Putting Yourself First (AKA Self-Care) and Life Glows On

Wednesday, December 15, 2021
I have a problem with putting myself first--ever. I'm not trying to be a martyr. I promise. I think it's just my current life stage of being a single mom of a needy dog and elementary-school-aged child and the only child of elderly parents. I have to constantly remind myself of the saying (and what to do on an airplane): "You have to put your oxygen mask on first." And that's so true. If we don't take care of ourselves or put our writing and creativity first sometimes, we will not be able to take care of the people who need us.

During the holiday season, it's particularly hard to do this. At least for me. Besides the normal responsibilities and work, there are also presents to buy and wrap, traditions to continue, friends and family to see and goals to still try to reach because 2021 is almost at an end. Tired yet? 

So what can we do?

1. In the December Market eNewsletter, I mentioned a gift you could get for a writer, or have someone buy for you: a hotel stay--you can rent rooms by the day or the traditional way. Give yourself the gift of getting away and focusing on your writing and your self-care. If you missed that newsletter, click here to read for the information and inspiration.

2. I've been in a book club this year. And although I'm not the best member about attending, I do enjoy the books we read. We have read Claire Cook's Life Glows On (pictured above). Claire is famous for Must Love Dogs, and I love this woman as both an author and a person. I met her at a writing conference, and we stayed in social media touch, and then I won the entire 7 books in the Must Love Dogs series. (If you don't remember Must Love Dogs, it was made into a movie! Screenshot from Rogerebert.com below.) 

Back to Life Glows On, Claire and her husband both suffered from COVID-19 and recovered, but it was a long road. After that experience, she wrote this book. Here's a little bit about it from her website
"Whether you’re a writer, artist, or crafter in need of a boost, or someone who (incorrectly!) tells yourself you’re not creative (you are!), this book is a much-needed balm to the soul.“—Book Perfume 

 “It’s a how-to ‘Cook-book’ filled with wonderful ideas to help you locate that spark and use that new-found innate creativity to keep yourself busy, productive—and happy—during difficult times like pandemic shutdowns and post-shutdowns.”—Pamela Kramer 

"Packed with fun ideas and solid, practical strategies for reconnecting with your creativity and making the rest of your life the best of your life. Ditch all those worries about getting older and embrace what can be the most vibrant and empowering chapter of your life. Equal parts creativity guide, mood boost, midlife manifesto, self-help salve, and breath of fresh air. 100% witty, wise and generous Claire Cook, who shares everything she’s learned on her own journey that might help you in yours. Filled with great stories and insider tips."

Yes, it's all that and more. And if you're lucky enough to share it with a book club or friend, I think you'll get even more out of the book.

3. Schedule time for yourself: My most productive days are when the night before, I make a schedule and stick to it the best I can--which includes taking a walk and working on my own work. I schedule that in--sometimes, I even put exact times down for the walk or writing time. 

So I know this topic of self-care is old news, but take care of yourself! Take time for yourself! And you might think, I don't have one more second in the day. But you may find you have more seconds, if you focus on yourself for just a bit because you will feel energized and ready to tackle what life is throwing at you! 

Margo L. Dill is a writing coach, publisher, author, and editor, living in St. Louis, MO with her daughter and dog. Check out her editing business here and the classes she teaches for WOW! here. 


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