Making a living in a creative field and making time for self care can be hard, y’all. It’s tough to clock out sometimes, even when you really need to recharge.
You guys know that I’m all about self care around here. I think it’s important for all of us to take the time to care for ourselves, and it’s especially important when you’re making a living from your creativity. It’s so easy to beat yourself up or get into a bad headspace when every week your work depends on you coming up with something beautiful and interesting, especially when it’s just you and your thoughts all day long.
My friend Jeanee Ledoux got personal over at Stitch and Wire about how she handles working at home and some strategies she’s using to get out of her comfort zone a bit more to boost her creative powers. I think this sums up that dark place that us work-at-home folks go to sometimes:
If a new necklace design or lamp project is on my mind, I don’t cook, I don’t feel like exercising, and I hate the cat. I used to defend this dark diligence to whoever was trying to distract me, insisting it was the artist’s way.
Amen to that! When you’re bursting with a new idea, sometimes it can take over your life, and it’s hard to balance the urge to make it happen with the other things in your life that you need to really be happy. I really liked the tips that Jeanee shared to help get you out of your own head and balance the need to make things with your other emotional needs. These were her basic ideas:
- Do dream work. Who hasn’t had inspiration while you’re sleeping? Keep a journal by the bed, so when inspiration strikes overnight, you can get those ideas on paper rather than stress about losing them.
- Schedule fun. It’s easy to put off making plans because you want to work on your next great idea, and having a regularly scheduled social event can help you get past that. Jeanee hosts a Project Runway gathering with a few of us every week to get her out of her shell. It’s fabulous, trust me!
- Make a routine, and reward yourself. Start your creative work with a ritual every morning. It could be a walk around the block, a cup of coffee at the kitchen table, or morning yoga. Throughout the day, reward yourself for milestones in your work with little rewards. This kind of reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Twin Peaks!
Like I’ve talked about before, I’m big on that daily lunch break, and if I push myself to finish an assignment that was particularly difficult, I treat myself to another little break. Maybe just heading out back with the dog or catching up on an episode of a guilty pleasure TV show. What do you guys do to take some pressure off of yourselves while still staying productive?
Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by ginnerobot