Thursday, September 19, 2019

Rest for the Writer’s Soul

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

As conference season winds down, I am exhausted. Do you feel the same way? It’s hard to generate creative ideas, write excellent prose, and meet deadlines when worn out. How do we recuperate? Through rest. There are many different ways to rest.

We are multidimensional beings with a physical body, perplexing emotions, intellectual mind, and longing soul. It is vital to plan various types of rest in our busy schedules. In the blog, Prevent Post-Writing-Conference Burnout, I briefly discussed rest and soul care for the writer. Today we will dive deeper.  

After creating the world, God rested on the seventh day. He also told us to rest one day a week—to benefit us. He knew we needed a break. Sunday provides the perfect opportunity to relax physically and emotionally while enhancing our spiritual life.

Physically we need to stop working and relax. Each week plan to rest your body, physically. Sit outside on your patio and watch the sunset. Lounge by a pool, lake, or beach. Lie on the couch and watch a funny movie. When we laugh, positive mood-enhancing endorphins release in the brain. It is amazing how God created our bodies to recover if we only slow down and rest. 

Emotionally we can rest through healthy relationships. Family vacations, date nights, or lunch with a friend fill emotional needs. Promote family relations at dinner time. During my vacation in France, I embraced the French culture of dining for two hours. You could serve appetizers at 20-minute intervals (such as a melon and then a salad) before the main entrée. Time at the table allows a family to sit together and talk. In America, we may spend an hour cooking and eat our meal in twenty minutes. Spending family time together restores the emotional part of our soul.

Did you take a vacation this summer? Mine was physically active, but I stopped working entirely for two weeks, so my mind had a chance to rest. I took long hikes in nature. God’s creation restores our creative talents. When we give our brain a break, it recovers. 

Spiritually we need to rest with God. I like to spend fifteen minutes of meditative time with the Lord, and then do a devotion.Soul Care for Writers by Edie Melson is my favorite devotional, right now. Today I completed a Creative Connection page that asked, “Why do you like being a writer?” and “Talk to God, thanking him for the gift of writing in your life.” I filled the page, and my heart overflowed with gratitude to the Lord. This fall, Edie is beginning a new Soul Care Facebook Live Study. Are you planning to participate? Our souls need nourishment too.

In the morning, I like to stretch for twenty minutes before I write. It is beneficial to take short, physically active breaks while you work. Tips to Stay Physically Active When Writing provides great ideas like doing squats or lunges right after each bathroom break. If you take care of yourself, your productivity increases. 

In the evening, before going to bed, it is not restful to be on social media. We may be resting physically but not emotionally or intellectually. Being on the phone right before bedtime, engages the mind making it difficult to wind down and sleep. It is best to turn your phone off at night and place it away from your bed. In fact, no electronics should be close to your bed. Reading is much more restful for the mind and prepares you for sleep. 

When we rest, restoration takes place, and we become renewed. Motivation, along with new ideas, flourish once again. Schedule little blocks of time for self-care. Get your calendar out and schedule time for you! 


Susan U. Neal, RN, MBA, MHS
Susan’s mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She has her RN and MBA degrees, as well as a master’s in health science. She is a CERTIFIED HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACH with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published five books, the Selah award winner 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATES, CHRISTIAN STUDY GUIDE FOR 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESHEALTHY LIVING JOURNALSCRIPTURE YOGA a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, and YOGA FOR BEGINNERS which ranked #3. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks and two Christian Yoga DVDs that are available at CHRISTINAYOGA.COM. Her digital product HOW TO PREVENT, IMPROVE, AND REVERSE ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA is a great resource. To learn more about Susan visit her website SUSANUNEAL.COM You can also connect with Susan on FACEBOOKTWITTER, and INSTAGRAM.


  1. My writing is always better when I am rested. :-)

  2. EXCELLENT article!!
    Thank you, Susan, for your insights into what many of us seem to struggle with: taking breaks to rest. We know we should. We don't. It's always doing "just one more thing" before we pause, yet the "one thing" becomes two then three then twelve. Sooo me. 😐