Self-Care for Writers – Posture

Jumping Jack

Jumping Jack

Now, I’m not a physiotherapist. And yes, I’ve dealt with back pains and wrenched backs a few times in my life, so I know how that feels. And I’m certainly not perfect in my posture, nor avoiding all problems.

But I know one thing: We writers tend to sit too much.

So kudos to all of you who already work at a standing desk, on a treadmill or who dictate their stories while walking outside – you’re awesome.

Most of us aren’t there.

I sit at a desk most of the time. Both at my day job and at home. I have a laptop, but I don’t feel very comfortable moving around with it. At home, my place simply is at my desk. *grins*

The one thing I do for my health while sitting at my desk is using one of those stools with rockers and knee supports. That is supposed to force me to sit up straight (also puts my hands at the optimal height for the keyboard tray), to keep me moving a little, and to keep my back muscles from atrophying. That does work unless…

… I put my elbow on my desk and lean my head on my hand.

Which has given me terrible headaches.

So what can we do about our posture?

I actually have two suggestions, and they depend a little on each other. I’m working on making both a full habit in my life – and those weeks where I have managed to do them both are weeks where I feel better in my body. So yeah. Do as I say… all right?

1. Be aware of your posture.

What I’m suggesting here is basically checking in with your body once in a while or regularly, or even often to see how you’re sitting. How you’re feeling. How happy your body is.

Yes, with a bit of practice you can feel that. When I check in, I often do a little stretch or two to relax muscles that have become a little tight or such. Try it out. Do a check right now, as you’re reading this.

Which parts feel tight? Maybe a little numb, simply because they haven’t moved in a while? Move them gently, maybe stretch a little.

It really is just a simple little thing, but raising body awareness is very helpful in general.

2. Get up and move around every hour

This is my secret weapon. My gift to you.

Set a timer on your computer or your smartphone to beep at every hour. I think my old Apple used to do that anyway, but I had to install a timer on my computer and program it. Now it plays a few seconds of bird song every hour on the hour.

I know this will be hard, especially for those of you who write with cats.

And it’s hard for me because more often than not, that timer interrupts something I’m writing or doing, and I ignore it.

The idea is, however, that you get up at that point and move around. Vigorously. (Yes, I also do that at the office.)

I dance in my living room, kind of. I move my arms, my legs and just have fun for a minute or two until I breathe faster and my heartbeat speeds up.

And that’s the whole point: You’re waking up your body, you’re getting the blood flowing, bringing oxygen to your brain and your organs.

So get moving!

You’ll notice that writing might get easier after that. That you feel more alive. That maybe, just maybe you feel a tad happier.

Try it out and let me know how it goes.

And if you feel resistance to that idea, we can tap together.

Even though I don’t want to feel my body, it’s not a good feeling, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I give myself permission now to feel how my body needs to move to get better.

Even though it feels silly to move around every hour on the hour, just because my smartphone beeped at me, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I choose to enjoy these rounds of movement and how alive they make me feel.

Even though it feels stupid to think that little bit of moving around every hour could replace “real exercise”, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I choose to see it as a step in the right direction – and maybe it could be fun!

Your Turn:
How aware are you of your body?
What do you think of moving around like that?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

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About fmoebius

I'm a writer and coach. I love helping writers be more creative, more productive and more profitable. With EFT, life gets easier. Blocks can fall away. Limiting beliefs just shift. You can build your dream life. Let me help you do this.
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