NaNoWriMo is still about a month away, but this year I am making plans to really tackle this journey in such a way that I don’t burn out by the end of November and get sick right before Christmas. In order to remain healthy during this time, you must not only prepare what you will write and outline your new manuscript but you must also schedule your exercise and self-care. Oh, and while you are at it, you should also cook a whole bunch of meals that you could put in the freezer for easy access during the month of November. So, here are a few tips that you need to practise for self-care during NaNo.
- Set up your writing schedule for the month before you start writing in November. For instance, decide what time you will be writing, and for how long.
- While you are scheduling your writing time, also schedule your stretch times and your exercise time. Add that into your planner in red ink.
- Schedule times to meditate every day–even if you meditate no more than 3 to 5 minutes at a time, it will help you feel more balanced and not as stressed out.
- Write down when you will eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner in your planner. Schedule that onto your planner in another colour ink.
- Schedule your other appointments in your planner, be they doctor appointments or other commitments.
- Add your work times in your planner if you work outside of the home.
- Add any other commitments on your planner too. Make sure you write everything that needs to be done, including housework and laundry on your planner. Designate a consistent time for these activities.
- Schedule self-care time: that is time when you will pursue your hobbies, such as crocheting, knitting, or quality. YES!!!! You CAN and MUST schedule these things and DO them during November otherwise you will burn out. Even if you spend an hour or two a week doing some activity that you really love, you will feel so much better. Don’t just plan to do nothing but write during November. That does not ensure that you are taking care of yourself.
- Have a cook out on the weekend–say Sunday. This again will make you feel much more grounded.
- Bake bread or a pie or cake on the weekend. This also is a way to ground yourself and make you feel good.
By taking these steps, you will be making NaNoWriMo the best that it can be. And when December comes along, you will have a new drafted book AND you will be ready to enjoy the holidays! Try it! Irene S. Roth