Call it the doldrums, brain fog, or just plain being overwhelmed. We’ve all hit that mental wall as writers, and know how hard it is to push through when deadlines are looming. It may happen because you’re bogged down with work if you’ve taken on an extraordinary number of email marketing copywriting clients or other new jobs.
But a surprising amount of the time, your brain is lagging because of something physical. Writers are notorious for living an unhealthy lifestyle, whether it’s lack of exercise, excess coffee and alcohol or simply grazing through piles of junk food through the day. Do you want to turn up your mental energy? Adopt some of these healthy lifestyle habits and you’ll feel more awake, alert, and creative through the day.
Your brain needs moisture to keep it healthy, just like the rest of your organs. Lack of water is one of the most common hidden causes of lack of energy, and this applies to your mental functions as well as your body. Keeping yourself hydrated is a simple fix for a writer. Get an insulated water glass, or a big travel mug, and fill it with ice water. Pop that cup right on the corner of your desk and take a sip every time your hands leave the keyboard. One of two things will happen: you’ll increase your output or you’ll drink more water. Win-win.
Everyone has the same excuse. Who has time to work out when you’ve got deadlines? The simple fact is if you don’t move your body on a regular basis, it stops working. Set a timer for 50 minutes during the work day. When the timer goes off, get up and do something physical for 10 minutes. Throw in a load of laundry, dance to your favorite song, walk around the outside of the house, whatever feels good. The idea is to move your body for a solid 10 minutes every hour. You don’t have to work up a sweat, just stop sitting still.
Go to the grocery store. It’s that simple and that complicated. The secret is to buy food only on the outer edge of the store, and avoid all the processed goodies in the middle. Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Splurge on beautiful berries, sleek tomatoes and buttery avocado. If you keep these foods ready in your fridge, that’s what you’ll grab when you’re craving a snack.
Your body may be in the best shape possible, but if you don’t develop healthy mental habits, you won’t work to your fullest potential. You may be the most efficient writer in the world, but everyone needs a mental break every day. Develop a hobby besides watching television for when your work is done. Do a craft, play a sport, train for a marathon or grow a garden. Find something that gives you satisfaction without using words and practice it every day. The mental break this affords you will result in increased mental energy when you get back to writing.
Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.