“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
The trouble with loving what you do is that you don’t ever want to stop. That’s exactly how I felt, until all the years of being a workaholic creative finally caught up with me.
I landed in the hospital for 2 weeks. My body finally gave up on me and sent me a loud message. Sitting in front of the computer for 16 hours a day took its toll – I’m glad the damage is not all permanent. (Hopefully – and yes, I’m working on getting back to being 100% functioning again.)
So if there’s one thing I want to share with fellow creatives, it is this: take care of yourself first. It’s not just good for you, it’s also good for your work.
Here are my top tips for self-care:
Set aside time for activities that relax you. Turn off your computer, leave your phone behind, and take a walk. Or stay in and watch a show, just disconnect from you work regularly. (I personally find this hard, as I’m constantly thinking about work, but it’s really important to take a mental break.
2 Take Care of Your Mind.
Write in a journal, talk to your besties, pray, meditate; do whatever you need to stay sane and balanced. Unburden yourself from the stress you deal with every day. (And if you are a creative entrepreneur, you know stress is part of the job.) It is very important that you have someone you can talk to about your work stress who will understand, and support you.
3 Take Care of Your Body
Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, back pain, neck pain — these are common among artists and creatives. Prevent them by taking frequent breaks to move, stretch, and exercise! Go see a physiotherapist for the best exercises for you.
4 Schedule Non-Negotiable Me Time
We all need white space in our lives, not just in our design work. Schedule regular times to do absolutely nothing. Lounge around, stare into space, let your mind wander. I call this my recharging time, and I find I need it badly after a meeting.
5 Clean and Organize Your Home
Decluttering your space also helps declutter your mind. Plus, it gives you a sense of satisfaction as you complete a task where you have full control of the outcome (which doesn’t always happen in creative work!)
6 Get Enough Sleep
It also helps your creativity, not just your health. I find that I wake up with the perfect solution to design or coding problems. And really, lack of sleep does not make for a nice person the next day.
What are your favorite tips for self-care? Do share in the comments!