Really Useful Links: Looking After Your Health by Paul Anthony Shortt | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers

Paul Anthony Shortt

I’ve previously talked about the mental toll that writing can take on us. But while mental health is important, we shouldn’t neglect our physical well-being either. We often think of writing as a purely mental and imaginative exercise, forgetting that even sitting working at a computer can have an exhausting impact on our bodies.

By far the first indicator that something is wrong, whether physically or with your working environment, will be an increase in stress levels. Stress is your body and mind’s way of reacting to damaging influences, and it can have a serious impact on your health, so pay attention to it. Whenever you feel stress and tension building up, stop what you’re doing and take steps to alleviate it, this link offers some excellent tips for relaxation.

If you’re still feeling rough after taking a break and clearing your head, then there’s a good chance the problem is something physical.

Are you getting enough sleep? Most people need an average of 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night. This varies from person to person (I find I get very groggy if I sleep for more than 7 hours, for example), but by and large, people need plenty of sleep in order to function. It lets our body heal and our brains recharge and absorb things we’ve learned during the day. Check out these tips for promoting regular restful sleep.

Sitting at a desk and working at a computer under artificial light is, unsurprisingly, is not what human bodies are built for. Maintaining any one position for too long leads to all manner of muscle, joint, and blood flow issues, so consider ways to improve your health – here are 5 tips for anyone who sits at a computer for prolonged periods.

Regular exercise is of course essential, but some studies show that those of us who spend excessive amounts of time at a desk need to go an extra mile, so to speak, to offset the damage we do to our bodies. As the article says “Not only do frequent work breaks help get some movement in during an otherwise long day at the desk, but they also increase productivity, as noted in coach Amy Hester’s article, 11 Sneaky Ways to Move Every Day.”

Another health subject we overlook is our diet. Whether we have long working hours, busy parenting schedules, or any manner of time demands, we just want our mealtimes to be quick and easy. But depending on ready-made food while we mainline coffee (guilty…) is a terrible way to treat our bodies. The various foods we eat all have different benefits for our minds and bodies, this article suggests the best foods for building a healthier brain and as BBC Good Foods suggests in ‘10 Foods to Boost Your Brain’, even our snacks can be changed up to make us healthier . Take time to eat well. Preparing healthy meals for yourself and your family can even become part of your winding-down routine after your day’s work. Have your family help out and you not only get to ease up on the burden, but it becomes a nice shared activity, which is so important given the solitary nature of our work.

While you’re looking out for your health, do a quick check to make sure your work space is safe – this article outlines 6 classic office health risks from carpal tunnel syndrome to lower back pain. Ensure you’re not one mis-step away from a trip to the A&E department!

(c) Paul Anthony Shortt

About the author

Paul Anthony Shortt believes in magic and monsters; in ghosts and fairies, the creatures that lurk under the bed and inside the closet. The things that live in the dark, and the heroes who stand against them. Above all, he believes that stories have the power to change the world, and the most important stories are the ones which show that monsters can be beaten.
Paul’s work includes the Memory Wars Trilogy and the Lady Raven Series. His short fiction has appeared in the Amazon #1 bestselling anthology, Sojourn Volume 2.



Twitter: @PAShortt

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