Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Care & Feeding of The Nanowrimo Body

This Thursday November 1'st 2012, thousands of authors  and aspiring writers will embark on their National Novel Writing Month  . This is my fourth year doing Nano. It's an exhausting, exhilarating journey with tremendous support. For several weeks now readers have been focusing on outlines and plots, telling friends and loved ones they will be unavailable, and planning their writing schedule.
Many however aren't thinking about what a toll the nano process can take on their body. So today I'm going to share with you some tips on how to keep your body fit while you pursue your creative goals.
I've chosen the terms CARE to represent the level of  maintenance you will need to stay fit  and FEEDING to represent what activities will enhance you physical state. 
First Up we need to Evaluate your current level of physical activity:
Do you currently do cardio based workouts  2-3 days a week?
Do you do yoga or any abs strengthening workouts?
Do you practice yoga or Pilate's consistently?
If you answered YES to the majority of  questions above you need Low to Medium level of  Care.
Has it been 30 days or more since you did any physical activity?
Do you spend a long time sitting or standing at work?
So you spend a lot of time driving?
If you answered YES to one or more of these questions you can need medium to high level ofCare.
Some suggested items for your Care Packs:
Heat Packs
Cold Packs
Wrist Splints
Advil, Alleve, Arnica Cream
Stretching is going to be the most important way to protect your back neck, and arms. I highly suggest you check out the book Stretching by Bob Anderson. Newer editions of his book even have specific stretches for a variety of repetitive activities like typing.
Here are some other tips to keep your body in top shape:
Schedule Your Writing Week

I specifically used the word week.  Since the weekends are huge push opportunities for word counts the week days offer the best opportunity for self-care.

Weekday Suggestions

1) Set a strict weekday writing schedule. This will give your body time to rest since you probably have spent the day at work or school.

2) Stretch Daily! Add heat packs to areas that feel stiff like your back and neck and Ice to any areas that are sending you pain responses.

3) Drink lots of water especially if you are consuming a lot of caffeine.

4) Set an alarm for breaks, get up,  move around take a  hot shower

5) Get plenty of sleep! I know , I know deadlines are looming but if you don't take care of yourself you will be less effective during the long weekend pushes.

Activities that FEED a healthy Nano Body:

 Drinking Water: keeping yourself hydrated keeps your mind sharp!

      Smart Caffeine Choices: Tea:  Black Iced tea, Green Tea. 

 Walking: Great for the circulation after a long day of sitting

Yoga: Look for classes that say : gentle, restorative, beginning. Visit Yoga Journal for information on classes near you

Naps: Grab a power nap, keep an early bedtime schedule.

Community: Attend a Nano event and meet other potential writers. Be inspired and enjoy the company of others working towards the same goal.

Limit Junk Food: Yes you might want a sweet snack while working, but eat them in moderation. Instead have lots of fruit, nuts, pretzels etc.

Hope you try at least one of my suggestions! They will insure you have a healthier Nano! Happy writing everyone!

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