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Self-Care Tips for Poets


Self-care for poets: Girl sitting on a rock watching the ocean.

Funny, I'm not an AI fan as a creative. I feel like it's popping up everywhere, and I can't do anything online without getting an AI suggestion. However, upon opening a new blog post and thinking about what to write, the Wix AI tool automatically suggested "self-care for poets." Funny enough, this is exactly what I've been focusing on lately.


One of my biggest secrets to writing a poetry book, from a poet in the middle of her first, is not studying poetry or writing every day or doing prompts to keep you going. It’s self-care. If you're not a poet, it may be unclear why self-care for poets is so important. We get it. If you are a poet, I’m hoping I caught you before you went completely mad. Let's chat.


Why is self-care important for poets?

Self-care is a hot topic and has been for a while. There's a reason it's not going away–it's a forever practice. It's also a topic that people have to be reminded of often because we all go through cycles of ignoring it.


Poets live a creative life of isolation most of the time. Our work is in our minds, on our computers, and in our journals. Our coworkers are our muses and inspirations who cannot help us craft or edit. It's a magical career, but it's lonely and all-encompassing.


Because we live in our minds, poets can become lost in their work and the meaning of the world. We withdraw and close off, burying ourselves in emotions and memories. Sometimes this can be painful and perpetually traumatizing.


If we don't take breaks and take care of our mind, body, and soul, our work can slowly deplete us over time. Enter self-care, a poet's new best friend.


Signs you need self-care

So how do you know when you need self-care? As poets, aren't we expected to be engulfed by deep emotions so we can work? Mmmmm, not quite.


The stereotypical gig of a tragic, starving poet is only sustainable for so long. You have to recharge, refuel, and come back to the real world every so often to connect and fill your cup. Here are some signs that it's time:


Doubt

This is not the first sign you might think of, but it is. Every year, I go through a toxic creative writing cycle where I doubt my abilities. Then, also every year, I dive into a bit of self-care and realize I was just burnt out.


If you're doubting your poetic abilities, it's probably not because you're a terrible writer. Burnout is any writer's worst enemy, and doubt is one of the first signs that you have some refueling to do.


Writers Block

If you can't write poetry and your inspiration is depleted, it's definitely time for self-care. Most of the time, it's not that we lack ideas or inspiration but that our minds are too shot to be creative with words. You can try all of the tricks for getting rid of writer's block but I would suggest self-care, just in case.


Fatigue

When coffee is not working and even breathing feels too exhausting, you need self-care. Your body and mind don't care if you want to push through with your writing. Fatigue will shut down the human body anyways. Plus, the long-term consequences of fatigue are extremely harmful. If you value your creative career, take your rest seriously.


Depression

When I am too into my emotions and don't take a break from poetry, I start to slip into writing depression and false beliefs. Granted, a lot of my poetry surrounds hard times in my life surrounding depression and anxiety, so reading and writing these poems feels darker than writing about nature. However, when I feel like I'm not enjoying life anymore or the loved ones around me, I know it's time for a break.


Irritability

I can really put a lot of pressure on myself to be creative and live a creative life. I can also put a lot of pressure on myself when I feel like I'm not succeeding in this goal. All this pressure makes me extremely irritable when it builds, and my loved ones suffer because of it. It totally defeats the purpose of transitioning into a more creative lifestyle, which is to have less stress doing what I love.


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Self-care Tips for Poets

Resetting your poetic mind is one of the best tricks for regaining your creative spark. Humans are emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual creatures. When our cups aren't filled, our creative brain goes into survival mode, and that's when burnout starts.


These may not work for everyone, but here are some of the methods I use for self-care as a poet:


  • Read books: Nothing helps me get out of my poetic funk better than reading. I'm a mood reader, so I read everything, but usually, I prefer fiction that has nothing to do with what is going on in my life. It takes my brain out of its box.

  • Be creative in other ways: Home decorating, painting, and gardening all help keep my creative brain strong without having to force words. Take a break from poetry and dive into a creative distraction. It really helps.

  • Reconnect with nature: This could mean getting lost in the woods, going on a hike with my kids, sitting by a stream collecting rocks, or going to the beach—anything in the natural world. When I reconnect with nature, I instantly feel reset. Sometimes, it takes a few weeks of everyday nature, other times, just one long day.

  • Indulge in drinks and foods: Seriously though, when I take the time to make myself a gourmet coffee or bake a loaf of banana bread to eat while I edit poetry (the most challenging part of writing a poetry book, in my opinion), the whole process feels more enjoyable. It takes the pressure off NEEDING to work on my poetry and adds joy to writing again.

  • Daily spiritual check-in: I feel my best when I start my day with a spiritual intention. I light candles and curl up with a hot drink and sage and pull tarot cards and a journal. I pick a book from my spiritual shelf and learn more about how to bring more magic into my life and how to connect to the energies around me. This time is precious, and it sets me up to be a better human for the day, no matter what I have to tackle.

  • Solo dates: I've started  The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, where she talks a lot about artist dates. I love this idea, and I also just love taking myself on a drive, getting my nails done, walking the streets of a small town, and shopping at a bookstore or my local metaphysical shop. Taking time to do things you enjoy helps get your mind off of writing, which poets need to do every so often.

  • Kid dates: This is a mom poet type of tip. When I'm too overwhelmed, I let my kids take control. I let them fill my day with laughter and silliness and pretend and snacks and creative things only kids can think of. It reminds me why I started working on myself to begin with and encourages me to show them what living an overall healthy, creative lifestyle looks like. Writing a book with kids is not always easy, but at the same time, it can really be the reset you need to live your dreams.

  • Daily partner connections: My partner cannot join my writing journey, as it's mine to take on. However, my biggest love language is quality time, and when I do not fill this cup, no matter how well the rest of my life is going, I'm not full. Connecting with my partner daily, through conversation or meals or private moments (wink wink) is essential for me. I feel supported and loved, and it's a huge reminder of the types of emotions I'm trying to spark in others with my writing.


More self-care options for poets

What do you do for self-care? Do you have any advice for poets that you want to share? Send me a message or email! Self-care is a forever practice, and I'd love to write more blogs with tips on how to keep poets fueled on the path to their dreams.


Can't wait to hear from you! Till next time dreamers,

Shell




Disclaimer: This blog contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases to help fund my dream of being a published author and poet. I love and appreciate you so much!



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