I’m always learning new things about myself and my writing mental health, and one of the best things I’m learning about is how to make myself feel better and work better. And because you too deserve to work at your optimum potential I’m sharing 10 of my best writing mental health tricks and because I love to break the rules you get a bonus one too (sneak peak, it’s my favourite of all of them). So, sit back and start your check list, don’t forget to leave me some love in the comments too.
Learn to be gentle with yourself: Life throws you curveballs it’s not how you react to them in the moment, it’s how you treat yourself after that matter the most. Even if you get rejected from a really important article pitch or you get that next rejection letter from an agent, collect it up. Have a cry but then wrap yourself in love and positivity and take your time getting back on to the page.
Writing shouldn’t be a chore: When it does become this, take a step back, go for a walk or run and take a deep breath. Or pehaps you need to go to the shops to spend some money (I totally dont’ condone this, but if you need it go do it!) or you just need to pick up the phone to call your partner/bestie to rant at them. Sometimes taking that time is more important than pushing through.
Do it for yourself: Don’t do anything for someone else. Your motivation for your choices should be your own. And that means writing, writer to find out what you would have loved to have on handle, yeah it’s great to write for an audience but first and foremost you are your own audience and if you don’t like it. Don’t do it.
Nix the shoulds: If you think you should do something. Stop. Your life is your own and there is nothing that you should be doing unless you feel that it’s right for you. That includes writing. If you feel like you should be writing when all you want to do is play games or take a walk, or even read, do it, put a time limit on it and then come back to writing when you’re done. Sometimes getting it out of your system helps nix those shoulds more than anything else.
Move your body: I was always an active girl as a kid and I found that I made too many excuses and things looked down but I learned that moving my body by going to a gym class or going for a walk or run made life clearer. Better. It made my writing more focused and allowed me to sit down and do the work without much struggle, and the endorphins don’t suck at all, either!
Find your meditation: I love meditation. Or maybe I love the idea of meditation. I can never sit down and commit but I found that sitting down for a couple of hours and writing is my form of meditation. Sometimes I’ll get the urge to sit down on my pillow and meditate and sometimes not, but that’s fine because finding your own version is the best kind of meditation.
Family will always be there: With the death of my dad nearly three years ago (it still feels like it happened yesterday, though) I learned that the family that loves you will step up no matter what. They will support you no matter what you do, even if you decide that you’re most definitely going to stay in another city away from them (even when you said you’d come home). They also give you that reality check you need the most.
Block out the negative: Surround yourself with people who are high vibing, who get you and are willing to support and lift you up through the bad. You’ll be able to block out the negative, easily and happily. And in the writing biz there are so many haters out there who are more than willing to tell you that you’re illiterate or your story sucks. It’s leaning on those people who love and adore you who will help you grow a thicker skin.
Writing sorts through your shit: No matter what happens, I’ve always managed to find an escape with writing, mostly it’s helped me sort through things that I can’t really put into words. Journaling still freaks me out a little but I know that’s because I need to work through things, but sometimes escaping is the best thing you can do. And with Morning Pages, which is such a gentle way at journalling I’ve found that I am slowly working through a lot of them. Sometimes you just need to spend 30 mintues organising your thoughts on the page.
Chose your friends wisely: These amazing ladies or lads in your life, should be there no matter what. They should be the people you turn to and in return, there should be no judgement from them and the same should happen when the tables are turned. They’ll also be your personal cheerleading squad and the first ones to actually be there when your make it big or don’t.
Reading is the best medicine: Just because I said ten, doesn’t mean that I can’t break the rules. Reading is the source of so much happiness, it allows you to escape in a different way than writing. Don’t give up on it. Trust me, it’s the best thing you can do and it doesn’t hurt that reading a lot and reading widely helps your writing improve.
Sometimes life is hard, but your writing mental health and everything to do with it should be a priority.
Look at your sleep.
Look at your eating.
Does it fuel you? Do you feel refreshed?
Because without it, you can’t actually find a balance and a calmness that allows you to actually grow in your life and in your writing practice. And your writing mental health will suffer. Build it strong, let it shine, because without it your writing will lack the depth and love that it should have.
How are you going to care for your writing mental health? Leave me a comment below.