The term self-care didn’t exist when I was growing up. At least, nobody ever talked about it. I actually got an “I’m Third” award at a church camp for putting everyone else before myself. While serving others is good, there is a point that it turns into a detriment.
If you don’t care for yourself, you can’t take care of others.
Refilling your creative well is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in the author community. I’ve touched on it before when discussing getting space from your work and vacationing. There is a reason this theme is preached with such rigor.
An author that is physically and mentally drained cannot create.
While self-care looks different for everyone, I have found two primary themes prevailing over the landscape.
Simplify your life
Remove as many of the things that cause you stress as possible. That may require planning or purging, but the more “clutter” you can get out of your life, the less there will be to hold you down.
You work hard. It’s okay to give yourself a little break. Eat some cake. Take a quick nap. Get a massage. Whatever that reward is for you, give yourself something to look forward to at the end of a grueling task.
Having your mind and body in top shape gives you more energy and makes finding motivation easier. When an author finds themself in a bad place in these areas, crafting stories can be nearly impossible.
Take a few minutes to check in with yourself and see if self-care needs to be put back on the menu.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at these articles for a few ideas.
For me, it’s spending time resting. Lying on the couch with a good sheet mask and a cat to snuggle helps me recharge. What practices do you use to keep yourself in a space that is perfect to let your creative juices flow?