Take It Outside [Healthy Writer]

It’s summer. It’s been summer for about a month now. The weather is warm, the sun is shining (mostly – it’s been raining a lot where I am). It’s time to take advantage of the season and take it outside.

Healthy Writer: Take It Outside | Creative Writing | Work From Home | Blogging | Healthy Habits | RachelPoli.com

Take It Outside

As writers, we’re always on the computer. I know there are quite a few people who prefer pen to paper, but most likely we’re typing something up. Not to mention, a lot of us writers are also bloggers or on some form of social media. We’re on our phone or tablet and constantly getting work done. This is something that I’ve been learning to take a step back from since it’s taken a toll on my mental health.

Have you ever heard of seasonal depression? I’m not diagnosed with depression, just generalized anxiety disorder. However, the two can go hand in hand and there are definitely some days where I feel like I do have depression. I definitely get it the most during the winter. Snowfall is lovely as are putting on fire in the fireplace, but I’m not a fan of the cold and dreariness of it all. I also feel so much better and more like myself when the sun comes out and the weather is warm.

So, this is why I say to take it outside. Take advantage of the sun and warm weather while you can. The winter is a nice excuse to stay inside on the computer all day, but you still need some fresh air once in a while.

Sitting On The Deck

If there’s anything I’ve learned about writing, it’s that a nice change of scenery can go a long way. I love to sit outside on my deck with a pen and notebook. Or sometimes I bring my iPad, laptop, or a book. It all depends on what work I need to get done that day.

The deck is a great place in my backyard because it’s quiet (for the most part) but private. The umbrella is big enough to keep me shaded or I can move it around for myself to sit in the sun. It’s a peaceful place overall.

By The Pool

Unfortunately, I don’t have a pool anymore. It collapsed back in November, rest in peace. That thing was just a couple years younger than me so it lasted a good 20+ years. It served us well.

But I loved to sit out by the pool. We had a patio to sit on plus a swing or I could sit on the deck attached to the pool. When I got too hot, I’d take a quick dip or swim around for a bit. Not only did it give me fresh air and a slight break, but I was also moving around as well.

Don’t Take It Outside

Or, you can forget all of this and just leave your work inside and enjoy the sunshine. Play basketball, ride a bike or go for a walk. I’ve been walking a mile every night lately and it feels great. Plus, if you have a dog, let them get some exercise as well. I’m sure they can’t wait for you to get off the computer at the end of the day so they can play with you.

Do you work outside or just sit outside and soak up the sun in the summer? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Meditation [Healthy Writer]

When it comes to writing, we all need a break every now and then. Not just from the computer and staring at the bright, blank screen, but from thinking as well. That’s where meditation comes in.

Healthy Writer: Meditation | Creative Writing | Healthy Habits | Work from Home | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice where you focus your mind and zero-in on a particular thought or clear your mind. It’s a relaxing technique to help you feel calm and get back to life with a clean slate. It’s to make sure your mind is in a stable state.

There are various ways to meditate and you can do it just about anywhere – however, a quiet place where you’re alone is the best option. You can do it for as long or as short as you need it. Sometimes all it takes it a couple of deep breaths to get you back on track.

Why is Meditation Good for Writers?

Meditation is good for writers because we’re constantly thinking all day. We’re staring at a computer screen, we’re arguing with fictional characters. We can hit a bout of writer’s block or we can get interrupted many times throughout the day as we write. Sometimes we have the urge to write and other times we don’t.

Meditation is a great way to step back and look at the whole picture. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the editing process, just take a step back for even five or ten minutes. Take a quick break. And I don’t mean bathroom break. Relax your mind and stretch your body.

Different Ways to Meditate

Close your eyes and breathe

It sounds boring, but it’s honestly not. Sometimes if I get overwhelmed or if I’ve been working for too long, I sit on the floor with my back straight, shoulders back, and close my eyes. I don’t sit for too long. I usually take 5-10 deep breaths – in through my nose, out through my mouth. It rests my eyes, clears my mind, and stretches my back out a bit.

It helps to lie down as well. If you end up falling asleep and taking a nap, then that’s probably a good thing. I feel like sleep is the one thing we tend to give up depending on how busy we are.

Listen to music

Most of us listen to music all the time anyway. We jam out to our favorite songs on Spotify or YouTube. However, sometimes you need to sit back and really listen to the music. I personally like instrumental or classical music. I especially love the violin. If you’re short on time, just listen to two songs. That’s roughly 5-6 minutes anyway.

Take a walk

I know, when you think of “meditation” you think of sitting with your eyes closed and breathing deeply. The truth is, meditation is all around us – as long as we’re relaxing, we’re meditating in our own way.

Taking a walk is a great way to not only clear your mind – because you should be taking in the beauty of nature – but it also gives your legs and back a good stretch. Not to mention the fresh air will do wonders.

Overall

Meditation isn’t as daunting as the word makes it sound. I think we all have one definition of meditation in mind. There are many different forms of meditation – the word and practice come from different places – but not all meditation is the same. Just remember, clear your mind and remember to breathe. Writing isn’t an easy task and neither are the stages that come after.

You’ll get there and you’ll mind will be fresh when you do.

Do you practice any form of meditation? How do you do it? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Taking Breaks [Healthy Writer]

It’s far too easy to get sucked into work. When you’re a creator, you work from home and are on the computer all day. Your back is tired. Your butt hurts. You need to get in the habit of taking breaks.

Healthy Writer: Taking Breaks | Creative Writing | Work From Home | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Get In The Habit

People always say they need to get in a habit with writing. I always say the same thing. Get yourself into a routine, train your body and mind that a certain time is writing time. You should also do the same for taking breaks as well.

There must be a certain amount of time each day where you’re not writing or creating just to let your mind at ease.

Breaks are not only important for your mental health but also for your physical health. There are a number of things I personally like to do when I take breaks.

  • Take a walk with the dog
  • Be outside in the sun
  • Clean the house
  • Dance around or sing obnoxiously
  • Run errands or go for a drive
  • Read a book
  • Play video games

Of course, reading and playing video games is kind of like work as well so I tend to try to do something else if I can.

How I Know When To Take A Break

Usually, when I start not focusing or I begin to get silly (just ask my sister) that’s when I know I need to take a break. A lot of times, and I especially do this when my sister and I are working together, we work for an hour then break for an hour and repeat. It really helps us get a lot done.

I especially like doing things that way because I’m still getting work done throughout the day. Something I need to work on is not feeling guilty when I don’t write or blog. I’ll get up early, work for eight hours, and then if I sit down to watch TV at 6 pm I feel like that’s too early for me to not be working, despite putting in a full day.

So, alternating each hour with work and breaks helps me in the sense that I’m working throughout the day until all my stuff is done or I’m too tired to get anything else done.

Days Off Are Breaks Too

Also, you don’t just need to take breaks throughout the day. You should always give yourself a day or two off each week. My goal is to be able to have Saturdays and Sundays off. Right now I give myself Fridays off and even then I still sometimes get work done. Other than live streaming with my sister, I don’t have to babysit on Fridays (unless I agree to babysit on the occasional Friday) so I do my best to stay off the computer.

My laptop is a trooper, so she definitely deserves a break most days. Not mention, so do my characters.

What do you do during your writing breaks? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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