Self-care is a concept taught in our CYMH courses, which can be beneficial for editors as well.
Self-care refers to activities we choose to do to improve our mood, enhance our physical and mental health, and avoid burn-out. Regularly doing self-care reduces stress, and promotes mindfulness and work/life balance.
So what, exactly, does self-care mean for editors?
Well, for one, it could mean that you take your regular breaks. It could mean that you eat healthy food. It could mean you do one relaxing activity every day–water your plants, meditate, stretch, listen to music, create wild and glowing art, etc. Or maybe you do something physical every day–attend TRU fitness classes, stretch, dance, walk through the campus garden, etc.
Self-care could also mean limiting things you don’t like. If it is not fun for you, it is not benefitting you. Don’t check your work email in the evenings, for example. Don’t join meetings if you don’t want to be there (within reason, of course). Don’t talk about work at lunch or on your breaks.
Regardless of the specific activity you choose, self-care definitely means you will do one relaxing or pleasurable activity every day. Schedule it in Outlook and make it part of your work routine. Do it even on the busiest work days. Self-care doesn’t just happen: You need to plan it, schedule it, and do the activity with the intention of self-care. In other words, don’t just wait for wellness to happen by chance.
For inspiration, here are 52 great ideas to promote mental wellbeing and self-care: https://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/newsletter/Healthy-Break-Activities.
The Copyediting website also offers self-care suggestions for editors: https://www.copyediting.com/how-to-survive-a-heavy-editing-job/#.WbhfU1WGNyw
- Take breaks
- Reward yourself
- Set tiny goals