Monday, February 23, 2015

Signs It's Time to Take a Break

Have you ever been sitting there, hammering away at the keyboard, without realizing how much time has passed? I know I have. My ideas begin pouring out of me and I am so focused I don't even know the sun has set. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. Let me explain.

GOOD: 

-Your word count is off the chart.
-You have advanced on your project more than you have in two months.
-No one has interrupted you.
-Your ideas are flowing.
-Your novel will be done in record time.

BAD:

-You cannot feel your bum or your legs anymore.It's important to take breaks. Stand up and stretch out your legs. Long periods of sitting without stretching can cause blood clots in the legs which can later travel to your lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. Set a timer to ensure you are getting up and stretching a few times an hour.
-Your eyes are pouring out tears, not from what you are writing, but rather from the strain of looking at the screen for so long. Continual strain can cause headaches, migraines, and many other things. Make sure you look away every now and again to give your eyes a much needed break.
-Your fingers look like little hooks because you can't straighten them out. Do finger exercises to get the kinks out. My favorite is to move my fingers like my six year old does when she's counting. Don't forget the wrists.
-You haven't gotten up to use the restroom and you have a funny pain in your back that's not from being hunched over. (Hint: kidneys) Restroom breaks are a MUST! You don't want to get a urine infection or cause problems with your kidneys. Don't forget to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
-You feel sort of dizzy and think "hmm, the last meal I had was over twelve hours ago". Two things you can do here. You can keep snacks handy for those times when it's not break time. Set a timer to get up and stretch and to go make yourself something nutritious to eat. You are depriving your body of sustenance when you don't eat. You don't want to pass out!

Although it's nice to watch that word count rise, it's also nice to be healthy in order to watch it rise. Take good care of yourself. If you don't, no one else will.

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