Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | By: HiDee

Spring Forward!

I dread losing an hour of sleep when we change to Daylight Saving Time. It always throws my rhythms off for a few days.

On the other hand, I love having an extra hour of daylight! It means spring is finally on the way.

After a long winter being cooped up inside, I’m ready to get out in the sun.  We head to our local parks to hike the trails, breathing deeply of fresh air and clearing the cobwebs from our minds. Relaxing and viewing nature gets my creative juices flowing, which leads to being sedentary.  It’s a vicious circle.

But back inside, there are things I can do to take care of my writerly health.
  • Ergonomic keyboards. We all know repetitive tasks like typing can take a toll on our wrists.  Handeze support gloves provided relief when my wrists ached from typing all day at work, and then typing more at home while writing. When that wasn’t enough, I added an Aircast arm band to relieve the pain around my elbow.  Both items helped, but they didn’t correct the problem.  Thankfully, since purchasing an ergonomic keyboard I haven’t needed the Handeze or the Aircast, and I spend more time on the computer than ever before.
  • Back support. I haven’t mastered this one yet.  I often find myself ensconced in a comfortable chair.  For years, I’ve written in the family room surrounded by my family.  The TV blaring, the kids arguing – it’s kind of like white noise for me.  Now, my kids are grown and I still find myself heading for the comfortable chair.  This is hard on my back, I know.  I find myself fidgeting, and my back, hips and legs feel stiff and sore when I rise.  I know I’m not doing my body any favors.  I’m learning I can be more productive perched on a straight-backed chair, with my computer on either the table or a sturdy wooden TV tray.  Hubby and the TV are still white noise. 
  • Frequent breaks.  It’s hard to make myself get up and move when the words are flowing.  However, I know sitting for hours without moving is not good.  Maybe that's partially why I gravitate to my comfortable chair.  I know I can't sit too long without needing to move.  Writers – not just writers, but anyone who sits for long periods of time – need frequent breaks to stretch our legs and set our blood flowing.  
  • Drink water.  Staying hydrated is important for our health.  Water flushes toxins, regulates appetite and body temperature, and lubricates and cushions joints.  My Bubba insulated tumbler keeps water cold longer than other water bottles I've tried. I'm not a fan of warm water, so having ice-cold water makes it much easier for me to consume a decent amount of water. 
We may love what we do, but writing takes a toll on our bodies.  Having an extra hour of daylight motivates me to get moving.  I still spend hours in a chair, but it’s much easier to get out and get moving in daylight and warm weather than it was in darkness and cold weather.

What effect does an extra hour of daylight have on you and your writing routine, and how do you stay healthy?  Please share.


Lynn said...

I hate when the clocks spring ahead. On the other hand, when they fall back is my favorite day. Great post full of good ideas.

Angela Adams said...

It takes me a couple of weeks to adjust to the time change. On the other hand, with the extra hour of daylight, it's not dark outside when I wake up in the morning.

HiDee said...

Lynn, I love that extra hour of sleep in the fall, too. Angela, I'm up early enough for work that it's still semi-dark when I wake up, but I do enjoy viewing the sunrises! Thank you both for stopping by!

Luanna Stewart said...

I quite enjoy having the longer days of DST, particularly when it gets warmer and we can sit out in the garden after supper. Of course, without DST we could still sit outside in the summer evenings, but we'd have to light the torches a bit earlier, hehe.