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10 Mental health tips for creatives

Here are some mental health tips for creatives. As a long-time working artist, writer, influencer, speaker, etc – I’ve REALLY had to work on my mindset to keep it healthy and strong. My goal is to thrive with ease, and a big part of that comes from mindset, followed up by action.

I know this because there were many times when I let stress, self-doubt, and unnecessary worry take over. It affected everything in my life – my family, my health, my art. Stress added NOTHING positive. 

Stress points for creatives

These are the topics that attempt to take up space in our mind and spirit. Let’s break them down. NOTE: This advice comes from my own personal experiences. I’m sharing because maybe there is something here that will help you!

You wish your family would be more supportive.

Don’t we all! There will always be the doubters, but please understand it often comes from that person’s lack of understanding. Rather than try to learn and admit they don’t know much about your world, it’s easy for them to dismiss it. It can come from a place of their own fear, ego, or insecurity. Once you see it from their perspective, it eases the pressure. I call it “seeing from my higher self” – all you can do is consider the source.

I had a really tough relationship with my mom because the last thing she wanted was an artist daughter. Not because she didn’t like artists, but because of all the stereotypes in her Boomer generation. Her worries came from a deep place of love, she wanted to keep me protected and safe. She wanted me to have financial security in the only way she knew – a full-time payroll job. I broke that cycle and freaked her out! My mom projected her fears through frustration, which I (at the time) perceived as being a disappointment to her. Thus the stress!

I know, TMI. But once I realized this (thank God for therapy!!!), it eased my nerves. Not gonna lie, there were times when I wanted to prove my parents wrong of their worries. But when my dad passed away, so did my motivation. I really had to learn how to stay focused and motivated to prove my worth to myself – not anyone else.

One more thing – If you have family members who are entrepreneurs, hold space for them and cheer them on. Even if you don’t understand the industry, ask questions and learn. If it is someone you love, it will boost their confidence!

Comparison creeps in and stifles your creativity.

There are scores of more people with more and better skill sets. And there are scores who have way less. Everyone is on their own journey – ups and downs. Rather than feel bummed about seeing something cool you wish you could do, challenge yourself. Use it as proof it can be done. You are a creative person – find a way to put your own spin on ideas you see. Make it something to enjoy! Comparing is using up energy you could be directing to your own work. 

Seeing and loving someone else’s work is a great way to challenge yourself to break out of your artistic and design routine. Keeping your signature style, play and find new ways to evolve, expand and level up your work. Next time you think, “They are so awesome, why can’t I be like that?” Change it to “They are so awesome! I feel motivated to learn a new technique.”

Worries if your art will sell or making money.

Put that brain power into a business strategy. First of all, are you making art that is from your heart and you don’t care what people think? That is priceless and 100% authentic. However, it doesn’t always translate into steady income. If you are creating art to sell, you have to use a different plan.

Once you plan to sell your art as a means of a regular cash flow, you’ll have incorporate trends, best sellers, marketing and promotion. Hello, research! I promise if you pay attention to your best sellers, crunch the numbers, and embrace a business plan – you will create a steady income.

Both worlds can exist at the same time.

Keeping up with social media.

If I had a sequin for every time I heard people gripe about this…truth is – if you are a working creative, social media is a gateway to exposure, networking, and opportunities. If you don’t want to do it, don’t. But know you will be sacrificing in the marketing area. 

There is a way to incorporate social media to your level of comfort. Go with the platform that feels most natural to you. Create a schedule. Block off time for to create small batches of content. Almost all platforms have tools so you can preschedule your media. 

On the flip side – if you spend too much time on social, take a break now and then. Check your devices for percentage times you are online, and adjust accordingly. Life will continue and the platforms will all be there when you are ready to come back. 

Trying to keep everything organized.

Clutter adds to stress. I will die on that hill. I’m a former crafty hoarder and tried to make it sound cute. It cost me time, money, and made me feel like crap. Once I redid my studio, labeled everything, cleaned it every night – I became much more productive and proud. I felt like a professional designer!

Here are three more mental health tips for creatives

1. Write out your artist manifesto. This can be for your eyes only, it is a way for you to reconnect with why you started, what you love, your goals. Read it and keep adding. Make it a journal prompt. This will clear your mind of what everyone else is doing and make your mind and spirit focus on YOUR voice and perspective!

2. Identify your secret sauce! Look through all your work, social posts, questions people often ask you – and find common threads. The things that stand out and make your and your work different than everyone else’s! Write these out and build projects or content around them.

3. Change your routine! This helps me a lot. I call it “shaking your snow globe” – if your spiritual glitter has been sitting at the bottom for a minute, do something to shake it up! Join a new community, read or watch a different genre than usual, you know what I mean!

4. Create a “strong mind” to-do list. If you keep a to-do list, add in items like “Take five minutes to sit and clear my mind.” “Take a mental note every time something happens in my favor” “Speak something positive about myself or my work.”

5. See your future self. Visualize a desired goal as if it is happening in real time.

What ideas do you have? Please share!

Mental health tips for creatives

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