I wrote this in 2016, and it’s surprisingly relevant today.
If you haven’t already seen this article about our body’s surge capacity, take a few minutes to read it. It explains why we all feel so depleted right now.
Here’s some extra support, in case you need it.
For your body
Catherine Wright at Recoop Care is giving this free adult sleep workshop. Learn about the importance of sleep quality (not just quantity) and how a few tweaks in your routine can soothe your overactive mind and fatigued body. Catherine also happens to be one of my friends. She has the gift of contagious calm, and she understands sleep.
Speaking of my gifted friends, take care of your nervous system in Annie Bray’s free Bodies of Freedom membership. She’s stocked her library with video and audio movement and meditation sessions. Annie has been leading our Story Intensive 2020 cohort with guided somatic practices since September. Our writers love her guided exercises, reporting that they help them access deeper states of awareness and calm.
For your mind
The American media cycle has a very powerful megaphone. What we pay attention to grows. So it’s good to remember that there’s actually a lot of other stuff happening in the world right now. Switch your news diet up and replenish your mind by subscribing to the Future Crunch Good News newsletter and learn fascinating, intelligent, optimistic news about global progress in science, technology, art and culture.
For your spirit
Listen to this song, Faith’s Hymn, by Beautiful Chorus. Give yourself a gift – plug in your headphones and just close your eyes while it plays. It’s a 6 minute 19 second reset.
Insight Timer offers a lot of wonderful free meditations, but it can be overwhelming to find the one that helps you feel better in the right way at the right time, especially when you open the app when you’re already feeling anxiety. I recommend Ruth King’s free meditations.
For your source
Writing is like water, sleep and exercise for writers. It’s part of our self care. Writing keeps us feeling healthy, whole and grounded. Turn to your notebook like it’s a friend; your writing can listen to you, support you, and restore you.
Finally, a reminder: it’s okay to fall apart. It’s actually a way to take care of ourselves.
Accept that your capacity isn’t what it used to be. Lower your expectations for achievement and let yourself come undone sometimes.*
Writing is both hard work and healing work. Now is a good time to lean into the soft part of our writing practice, to replenish our source.
* For example, I know NaNoWriMo is here. If this is making your chest feel tight, breathe. You can let it go this year. It’s really okay. There are so many other ways you can write your book.
Photo, top: Tea bowl, possibly Satsuma ware; possibly Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, Edo period, 17th century; stoneware with clear, crackled glaze, stained by ink; gold lacquer repairs; Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1904.323. Source: National Museum of Asian Art