A to Z Blogging Challenge: H is for Health
Today I'm finding it difficult to organise my thoughts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. H is for Health is a post is really want to write, but I'm not a physician, or any kind of healthcare practitioner, so I have to be extremely careful what I say and what advice I give. It could easily be taken the wrong way and I could be trusted to have some kind of authority that I don't have and never will have. So, please be mindful of that when you read this post. H is for Health but this relates to Nanowrimo and the way that writers have to be careful when it comes to their health.
The first point I should probably make is that health is a very personal topic, so most of the things I'm going to say are about problems I myself have encountered. You might face other challenges, so you'll have to be very self-aware. Here are some of the health problems I've found when completing Nanowrimo.
- Cramping muscles - spending many hours sitting at a desk or with a laptop on my knees can cause my back to cramp up, as well as other body parts like shoulders and wrists. It's important to take plenty of breaks and cut your writing time up into chunks if you find you're struggling with this too. That way you'll get all the work done without injuring yourself.
- Tiredness - I've already written a post about caffeine, which many writers find useful. As someone who doesn't use caffeine, I do find that tiredness can be an issue, especially if I've been trying too hard to top up my word count over a weekend for example. I prioritise sleep over everything else at this point in my life. It's the best medicine and best beauty treatment and sometimes it can help a plot hole resolve itself too.
- Headaches - Too much time looking at a screen can cause headaches, as can the stress of the challenge. You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially if you're falling behind. It depends on how seriously you take the challenge and sometimes an attitude adjustment can help. Yes, the challenge is hard but it's meant to be fun so if you're writing yourself into a headache, take a break and be happy with the progress you've made already. Don't keep masking it with painkillers if they persist. See a doctor.
- Anxiety - See above about headaches. It's important to push yourself, but not so important that you start to worry about it and get overwhelmed. Be a Nano-rebel (it's a thing) and take a few days off. If you take one day off, add a day on to the end of the challenge so you finish on December 1st instead. Add more days if required. Make it 30 days in total instead of 30 consecutive days.
- Loneliness - There are so many write-ins happening around you and if you struggle with loneliness, I recommend joining in with one of them. Even if you're a quite and reserved person like me, it can do you a lot of good to get out and just observe. If you don't have a write-in near you, just go to a local cafe and set up your laptop or take your notebook. Maybe you could even arrange a write-in and put a flyer up in the cafe to advertise it. You never know, you might inadvertently start a new writing club. If you feel like you really can't do that, there are plenty of people online participating in the challenge, so try adding some people who seem friendly as buddies and cheer each other on. I'm definitely open to friend requests!
- Self-esteem issues - This is particularly important to be aware of if you don't complete the challenge. You have still achieved a lot - more than those who didn't attempt the challenge. Read my post on A for Achievement if you feel that you're judging yourself really harshly for not completing the challenge.