sun has to reach your skin, so roll up your sleeves and get as much skin contact as possible.
7. Learn to Say No
The ability to establish boundaries can be important to self-care. Rather than simply saying yes to everything until things become unbearable or seemingly impossible, learn to say no when you are busy or feeling under pressure.
8. Get Organized
A little organization can go a long way in regard to your self-care. Implementing strategies to be more organised can really help reduce your stress and improve your mental health.
9. De-clutter Your Environment
Get rid of the rubbish and excess goods in your house; a cleaner, less cluttered space is great for your mental health as it will help to reduce stress levels.
10. Schedule Time to Yourself
It can often feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions. Make sure to schedule time for your self-care, and don’t allow this to be interrupted.
11. Take a Break
If things are getting too much, take a break. That might involve taking a few days off of work or a certain stressful project in particular; getting away for the weekend or, if really necessary, taking a longer vacation. Regardless of the length, sometimes simply stepping out of the environment can be great for perspective and self-care.
This can be a godsend in so many ways, for instance, when you come back to your manuscript—or whatever major project you’re on—you are able to take a fresh look at what you have developed so far. It offers a clearer view of what you really have done to date. It’s actually one of my “secret weapons” to writing bestsellers!
It’s so easy to get caught up into work, so much that we put our health and well-being aside. But this is an unhealthy mindset that turns ourselves into martyrs. Life becomes less enjoyable, and the spiral continues downward.
Most Important Tools of Your Trade
One way you can look at self-care is to realize that your mind and your body are two of your most important tools of your trade—more important than your fast-running computer or amazing software you’ve invested in.
We invest a lot into our equipment—our tools of the trade—keeping the printer working properly, the computer virus-free, and so forth. But the most important thing we need to invest in and keep in tip-top shape is ourselves.
Avoid the Downward Spiral
If our health declines—and the early level of decline is a weak immune system—the quality of our products drop as well. We become unable to work a few weeks per year because we’re too sick to get out of bed. And on the days you tough it out with a box of tissues on your desk, your productivity suffers, sometimes as drastic as if you were intoxicated. When health declines, success potential drops. Soon enough, one will be out of a job.
Self-care is not a luxury. YOU, personally, are the most important piece of the puzzle of success. Take care of your most precious tool in your arsenal for success.