A Creative's Guide to Self Care
WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE. YOU'RE OVERWHELMED, YOUR TANK IS ON E, BUT YOU'RE STILL EXPECTED TO DELIVER YOUR BEST CREATIVELY. UMMMMM HOW THO.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel
that allows your light to shine brightly.” -Unknown
Let's talk about some tips & tricks to stay sane during your creative season, or your off season, or your weekend, or just like … ever.
DON'T FORGET THE BASICS - SLEEP, HYDRATE, EAT HEALTHY...REPEAT
"Because when you ARE your business, you can't afford to let yourself go. You have to give your brain and your body the resources they need to support you in your creative process, even when you feel there just isn't enough time." - Michelle Hart, Author and Intuitive Business + Success Mentor
It's so easy to grab fast food on your way home from your latest venture, or snooze your alarm for the gym, I get it. I do it. But it's so important to take care of your body. It will definitely thank you in return!
SPEAKING OF HEALTHY DIETS - THAT MEANS ART TOO
As artists, we are inspired by the world around us. It's so important to consume a varied diet of arts & entertainment. This means exposing yourself to outlets that are not your typical facet. This stretches you as an artist, helps you think more creatively, helps you to appreciate others around you, and build a network of other artists who can share community and connect with you.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO LET GO OF IDEAS THAT JUST AREN'T WORKING
Let's be honest, we're a stubborn bunch. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just admit that something isn't working. Don't deplete yourself of energy spent on a project that's hanging on by a thread. It's not admitting defeat, it's understanding that we all have our specialties and that there are always areas to grow in.
It's so easy to jump headfirst into everything and run yourself dry. But it's so important to understand that you have the power to say no. AND guess what...it's not offensive! It's actually great. It's understanding the limits you have to give yourself to (insert your number here) creative tasks at a time. And then you're not giving your clients subpar work, no one likes that.
"I think of self-care like a bank account. If you make regular deposits and keep a positive balance, interest grows and wealth accumulates. If you start to overdraw, things get complicated quickly. Panic, lack, and deprivation set in, making increasing demands on your future self. Not only is that state unsustainable in the long term, but it’s extremely frustrating and stressful in the short term." - Erin Blakemore, The Heroine's Bookshelf
SET LOW EXPECTATIONS & OVER DELIVER
This is always something that is helpful when completing a task for a client. Give yourself lots of wiggle room to complete it - then when you are done earlier than expected (and earlier than communicated) your client is going to be over the moon. Instant great reviews. You're already over delivering on what you previously communicated. On the flip side - if something happens (because life, amiright) you have already allotted yourself extra cushion time. That means, no stress! If I can add anything else to this, it's overcommunicate. It's so much better to be 'annoying' with the amount of contact you are doing than to ghost someone.
INCREASE YOUR PRICES
Okay, I know this is always an awkward conversation. If it's not awkward for you, great! It shouldn't be! Think about it though - if you are constantly booking yourself silly, or if your backlog of work is more than you can handle it may be time to up your prices. This doesn't mean you have to raise them outrageously, but just a little bit to give yourself some wiggle room and to reflect the demand for what you're offering. You can always move them back, just do some testing back and forth!
MAKE GOALS. ALL OF EM.
Making goals is a great way to prioritize what is important to you. This means personal, work, and interpersonal goals! It's important to keep your areas rounded so you're not devoting all your time to your work. Having a goal in place is an easy way to track your progress and make adjustments along the way, stop, re-evaluate, and move again.
MAKE YOU TIME
Schedule time to disconnect. Our brains cannot run creatively all of the time, and even if they do - you're probably going to hit a wall at some point and start making "potato ideas" (ideas that are stale my homie - but if you're a potato artist, more power to you). Make time to be with your friends/family, and set aside time for things that bring you peace and rest. Utilize online programs to help you stay organized in a way
that you can draft up your work and then walk away. When you think you are too busy to take a break, that's when it's time to take a break.
"I wish I had learned sooner that self-care is a non-negotiable part of creative life. There aren’t many other things in life that offer a more than 100% return on investment." - Erin Blakemore, The Heroine's Bookshelf