It’s the holidays and your non-writing mind may be on giving gifts to others. That’s wonderful, but consider giving a writer-centric gift to yourself. Writers are often workaholics to their physical detriment. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of better health. There are 35 tips to make you a healthier writer in 2022 on the Writers in the Storm Blog. This is a sample of that post.
Please note that this is not medical advice. If you have symptoms of repetitive stress injuries or any chronic medical issues, consult your personal health care provider before changing your work environment or habits.
For Your Eyes
Focusing on the computer screen makes the user blink thirty to fifty percent less frequently than normal. This causes dry, red, gritty-feeling eyes, and eyestrain.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a lot to say about how to avoid eye strain. The essentials are:
Keep the computer 25 inches (an arm’s length) away from your face.
It’s spring in the United States and time for the ritual of spring cleaning. It’s almost a compulsion. And you know what? Done right, you can spring clean your way to increased creativity.
Why Spring Cleaning?
According to How Stuff Works, the ritual of spring cleaning probably originated in the Iranian New Year’s tradition of khane tekani, the Jewish Passover, and the Chinese tradition of sweeping out the old year before the New Year begins. The time-honored traditions repeated over thousands of years make the ritual feel instinctual.
How Does it Help Us?
A thorough house-cleaning has health benefits according to Healthline.
A clean home can strengthen your immune system.
An uncluttered home can reduce stress and depression.
A clean home prevents the spread of illness.
A decluttered home reduces your chances of injury.
According to the article, spring cleaning your home may also lead to more healthy eating and physical activity. Spring cleaning your office may not lead to better eating and more physical activity, but it couldn’t hurt.
Clean Your Workspace
If a cleaner home improves one’s health and mental outlook, a cleaner workspace will too. Set aside as much time as you need to do a deep clean.
Unclutter surfaces. Cluttered surfaces can distract and create obstructions for your creative mind. Free your surface of clutter and you’ll be less distracted.
Put away old projects. Old projects that you’ve left unfinished and even finished projects that take up space on your desk or in your workspace, also take up creative space. Putting them away frees up your creativity to stop thinking about old projects.
Air out your space—open the windows if you can. Use fans if necessary. Fresh air, clean air is better for your lungs. And if you breathe better, cleaner air, you will also think and create better.
Change your mood music or scents. If you use mood music to enhance your creativity, change it up. Invigorate your creative muse with new music and fresh scents. Fresh flowers, essential oils, or even a spring-scented candle.
Take notes. Cleaning doesn’t take a lot of creativity, but while your hands are busy, your creative muse may get some fresh ideas. Be certain to keep a notebook hand to jot down the new ideas you get while cleaning.
Feed Yourself Inspiration. If your muse isn’t particularly helpful while you work. Use this opportunity to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Inspirational or motivational topics may help stir creative thoughts.
Spring Clean Your Mind
Make a date—
Schedule one hour to do a brain dump. What’s a brain dump? It is simply write what’s on your mind. All the things you should do, plan to do, hope to do. Dump it all on the page.
Wait 24 hours or a week, then review your brain dump. Decide which of the items listed are an immediate to do, which are near future to dos, and what are hope-to-dos. Schedule the immediate ones. Seriously, put them on your calendar.
Make a second brain dump date.
Repeat the steps above. What’s changed? Why?
Read a genre or topic you’ve never read before.
Choose a book you want to read. Don’t waste time reading something you don’t like unless you think you can learn something from it.
Take a walk.
Spend an hour walking and notice the changes spring creates around you. Meditate or record your thoughts as you walk.
Renew Your Goals for the Future
You may think this is a waste of time, I just planned my goals at the beginning of the year. Being several months into the year you may find your goals have shifted or that you’ve lost focus. Review and renew your goals for new spring-forward energy.
The right spring cleaning can increase your creativity. Use that time-honored tradition for renewed energy and focus. Do you have a spring tradition for your creativity? Please share in the comments below.