Being creative is its own form of self-care. However even creative people need to take some time out and refuel their souls. Self-care is the new trend in today’s need to tend to our body and souls that are sometimes starving from lack of attention. Creativity is one of the recommendations for self-care. If you are a working creative, who spends every day head deep in being creative, even you need some vital self-care. Here are fourteen of my favorite tips on taking care of a creative persons spirit.
- My first inclination when I need to take some time out is to go for a long walk somewhere where it is green and pretty. I long to be out in nature. Sometimes I take my headphones but most of the time, I simply listen to the sounds of the world around me. If I can get away, I like to take hikes, not long hikes right now, but somewhere in the forest, usually among the redwoods, is my favorite place to go. There are times when all I can do is go to the walking trail around the park near my house. Then I walk around it a couple times, maybe take my shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass. There is something calming about walking in the grass with my bare feet. It is as though I’m being grounded to the earth again.
- My next suggestion is to pick up a good book. Honestly, I recommend two books: one for just for fun and the second something I want to learn more about. When I am doing this kind of self-care, I am giving myself permission to step away from the tasks of writing or doing crafts and spend some time filling my mind with words. I love reading and can often devour a book or two in a weekend. Sometimes though, I savor them and they will last me at least a week. The last few books I have read that were for learning for by Brene’ Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert. Brene’ Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, actually made me break my rule of not writing in books. I highlighted so much because I wanted to hold on to all that I could and surprisingly I did. I consider all her books life-changing. The other book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was also incredible and such an inspiration for a creative person. If you are creative, I highly recommend reading this and filling your soul with its stories.
- Slow down. Find some place to sit in the cool of the evening and watch the sun set. When I was much younger my friend and I would drive out on the country roads listening to music. Then we found the perfect spot to park on the side of the road, sit on the car hood with sandwiches and watch the sunset nearly every weekend. It had such a profound effect that I can still see the sun sets in my mind nearly 20 years later.
- Let’s color. There are so many adult coloring books out there right now. You can pick them up anywhere from the department stores to the craft stores and I’ve even seen them in the drugstores and once at a gas station. Coloring has been proven recently to release stress and tension and allows the mind to relax.
- On Pinterest once, I saw someone set up a inflatable pool in their backyard filled with pillows and blankets in order to watch the stars. I recommend this. Though it’s getting harder with more light pollution in my neighborhood, I still sometimes like to sit on the porch with a blanket in the evening and watch the stars overhead. Or better yet, my friend and I sometimes like to walk late at night so we can see the stars while we walk. My recommendation is maybe you can get an air mattress laid out on the lawn in the backyard with pillows and blankets lay down and watch the stars; maybe watch them with someone you love.
- Journaling. I cannot say enough about journaling. There are more ways to Journal than I can possibly mention here: there is brain dump journaling, art journaling, bullet journaling, journaling with prompts, journaling about your past, and the list can go on. There are as many ways to Journal as there are people. But there’s something to be said for writing down your thoughts, clearing them out of our heads to make way for new thoughts and new ideas. My favorite form is the brain dump. I usually do this at night before bed. I pour everything that’s been in my brain on the paper. Some of it is good and some of it’s bad, sometimes a review of the day, and other times it’s just reflective. It’s basically anything. I think that’s why it works for me. I also like some kinds of art journaling where I am journaling on a theme or an idea but I haven’t worked with that as much.
- Meditation is a word that is being thrown around a lot these days. I know many people have this image of someone sitting perfectly still for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour and fully focused and not moving. But meditation can be simple. It can be sitting with your mind quiet for five minutes. Or you can try guided meditations by using YouTube or audio recordings. I have found I like to read a reflection and meditate on that for about five minutes. I like to have something I can focus on when I meditate. Though, if I’m sitting in nature, like at the beach, I listen to the sound of the ocean waves and slowly go into a deep meditative state where I can sit for an hour or more.
- Try an art activity with friends. I talked about this briefly in Taking Your Artist Date in a New Direction. Pick a friend or two and go do something together: a painting place or a ceramic shop or take a class like a dance class or a cooking class. The point is that sometimes it’s all about just having a little fun and having it with our friends. Our friends are a great source of reminding ourselves that we need to take care of our souls.
- Making intentions list. I did this at the beginning of the year instead of writing out goals ever out intentions things that I am mindful about creating in my life rather than setting a goal to master. This made more sense to me and is easier for me to accomplish. When I get lost I can easily go back to my intentions list and get myself back on the right shirt direction again. I also try to keep my intentions in different categories so that I’m a little more balanced and different aspects of my life. Here’s the sheet. New Year Five &Five List
- Visit any water location near you. Water is cleansing and grounding and can make us reconnect with her and ourselves whether it is the ocean a river a favorite lake it doesn’t matter. Water has amazing soothing capacity.
- Move your body stretch it out. I know we all can’t afford to do yoga classes and sometimes we think we can’t even do yoga. Personally, I have not yet tried yoga. I’m afraid to. But I have watched videos on stretching on YouTube and on a couple of health websites. Your body needs to stretch. It needs to feel the full length of its muscles and be in tune with itself for it to function fully. Stretching does get our minds back in touch with our bodies and our body in touch with our mind and is essential for centering ourselves.
- Treat yourself to a movie night. Pick a favorite movie, pop some popcorn, cuddle up with your favorite blanket and just chill. Or is there new movie how you want to see? Take yourself to the movie theater. Treat yourself to a movie. You can go alone or with friends it doesn’t matter. For me going to the movies as a treat especially with the cost and having three kids. So most of the time I wait for the DVDs. But when I do get a movie I really want to see is an exceptional treat and I thoroughly enjoy it. I get to be in the moment with the movie.
- Take yourself a little day trip. Hop over to the next city or town over or someplace you haven’t been before. Play tourist. Go do touristy things: looking all the little shops, have a little snack, take some pictures. Just enjoy the area that is new to you.
- Create a positive morning or evening routine. I often start out my mornings by reading a reflection or sometimes two. It helps to center and focus myself to start the day. I also start off with a cup of coffee and my routine of watching a little bit of morning news with just me and my dog while the kids sleep. This is my little time to myself. When it gets disrupted, I can feel it in my whole day. Having a consistent routine is good for our self-care for our body likes to predict what is happening next and is comforted by that knowledge.
There you have it. Fourteen tips on taking care of yourself. Our creativity depends on our ability to know when and how to implement some self-care. It is not an act of selfishness; it is necessary. We are not little bunnies running on batteries. We are human beings and are very complicated. When we take care of ourselves, our bodies and our minds, it makes it so much easier to take care of the rest of our life and our family and friends.