Self Care for Writers: 25 Ways to Avoid Burnout

Times when I need it most, I fall behind on self care strategies that help me bring my best self to the page. Everything becomes an either/or trap. Either I can take 30 minutes to do some yoga or I can write. Either I can spend 15 minutes reading something for fun (not for research) or I can write. Either I can call a friend or I can write. Writing wins most of the time–but if I don’t keep up with self care, my mental health suffers. Self care for writers makes the writing part of my work easier.

Self Care and Burnout Prevention

Burnout reduces creativity. It leads to tiredness, dread, and poor performance. When it comes to creative work, you’re the one harmed by burnout–not some boss or company. Self care can help you manage stress before it gets to the point of burnout.

To hold myself accountable, and maybe to inspire some of you, I’m sharing my favorite self-care strategies. When I carve out time for one or more of these actions, I feel better. I always do. And yet privileging the time is so hard.

But this, too, is part of the work. So here’s how I take care of myself.

25 Self Care Strategies for Writers

  1. Meditation

  2. Journaling

  3. Cleaning the house

  4. Getting the laundry done and put away

  5. Reading

  6. Yoga

  7. Being in nature

  8. Tarot

  9. Taking a bath

  10. Painting my toenails

  11. Cooking something yummy

  12. Scrolling through my dream board

  13. Travel

  14. Doing something new

  15. Calling a friend

  16. Cooking something yummy

  17. Picking flowers

  18. Swinging in the hammock

  19. Spending time in the garden

  20. Snuggling the dogs

  21. Complimenting myself

  22. Gratitude

  23. Bonfires

  24. Reflecting on all the things I have

  25. Saying no to things I don’t want to do

It’s really easy to get into a space of beating myself up for skipping the things that make me feel good, so I’m working on loosening up on the negative self-talk and accepting that when things get busy, these habits drop.

From acceptance I can then move into a space of thoughtful action. Recommitting to the techniques that reduce my stress and anxiety, clear my mind (so I can focus on writing) and boost my energy.

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