Today’s post is not about coronavirus, becauselet’s face itaren’t we all sick of being bombarded with news and info about it all day, every day? The situation is getting worse, and will be for a while before it gets better. Duly noted.

However, I do want to give people something in this crisis time, so I’m writing today about self-care for people working from home…especially my fellow creative types.

I started fighting a sinus infection around February 24th and was sick for a solid month. My wife was in bed for six days with the regular old flu. And I have an aging parent in assisted living who needs some assistance from me, so there’s that. In other words, if there was ever such a thing as a “good” time for us to be dealing with a pandemic, this wasn’t it.

Thus far, we’re doing okay. Whether you call it social distancing or self-quarantining, we’re practicing all of it now. With that, may I present five things you can do to take good care of yourself and make sure you’re okay too. 

1) Exercise – This is a bit of a no-brainer, but may sound counter-intuitive. How am I supposed to exercise if I’m stuck indoors, Mike? But actually, I’m suggesting something easy and simple, like a walk around the block, not going to the gym. Go outside, look at some trees, enjoy nature, and move your body. Too much sitting and lying around is bad for the body and the brain.

2) Meditate – I’m a big proponent of meditation, and if your idea of exercise is yoga, you might not want to meditate on top of that. Yoga is not only exercise but also very meditative, so that’s cool. If you do regular non-yoga stuff for exercise, though, I highly suggest taking some time during the day to sit and quietly meditate. Meditation is an amazing stress-reducer, and can also help immensely with creativity. David Lynch is a huge fan of meditation. Check out his comments on it.

3) Get the proper amount of sleep – Notice I didn’t just list “sleep” as an item. You want to get enough sleep, but don’t sleep all day. Too much of a good thing, and it can make you feel sluggish for a long while. I’m a good seven- to eight-hour guy, and it shows if I don’t get enough for multiple days in a row. Bonus feature of regular meditation and exercise: both tend to help improve sleep quality.

4) Eat right – This is a biggie for me, because I’m a vegetarian and a bit of a health nut…but I also love sweets and junk food, so the first things I wanted to stock up on this month were ice cream, cookies, chips, and salsa! I always have foods like garlic and ginger high on my priority list, though, so I can balance things well. It’s okay if I have dessert or a little junk food snack, if that’s balanced out with fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and so on. Like the points above, eating right tends to benefit sleep and make it easier to exercise, maintain enough energy, and feel okay overall.

5) Practice healthy self-talk – And finally, speaking of feeling okay, most of us are not feeling 100% right now, are we? Heck, I found myself on Twitter talking to someone who was contemplating suicide last night! It’s a tough time for almost everyone, I think, so it may be easy to get into negative thinking and unhealthy self-talk. Maybe not I’m no good level stuff, but This sucks, When will it ever end, and on and on. 

Give yourself some positive messages every day, check on friends and relatives, and remember, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to do much for anyone else!

genre writer

The Challenge of Writing in a Different Genre for the First Time

I’ve never been what you’d call a genre writer. In fact, I’ve said this for years: “I’m not a genre writer.” Problem is, we live in an age where everything must be classified. It’s weird. I’m a guy who grew up listening to a lot of rock (the genre formerly known as...
can we talk

Can We Talk?

I don't know how many of my blog readers are familiar with Joan Rivers—possibly not that many—but there was a time when the catchphrase Can we talk? was known to just about every adult in America. Joan may be gone, but it seems like people are talking more than ever....
LCCN

Do I Need A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)?

This week I promised to write about one of the most often overlooked items in the publishing business - the Library of Congress Control Number, or LCCN. I'm going to write about it a bit today, but my thinking on the LCCN has changed to some degree over time.According...
manuscript

Top Five Things to Check Before You Turn Your Manuscript Over

This week's blog post is for my writer friends. Everyone has a checklist of things they know they need to consider before publishing. When it comes time to turn that manuscript into a book, it's all too easy to get caught up in marketing considerations or thoughts of...
racism

Would You Like A Side Order of Misogyny, Prejudice, or Homophobia With That?

I didn’t intentionally set out to write a new novel addressing the rampant intolerance, Islamophobia, and racism in America today. I really didn’t. My novels always start with a character, or characters. Sometimes their actions get pretty hectic right out of the gate;...
software

How Hard Is Software Supposed to Be?

So last week I took the Memorial Day holiday off from everything: no blog, no book project...nothing. Just me and my wife enjoying the day off from work. We don't get that many of those together, so it was nice to just hang out, sleep late, and watch mindless TV shows...
excellence

Literary Excellence and Why Writers Need to Be Readers

Back when I first launched my company, I often used the phrase literary excellence as part of my branding. The idea was that Sahno Publishing evolved out of the notion that literary excellence is more important than a financial formula. The company entered the...

Rolling With The Changes

I’m back on the blog today after a two-week break, which hasn’t really been a break at all. At least, it hasn’t felt like one. But the topic of today’s post is change, and for good reason: I’m dealing with some major changes in my family, as my parents move past the...
optimism

Are We Ready to Make A Case For Optimism?

Most anyone who reads this blog probably knows I’m not what you call a Pollyanna type. Not that I’m a pessimist. Far from it. But as we’ve all endured the slings and arrows of the last four years—and especially the last year of Plague—I haven’t exactly been pumping...