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Self-Care for Writers: How To Avoid Burnout

We love to write. We love to create. We love to have sessions where we empty our minds onto our notepads to express ourselves. We love creating stories, explaining issues, and curating experiences for readers to indulge. But we also have to love ourselves and sometimes that means taking a mental break.  

Writing for self-expression is one thing. It can be a relaxing mental break in itself; however once we start piling on deadlines for freelance gigs, writing deals, full time writing jobs, and squeezing in our personal projects in between, we can quickly burnout.

 

WHAT IS BURNOUT?

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. When you overbook yourself that leads to stress and stress causes burnout. It can leave you emotionally drained, create a lack of motivation and in some cases, can lead you to give up everything you’ve been working so hard on.

 

HOW TO AVOID BURNOUT

Avoiding burnout stars with self-care. Here are a list of moves you can start working into your routine to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.

 

EASE YOUR WORKLOAD

Writing can be stressful, especially when you have too many projects and not enough time in the day to get them done. Instead of saying yes to every project, recognize when you need to take a mental break. If you are stressed out completing five assignments everyday, try dropping that number down to three assignments everyday and then re-assess your stress levels.

 

TAKE BREAKS

As writers, we often catch a flow that affords us the energy and creativity we need to write. When that flow is going, we don’t want to break it. Here’s the thing, if that flow is constantly flowing with no breaks... it will eventually run out. Create opportunities for small breaks in your sessions. Try taking a five minute break after every 1000 words. Make a cup of tea, step outside for fresh air or take a moment to read a chapter of your favorite book.

 

EXERCISE

Don’t join the collective “sigh” when it comes to working out. Instead choose a workout that is manageable for you. It can be some stretching, a mile walk, a bike ride, swimming, a dance class, or roller skating session. Exercise has several benefits when it comes to managing stress and improving self care. It pumps up your endorphins (the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good) and improves your mood.

 

SELF-CARE SUNDAY (OR ANY DAY)

Pick a day of the week that will be completely devoted to your self-care. If you can’t spend the full day on self-care, pick a day of the week where you can dedicate a morning or night to focus on your body, mind, and soul. Light a relaxing candle and throw some bath bombs into a hot bath. Try a new craft or a DIY project you’ve been wanting to do. Go explore the nearby outdoor trail or restaurant. Do something that brings you fulfillment and happiness. Don’t open your email, don’t answer the phone, just block this time off every week to be a little selfish and take care of you.

 

Self-care is an important part of mental and physical wellness. Don’t let your work lead to burnout. Rather, take small breaks, get some exercise in, ease your workload, and set aside a time of the week where you devote all of that time to the person that should be the most important person in your life...you.

 

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