Writing And Mental Health! Are You Paying Attention?

By on June 2, 2021

Writing and mental health have been speculated about over the decades and explored on many occasions. We all know about those famous creative people who found their artistic genius something of a curse, sometimes with dire consequences.

However, being creative can have many positive health benefits too. Lots of therapy uses innovative methods such as writing as a way to help. Writing can help people suffering from mental health issues explore and take back control of their problems.

Writing and mental health - how to look after yourself

While writers are no more susceptible to mental health issues than anyone else, it is vital to be aware of some of the problems that writers commonly face, which can take their toll on their wellbeing. Let’s explore some of them and what we can do about it. 

Feeling lonely

Writing can be a fairly solitary pursuit. Writers can spend a great deal of time alone and work by themselves. 

Writer burnout

Writers may burn the candle at both ends, and when an idea takes hold, it can be challenging to remember to take breaks and know when to stop.

Writer’s block

When writer’s block strikes, writers can lose their motivation, their sense of purpose and can become incredibly frustrated and feel as though they are stuck in a rut.

Self-doubt and criticism

Writers are often their own worst critics and are full of crippling self-doubt, never believing they are good enough or that their work is of value.

Writer’s and rejection

Writers often suffer from years of rejection, and no matter how hard they try or how much effort they put into their work, they can get little to no reward.

So if you are feeling as though writing is taking its toll on your mental health, what can you do about it? 

Use your writing to help explore your feelings

Writers have a fantastic gift - they are used to writing and exploring thoughts and feelings for their work. So if you are feeling down, write about it and try to find some catharsis in that. 

Be aware of the signs

Stay alert to signs of depression, frustration, stress, anxiety, and burnout so that you can act fast if they do strike.

Know when to stop

Give yourself regular breaks, holidays, and try to work within normal working hours to avoid exhaustion and burnout. Make sure that writing doesn’t completely overtake your life and have other things to look forward to.

Gather a great support network

Try to find supportive family members and friends you can talk to, join writers groups, and find like-minded professionals to help keep you grounded.

Remember to stay active and get out into the world

Keeping physically well will also help to keep your mental health strong. Get fresh air and exercise, eat well, drink water, and you’ll find that you’ll feel strong and positive throughout the day. 

Get help when you need it

If you do feel lost, confused, depressed, or that you can’t cope, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who can help you. 

Paying attention to your mental health is something that everyone should do more of. Being aware of when you are suffering or warning signs can help you take swift action and ensure that you stay positive, motivated, and healthy as you continue along your writer’s journey. 

Now you've learned more about writing and mental health, why not read about why being healthy makes you a better writer?

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About Beth Cadman

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