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Physical Wellness Tips for Writers
Exclusively written for saiffsolutions.com
by Jessica Blanton
Writers spend lots of time sitting — and while some degree of sitting is alright, too much of anything can be bad for you. London-based osteopath Mohamed Taha points out that the body is designed to move. Needless to say, the lack of movement that comes with sitting for so many hours in a day has adverse effects. This can include increased risk of heart disease, poor posture, and atrophied leg muscles. The brain also suffers to receive less oxygen. Needless to say, writing for a living can take a physical toll, but the good news is that we can counter this. Read on to find out how you can do so by following these wellness tips:
While sitting for long periods of time is bad for you, just standing is not entirely the solution. The Guardian notes that moving about is the real antidote. Once you start doing it, however, chances are you’ll be at least 15% more productive, and will be healthier in the long term. The key is committing to moving. Once you do, you have plenty of options. Stand up and stretch. Walk around from time to time. Do bodyweight squats. Walk some more. It is up to you!
2. Don't eat in your workspace
Given the importance of moving, you should strive to undo habits that keep you sitting. One such habit many writers practice is eating in their workspace — sometimes while still writing. Pain Free Working describes this practice as dangerously unhealthy given how the body deteriorates from too much sitting. Eating in the workspace, unfortunately, further promotes this, and leads you closer to its negative impact. Fortunately, the work-around is simple: When it is time to eat, get up and go to the pantry (or the dining room if you work remotely).
3. Cultivate a positive mindset
Writers can be notoriously hard on themselves. Writer Rachel Toalson admits she was one of those who often thought about the worst happening all the time. This type of thinking will only stress you out. So, embrace a positive mindset! See setbacks as learning opportunities. Welcome criticism, too, even if it can be deflating. Our post on the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Writers’ explains how to deal with criticism, by using it as a means to improve rather than taking it personally. As you cultivate this positivity about you, you’ll be able to deal with stress much better. That, in turn, will translate into physical wellness.
4. Keep late nights for sleeping, not writing
Some writers will argue that late at night is when they are most creative. Journalism professor Sherry Amatenstein rebuts this line of thinking, mainly because such a schedule “can wreak havoc on your sleeping.” This is because lack of sleep can hamper your cognitive abilities in the short term, and cause irreversible damage to the brain itself in the long term. The solution? Eschew the idea of being a night owl and devote nighttime to sleep. Then start with a recharged mind and body the next morning.