What Type of Self-Care is Right for Creative People’s Success?

Header for SkillfulArtists.com posts

Better Self-Care Can Lead To Greater Creativity and Success

Creating works of art can be very draining. Thought is put into every detail – the items that will be depicted, the composition, the color scheme, the size and on and on. There is absolutely nothing passive about creative work.

Because of this, creative people must be particularly diligent to take the time to replenish their inner creative juices. Creativity can’t be forced, as every artist and writer knows. Our best work springs from a harmonious inner strength that is ready to express itself creatively to the outside world.

So What Exactly Is Self-Care for the Artist?

For the creative person, self-care is whatever produces a warm, rested and peaceful spirit. For some people, it means sprawling on a favorite chair reading a juicy novel, walking in the woods or park or listening to classical music. For others it is enjoying their favorite foods with a nice glass of wine and a sappy old movie.

birch and pine treesSelf-care is normally a passive, entertaining activity in contrast to the meticulous work of creating, which can take a great deal of mental and emotional effort. The self-care activity takes you far away from your studio, say for a 4-wheeler trip through the woods. Or it can be a quiet evening by the campfire on the beach.

But self-care for the creative person is rarely creative activity that demands thought and decisions. It’s not a busman’s holiday. Instead, it’s a time to give your tired brain a well-deserved break from putting pieces of colors together to form something new.

For the creative person, self-care is the opposite of creating.

quiet campfire at night

Self-Care Can be Done Alone or With Friends

It can be weekend of doing nothing – or as little has humanly possible.

It can be hike with friends with an overnight under the stars.

It always includes eating right and getting plenty of rest.

It’s Important! – And Sometimes We Need Reminding

Self-care is often brushed aside for things seen as more important; meetings, social commitments, family obligations. While these things are important (and can in some cases contribute to self-care), it is important that we take regular spans of time for ourselves. just to rejuvenate.

girl enjoying her cats
Just resting in the yard with the cats

Some people look on time for themselves as frivolous. Perhaps for creative people who want to improve their art, the more frivolous the better.

Be sure that you are the one who decides what self-care is for you. Hiking is work for some people. Watching old movies are torture to others. Good self-care is customized to you alone. It’s not what your spouse or children like to do. Make a list of what rests your spirit, mind and body.

This personal investment is as important as producing the next work of art. In fact, self-care is vital if we want to optimize and improve our performance in any area of our lives. Taking the time to maintain our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical health can be the catalyst to greater creative successes.

Taking Time for Yourself Helps to Maintain Perspective

Self-care, when personalized, allows us the time to reflect and therefore better understand ourselves as individuals. We are better able to identify our triggers and put things in to perspective, rearranging our priorities to understand what is important and what isn’t.

two fish in harmonyThis perspective contributes to a healthier, more creative life as we understand where stress is justified and where we should be more relaxed.

Taking Time for Self Helps Us to Have a More Positive Outlook

Self-care is great for our mental and emotional wellbeing. People who invest time in taking care of themselves are more likely to be optimistic and see the silver linings in bad situations. On the other hand, when we are tired and burning out, everything seems more difficult.

Caring for your personal needs is an effective way for maintaining positive moods, rather than succumbing to darker emotions.

Having Alone Time Improves our Relationships

a man alone under a treeThis may seem contradictory but by investing time in ourselves, we are better equipped to interact with and support others. Self-care allows us to maintain our own health and therefore put us in a good place to be able to engage well with others and maintain strong, happier relationships.

People who take the time needed to keep their own lives in balance are more likely to be focused, more emotionally stable and form stronger, more positive relationships. All of these things are highly beneficial for creative people and will result in greater progress in their chosen art.

Being Well Rested Improves Our Creative Performance

While self-care is sometimes seen as indulgent, it often has a much broader impact that goes beyond our own lives.

It does take time to invest in self-care – but the benefits far outweigh the cost. In a world that tells artists to create more art to improve their skills, we should question this advice and examine the benefits of improving  ourselves in order to improve our skills.

resting in the grassTake the time to establish a good routine that includes self-care, rejuvenating practices, whatever this looks like to you. Your mind and spirit will reward you for giving them time to rest from the rigors of creating works of art.

Self-care is an important aspect of a healthy, creative lifestyle which should not be overlooked or disregarded.

Comment below and tell us what self-care means to you personally. Do you see it as important for creative people? What happens when we push our minds and bodies to create more and more works of art without giving ourselves the replenishing we need?