It’s Healthy Writer Wednesday, where we discuss being the best us we can be. When you’re a writer, it’s easy to neglect your health. You’re hunched over a computer trying to squeeze stories out of your brain. That is your focus. Before you know it, the day is over, and you might have walked to the bathroom, to the backdoor to let the dog out or to the refrigerator for that leftover Chinese you had three days ago. Not the best lifestyle for robust health.
Sedentary jobs contribute to the growing obesity rate in the U. S., which in turn ups the chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The motivation to change health habits can be strong, but the changes needed are sometimes so overwhelming we give up before starting. There’s just too much to do, and besides, we’re word geeks. We lift words not weights.
What’s a writer to do?
Now maybe you don’t fit in this category. Maybe you can triathalon with the Lance Armstrongs of the world, or you’re a gym rat who’s there when the doors open, but if you’re like me, you’ve neglected yourself in favor of caring for others, or life and age have caught up with you a little bit. Here are four simple steps to turn overwhelming into do-able:
#1 Drink water
Drink more water. Most of us don’t get enough, and no, you don’t get to count that Margarita you had with your enchilada at lunch. Water helps with weight loss, blood pressure and makes your skin look better.
My strategy for water is to fill a pitcher that holds 80 oz. of water when I wake up and work on getting it emptied by the end of the day. That’s 10 glasses of water, and the pitcher sitting on the counter is my reminder.
#2 Get Some Sleep
Hey, that sounds like an easy one. Easier said than done. Over 25% of Americans experience sleep deprivation, and chronic sleep trouble can lead to bad health mojo.
Now you have permission to take an afternoon siesta, or even better, get a consistent eight hours of sleep nightly. I have trouble with this one, but am working on it.
Get a little blood flowing. It’s surprising how a little movement can wake up your gray matter and help you focus on your writing tasks. The problem is we don’t like…here it comes…exercise. Call it functional fitness, call it physical therapy, just call it so it can hear your darling voice once in a while.
Here are three quick and simple videos you can do right at your desk to get your circulation going. I dare you to try one. Go ahead, nobody’s looking.
Link: 9 Minute Seated Yoga
Link: 2 Minute Mini-Walk
Link: 15 Minute Desk Workout
I’ve started a streak of walking one mile per day and doing 30 minutes of a yoga practice. Not much but it’s a start.
#4 Decide that you CAN change your health habits
Ugh, you knew I was going to bring that up. Attitude determines altitude. IF you want to feel better, look better, you are going to have to BELIEVE that you can. Do you believe you can write? And so you write. If you believe you can make healthier choices for your life, you will.
One of my steps in deciding to change my health habits is to discuss it with others and make myself accountable.
Okay, now to finish off this post, drink my last glass of water (nope, I didn’t empty the pitcher but I came close!) and get some sleep. What about you?