Protecting your creativity as artists is crucial, as it's your creativity which both allows you and inspires you to create what only you can create. That is why it's so essential to adopt behaviours and practices that you can use each day, which will give your creativity the space to thrive and run wild without you getting burnt out.
With this in mind, here are just a few tips that you can add to your self-care regime:
Looking After Your Body
Take care of your body! As artists and creatives, we spend an extended amount of time sitting, often hunched over leaving some of us prone to neck strain, back pain, stiff wrists and pains in our hands and fingers. In the most serious case, as art can be a somewhat sedentary medium some of us can even develop more significant cases of back pain or carpal tunnel.
So, what can we do to combat this?
There are several stretches that you can do to prevent yourselves from developing any of these symptoms. If you are in the flow of working, even just a quick roll of the wrists, neck and shoulders, or a change in position if seated can help to combat any stiffness.
Even better, get out in nature for some exercise. Have you ever taken a walk outside your house or apartment and instantly felt more awake? That's the oxygen travelling to your brain. There are so many benefits to having daily time outside, even just 15 minutes will make a huge difference. Here are just a few:
- Provides you with your daily dose of Vitamin D.
- Lessens anxiety by reducing the production of stress hormones in the body.
- Improves sleep.
- Helps you to focus.
Lastly, make time to eat and drink some water throughout your day. We are made up of 70% water after all. When your body is dehydrated, you may also find it hard to concentrate.
If you find it difficult to drink water, try infusing your water with fresh fruit and herbs. Not only does it make drinking water more appealing because it adds a subtle flavour, it also helps to rid the body of toxins. Might we suggest the combination of mint and lime.
Looking After Your Mind
Maintaining a healthy mind is just as important as looking after your body. We often forget to check-in with ourselves because the effects of poor mental health can often go unseen and are at times easy to mask.
Of course, exercise and good diet all contribute to a healthy mind, but what are some other practical steps that we can take to start promoting healthy habits in our daily lives?
Try bullet-journaling to help you keep track of where you are, and of where you were at a particular time. The journal is your 'space' in which you can do whatever you want. You can doodle, write about what you're currently feeling or going through, write about dreams, your hopes or whatever it is that you want to use your journal for. It's a great way to express yourself freely, and you don't need to be a 'writer' to do so. You can simply bullet-point your ideas or emotions down onto the page.
- Set goals
It's really important to set short-term and long-term goals for yourself in order to assess where you are in your personal journey of development. However, make sure that these goals are achievable!
The goals that you set don't necessarily have to be relevant to your art or creative projects. They can be related to work, your interpersonal life, travel or finances. What's important is that you are setting them. Having goals to reach is good for your self-esteem because when you achieve them not only will it make you feel more productive, it will also push you to keep on doing, and give you occasions to refer back to, to remind yourself that you have achieved when you're feeling low.
However, if you don't complete them all don't be too hard on yourself. Learn to embrace the beauty of imperfection. Don't ever compare yourself to anyone else who you perceive is doing better than you, because in reality that may not be the case. As someone once told me, comparison is the thief of joy!
It's ok just to create sometimes. Remember you can just do your art for fun!
Finally, try meditating. This could simply be taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to recenter yourself, and to just be alone with your thoughts in silence. Life is so busy that we can sometimes forget to stand still and take stock.
Alternatively, it could also be removing yourself from your art. As artists who sell to buyers and collectors, there is often the pressure to perform and at times to produce large volumes of work within a short space of time for your audience- this can be stressful. Don't be afraid to take time to disconnect, return to your art when you feel ready.
Looking After YOU
What does looking after you, mean? Looking after you, means doing everything that you need to do to make sure that no area in your life is being neglected. This includes: keeping up personal relations with friends and family, doing household chores, paying bills, tidying your creative space, ordering art supplies, and lastly taking that necessary time for yourself to do something that you enjoy.
It's all about balance.
Hopefully, you've found something here that will be useful to you or perhaps it just served as a reminder to keep up with your self-care regiment.
Photo credit: Mae Mu
Photo credit: Iamninoslav
Photo credit: Estée Janssens
Photo credit: Catt Liu