Monday, November 12, 2012

Stress Management for Creatives

It is so easy to let the daily worries and small stresses interfere with our creative output, and more importantly, our mental well-being. Give yourself permission to relax and take down time, and your art will be better for it.

Schedule Your Relaxation Time
If you are like us, then it is hard to find the time for yourself. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Instead of hoping for a chunk of time to magically open itself up, schedule your "me time" like you would any important meeting or project, and stick to it! Even just 30 minutes a day can make a major impact on your stress level. Spend that time doing things that relax your mind; avoid anything that makes you think too much. Fill your "me time" with things that let you just be in the moment.

Minimize Energy Black Holes
These days, creative people have to do a lot more in order to successfully maintain a business, or to support themselves. We must be our own production managers, our own networkers, our own accountants, our own marketers...our own everything! It is easy to overload yourself when you have to do everything anyway, so look out for the "black holes" than can take more than they give back. Perhaps your weekly art co-op meetings are running too long, or you are volunteering for a cause that is important, but the group takes more of your time than you have. Learn to say no, or even better, not now, and dedicate only the time that you can.

Get A Massage
Every once in a while, spurge on yourself, and just yourself. It might be nice to take the family to dinner, but this isn't necessarily giving you the mental, and physical, relaxation that you need to recharge. Do something that is only for you: get a massage, take a long bath, or read a good book in your favorite napping spot and let yourself drift off to sleep. When your mind rests, your brain is able to better process all of the things you have seen and experienced, and even the things that your subconscious is dealing with. Let the brain chatter die down for a while to make room for new, beautiful thoughts and ideas.

Pay Attention to Your Diet
We are bound by our physical bodies in this world, so make sure your are giving yours the proper energy and fuel that it needs to perform at its best. Stay very well hydrated, add healthy, nutritious things to your plate, and keep your energy going with small snacks throughout the day. You brain runs on what you eat just as much as your body, so don't start out from zero: give yourself a boost with good food.

Put Time Into Your Own Creative Work
When you work in a creative industry, or run your own creative business, you are constantly doing creative work for other people. Take time in your week to do creative work only for yourself. Even if that means just doodling out a little comic strip, or painting your workspace, give time for your creative self to work for yourself. Clients come and go, but you will always be with yourself, so make sure you are giving that relationship something to grow on. Also, doing your own creative work will help with the quality of your other work.

Have Your Tools Ready
Don't ever let yourself be deterred from your artwork by too much set up time. Save yourself the hassle and prepare your space for the next time you use it by getting everything cleaned, organized, and ready to go each time your end a session in your studio or workspace.