Knowing who you are can really help you as an author. This is not some new age granola thing. It’s about ways to hack yourself into doing better.
For example I am not a morning person, ever. I need to finish my coffee at a slow relaxed pace before I can talk. Knowing this, I don’t schedule any work meetings until after I am settled. Maybe you are not blessed to be self employed like me. When I worked for corporate America, I would get up in time so I could have a half an hour to chillax, have my coffee and breakfast, and wake the hell up.
When it is time for me to really power work, I have invested in some noise canceling headphones and have a butt-kicking playlist that allows me to focus, especially since I am a poster child for adult ADHD.
Speaking of my inability to sit still, I have lots of unique pieces of jewelry that I can fidget with in meetings without looking like a loon.
The headphone trick, by the way, once allowed me to complete NaNoWriMo in the last three days when chaos took over the earlier part of the month.
It is also really important to know yourself, so you can tell when you are getting overwhelmed and stressed. We are so used to putting our self care aside and ignoring warning signs that we actually get used to operating on a constant stress level.
Quick trick from Mr. Paula who is a shrink: Right now, put your hands on your neck. Go ahead. I will wait.
Are your hands colder than your neck? Then you are stressed. When your body senses that you are stressed it pulls the heat from your extremities to your core.
Being in a constant state of stress means you are not able to give your best to yourself, others, and your writing.
There is a difference between stress and excitement. Doing NaNoWriMo in three days was actually exciting and fun. My family got into the spirit and were cheering me on. Doing that for every NaNoWriMo would stress me out. Because, as someone who is a pantser in writing, I am a plotter in life.
And my hands are always toasty warm.
What do you do to deal with stress or treat yourself?
Have a great day!