Self Care for Creatives
I work, a lot. But not the type of work that feels like work. Like I REALLY love the things I’m doing. I work with the funniest kids during the day, then, run my practice (A Peace of Yoga), teach at a studio, volunteer, tutor, and work on Mako Mindfulness in the evening and on the weekends - and that’s not even everything. I work more than I sleep, talk on the phone, hang out, and watch TV (I don’t even have one). It’s a sacrifice that is necessary for achieving my goals, but, there’s something a lot of us dream chasers need even more..
We don’t sleep, sometimes we don’t eat, we’re creative at 2 & 3am and no one can tell us to go to sleep. How could we? We’re our own Management, Marketing, Content, Finance, and Operations Departments. If we don’t do the work early on, who will? How bad do we want it? What are we willing to sacrifice? Oh! And the s h a m e that comes with not using your time productively. Me and “My Tribe” (Jalesa of My Money Mogul and Melica of Chavez Counseling Services) are good for texting each other in the wee hours of the night talking about “you grinding, or nah?”. And I LOVE every single minute of it. I eat this stuff for breakfast after my oatmeal and apple.
But, being this self-care, stress-management, self-help, total nerd that I am… I understand the importance of shutting it down from time to time. The thing is, this stuff is STRESSFUL.
Stress gets a bad wrap because it’s typically associated with negative things. But a little stress is actually really good for you. Stress is what gives you that adrenaline and courage to pitch your business idea to a powerful board or the butterflies you get when you talk about your goals. That’s called eustress, it’s great for you.. It’s awesome - and most importantly, you can return back to a normal/neutral body state pretty easily.
BUT, too much of any kind of stress, good or bad, is not good for your body. See, when you’re stressed out (again.. this is good or bad stress) hormones get released into your body which increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and energy - just to name a few. If you’re constantly raising these essential functions, what do you think is going to happen? Let’s just say that 75-90% of Doctors Office Visits are caused by stress-related ailments and Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Beyond your physical health, we should consider how stress affects our mental health. When we’re stressed out, the area of our brain that is responsible for thinking, learning, listening, and language essentially shuts down. Soooo how are we supposed to bring our A-Game? That’s a problem. As entrepreneurs and dream chasers we always need to be ON. We can’t afford to be half-stepping when we step into a room with ALL the right people or when we sit down in front of the computer to develop a new program.
Hopefully, by now you’re at least curious about how you can manage this stuff a little better and we can begin to start cultivating a practice of self-care. So this one goes out to my dream chasers.
Exercise - This is so important. Even as a yoga teacher, I still have to carve out intentional time (usually at 5:15a) for some kind of work out. I don’t care if it’s walking on a treadmill or having your own dance party to the new Tribe album (because it’s amazing). Just move.
Treat Yo Self - You work hard. Do one thing a week to reward yourself. You don’t have to go making it rain at the most expensive brunch spot in your city, you can do a netflix binge or ball out at the thrift store.
Show Gratitude - Start a gratitude journal and write out the things that you’re grateful for each day. This is an instant mood elevator. Check out my blog post on Gratitude Journaling.
Quench your thirst - Dehydration is known to decrease physical and mental capacity, so drink up! Keep in mind that certain medicines.. And habits (happy hour cocktails) can dry us out so make sure you get in those 8 glasses… or more. It also helps keep your skin cute and your life energized.
Clean Up - De. Clutter. - It is really hard to tap into that high vibe of creativity when you’re surrounded by mess. Set aside time each week to tidy up, especially the areas you work in.
5 Faves - You make up the average of the 5 people you associate with the most. Keep supportive and uplifting people around you with a similar mindset. Connect with fellow creatives and make sure you have people that can help you with the good and through the bad.
Sleep - Entrepreneurs tend to wear not sleeping like a badge of honor. It’s all fine and dandy until you find yourself passed out and drooling on your computer at 3am with the lights on. At some point your body is going to let you know how important sleep is - don’t go out like this. Be proactive and make sure you’re getting ample rest throughout your weeks. Everyone is different, but I find myself to be way more productive when I feel well rested. My mind is just sharper.
P.S. Naps encouraged.
The struggle is real and SO worth it. But, what’s a dream if you’re too tired mentally and physically to enjoy it? Choose a couple of my tips and begin working them into your days. Maybe you already have a self-care practice so what is it that works for you? Leave a comment below.
Learn more about starting a Stress Management/Self Care practice in my free eBook Mako Mindfulness: 9 Tools for Stress Management and please, please, please, let me know if you have any questions!