Self-care for writers during Lockdown

The current coronavirus/COVID19 situation has impacted many different parts of people’s lives. It is important that we take care of ourselves and those who are important to us during this time. Currently, this is a global issue and you are not alone in your worries. I want to impart some tips that we can use to stay healthy and connected during this time. This information is echoed in other places, but I wanted to tailor some tips for the literary curios and writers.

You do not need to write your magnum opus during the period of lockdown. I feel this is the most important tip. Many people will say during lockdowns you will have the opportunity to write endlessly and the time to edit until your heart’s content. Often, they will cite William Shakespeare or other writers who created some magnificent works during isolation periods. You do not have to write or complete that novel during this time. It is okay to do a little bit, the same as you were before, or even nothing at all.

Set a schedule and loosely stick to it. Continuing your writing practice will look differently during this time. You may have done it after work, after school or while you were on the train. It is important to accept this difference and allocate time to keep your routine going. Plan out when you will write by starting a calendar and allocating time to the day. Be realistic with it. Try to plan in times that most emulate your writing practice from before. Be flexible with it and let yourself enjoy the practice of writing rather than doing it because you have the mantra of ‘writing everyday.’ To invoke Marie Kondo, if it is not bringing you joy, get rid of it (for that day at least). Alternatively, if writing is difficult for you due to current issues, it is okay to put it to the side and come back to it another time. If you do plan on coming back to it, it is helpful to keep a log or thought journal.

Stay engaged with your leisure activities. If you are reading this, you have accomplished one core leisure activity of a writer’s arsenal which is reading! Make sure you are staying in touch with activities that you do for fun. While writing is fun, sometimes it can also induce stress when we cannot figure out where to go next or finding the right words. Remember to retain writing as a leisure outlet during this time, and frequently attend to hobbies you love to do.

Stay connected with your social circles. While we are physically separate, we are still socially connected through the internet. Check up with friends and family, even share work that you are writing on for feedback. It may provide a nice distraction during this time or provide a shared experience for you both to relate to. Make sure to still connect fellow writers and other readers you relate to on your social medias. Many social groups are moving online and staying connected with your networks is a good way to find places for support.

This will be a stressful time, but it is important we manage the pressures of lockdown through self-care. Throughout my social work degree and training, a big emphasis has been on how we take care of ourselves. If you would like to chat about self-care during this time, @ me on twitter at SeductiveTaco.

This article was originally written for Envie Magazine: https://enviemagazine.com/