“What Have You Done for YOU Lately? Self-Care for Authors

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Sheri Hoyte Managing Editor
Sheri Hoyte
Managing Editor

How many of you take time out every day for yourself? I don’t mean time out to write or time to promote and market your book on social media – that’s not time out for yourself, but rather a part of your ‘job” as an author. No, what I’m talking about here is taking the time to do just a little something for yourself every day to rejuvenate, refresh and restore.

What does that even look like? It’s different of course, for everyone. For me it can be a walk on the nearby hike and bike trails, doing some yoga, or going to a class at the gym. It can also be taking time out to read. Now, as you all know, I read and review books as part of my own “job” so it may seem funny to state that I read as part of my self-care practice, but I make it a point to listen to audio books whenever I can. For me, it brings back fond memories of my grandmother reading to me; I find it comforting and relaxing – like someone is giving me a hug.  

Here are a few ways to work in some time for yourself every day.

1.      Realize WHEN you need to take a break. Don’t schedule your breaks during your most productive times – listen to your internal clock. I get up early and start working right away.  For me, morning is the best time to get things done, when my mind is clear and fresh. By mid-morning I need a distraction and that’s usually when I’ll do some sort of physical activity, even if it’s just pulling a few weeds in the yard (of which there are plenty). It only takes a few minutes and I’m ready to go another round!

2.      Find your balance. Don’t go overboard. Self-care is not procrastination. If you have a deadline in four hours it might not be the best plan to spend three hours at the gym. Find your balance, establish a routine that works best for you. Your body, and your mind will thank you.

3.      Go with the flow. Let’s face it – some days you’re in the zone. It might feel like you CAN’T take time for yourself because if you don’t get all of those thoughts in your head down on paper they’ll be lost forever!  I get that. Go ahead and write until you can’t write anymore. Then, step away from the computer and let the pages you’ve just written marinate for a bit while you go make a cup of tea, or take a nice walk around the block.  (Just a side note for the bibliophiles in the group: Walking is a great time to listen to an audiobook!) The point again is to listen to your body and work with it rather than against it.

4.      Self-acceptance is the key. This is so important. Realize who you are. Quit comparing yourself to others. Stop judging yourselves. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Be kind to yourself. Would you treat anyone else the way you may sometimes treat yourself? If the answer is, “of course not,” maybe it’s time to get serious about your self-care.

As of this writing, Susan and I will have just returned from a weekend women’s retreat. It’s amazing what a couple of days can do for your well-being – community, companionship, rest and relaxation, good food and inspiration – I’m ready to go back already! So, what have you done for YOU lately? I’d love to hear how you bring balance to your days! www.readerviews.com.

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