Make Self-Care a Habit.
Self-care is not selfish. Period. End statement.
Self-care is vital to us as humans and to us as writers. It can feel selfish to take time to recharge your batteries, but it’s not. How can you help others if you are empty? You can’t get juice from a dead battery. Taking a moment for yourself can heal and recharge you for the world around you.
I did a book signing this past weekend and the first thing I did when I got home was take a nap. I spent my reserves. I gave and gave and gave to others until my battery was nearly dead. I needed ME time. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVED the festival I was at, and had a truly successful day in book sales, but it can take a lot out of you to speak with so many people. I needed to recharge.
Speaking of recharging…that’s better. I needed to refill my cuppa coffee and grab a granola bar. What’s in your cuppa? Go get a nibble and your copy of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane and let’s talk about taking care of you and how it is not selfish in the least. Put your guilt down and join me on page 92.
Yes, I know it can feel a bit self-centered to focus on yourself every so often, but it isn’t. Yes, we need our bestie-time, but our bestie wants us at our best and that means- recharge! Have you ever spent time with someone who was cranky and snappy for no apparent reason? We all have. Did you stop to think that maybe that person was too focused on everyone else’s needs that their needs fell short? That giving mentality can be very draining. I’m not saying we shouldn’t spend time with people and help when and if we can, both are possible and needed to be a healthy well-rounded person.
Let’s look at the ugly side- if you solely focus on you and you alone…you will become a very lonely, isolated and stale individual. Your creativity can and will suffer if you don’t expose yourself to the world outside your door. That’s where all the action is. Where the inspiration is hiding. You can lose sight of who you are and what you want in life if you close yourself away from people.
You must walk a thin line between being a giver and being isolated. You need to find your batteries level. You need to be able to read yourself to see when you have had enough and back away to recharge. But you also need to know that locking yourself behind your front door for weeks at a time is terrible for your mental and physical wellbeing.
My days and weeks are broken into me time and THEM time. Each day I have a plan for the day ahead- quiet time for me to wake up and find my balance, dinner prep, dogs, you, gym, writing, Hubs, dogs, cats (they are snotty with their time), and then time for the Hubs and me. My weeks are broken down to meetings, vet appts (cuz 4 pets means a lot of these), research for signing events and phone calls to get into venues. And Friday is The Breakfast Club. That is a group of 5 like-minded people who gather around a table and talk shop, eat, drink coffee, and laugh louder than we should. I found my balance. I know my limits and honor myself enough to listen when my body cries for a recharge.
What do you do to recharge? Where do you go to find the solitude you need to find peace? I tuck myself away in my favorite spot on the couch and read. I tend to find a dog or 2 snuggled close and a cat trying to invade my space, but it is so worth it.
If you could write anything at all, and knew it would be successful, what would you write?