Writing for Health 

 March 25, 2024

By  Emma

Writing for health is something that may be on your radar, especially during times when the world is so busy. Being able to slow down and allow your brain to process your thoughts is of great benefit, and I speak from experience.

I work as a freelance writer, and have published a number of books, but my daily writing habits are something I did before I worked in this field.

One of my personal goals is to create Switch Off Tune In, which will help others give themselves time and permission to clear their mind. Yes, I know there’s yoga, meditation, and countless other wellness options, but mine uses words and art as the tools… the best thing is that you have an end result too.

The Brain Dump

The foundation of my day is my morning brain dump. By writing when I first wake up I’m able to get my thoughts is order, but as well as a stream of consciousness I also prioritise any tasks. As a freelancer, everyone has a deadline for me, so my ability to push back and tell them when I can complete is essential for my wellbeing. Otherwise I worry, then I don’t sleep, then nothing gets finished.

I top my day off with a review of my morning brain dump, add tomorrow’s priorities, then away I go with a clean mind to the land of nod.

Writing for Health with Creative Prompts

Here’s one I made earlier! A couple of years ago, I came up with a simple idea for children to learn creatively, and it occurs to me that it’s perfect for adults too. Take Five Words provides a launchpad for creativity, and it falls under the umbrella of Switch Off Tune In, I suppose.

You may choose to create a short story, or a piece of non-fiction related to this words that’s beautifully illustrated. If birds are in the words, you might like to go for a walk to see whether you can spot them. Whether you then choose to take a photo, get some landscape painting ideas, or just listen to their song, is up to you.

Regardless, it’s YOUR time.

Exercise Your Brain with New Words

I realise that these days newspaper crosswords are less in demand, but actually even if you don’t buy a daily paper there are ways to keep those neural connections sparking.

I do believe that holding a pen to write rather than typing has a different effect in your brain. Reinforcing the pathways in our minds is critical, especially as we age. There are readily available crossword books, and as well as challenging yourself you will learn new words.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. My dad used to do the crossword daily until his death, and he kept a notebook with every new word alongside the relative clue. I still have his book of words, and as it being a treasured memento it’s also a valuable tool!

Using Nature Journalling when Writing for Health

Being outside has huge health benefits, there’s no doubt about that. However, if you leave the house with a sketchbook you’re setting the intention of giving yourself time. You’ll get exercise as well as coming home with a sense of satisfaction, and you might even learn something too!

Nature journalling requires your attention. You need to sit, observe, sketch, and take notes; I think it’s a form of meditation in itself. I always have watercolour pencils with me with when I’m out, which means I have the versatility of creating a dry sketch or adding water. I confess I have a slight addiction to them, but learning how to use watercolour pencils properly was a revelation.

When I was a child I had my first set of Caran D’ache watercolour pencils and the love affair started there. These days I have far too many tins and boxes laying around the house, but there are worse things to collect I guess!

Anyway, combining my beloved pencils with words whilst out and about enjoying nature is my idea of heaven. It calms the mind, and as long as it isn’t pouring down, it’s accessible to everyone.

Make Time to Write for Wellness

It doesn’t need to be complicated. In this picture you’ll see I grabbed an offcut of paper to make myself a 30 day challenge to stick to my goals. After all, how can I encourage others to make time for themselves if I don’t lead by example?

You’ll see I’ve set a 500 word target, but you don’t need to do that. It can be a simple yes or no.

I’ll share more on this in coming weeks.

Writing for Your Health in a Busy World

I will be delving into this topic more this year. I’ve written this article before 8am on a Monday morning because I know that at 9 o’clock my clients will be wanting a piece of me. I would much prefer to be full-time here, helping others enjoy the arts along the gaining health benefits.

It’s worth mentioning that the reason I didn’t include mental health in the main title of this page is because I wanted to start with a broad brush approach. This article covers mental and physical benefits, so I’ll delve further into journalling and creating habits in other posts in this series.

For now though, it’s 8.15am, I’ve only had one cup of tea, and I have to hop on a conference call shortly so I must depart. I hope I’ve given you a little food for thought in my early morning brain dump, and that you’ll think more about writing for health.

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