Treat Yo’ Self: An Artist’s Guide to Self-Care

We’re living in the era of self-care. Some might call it selfish, but taking time for yourself is more important than most people realize. I think of self-care in video game terms. If my character is close to death, I make it a priority to replenish health before continuing a quest. While it’s possible to take the chance and make it to the end of a game (or life) without replenishment, it’s a risk I’m not willing to take.

Another way to look at self-care is like refilling a nearly empty cup of water instead of waiting for it to rain. It’s often vital to fill our own proverbial cup, and the best part is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything. Creativity takes a lot of work, both mentally and (often) physically. As creators, it’s imperative that we take the time for personal care. So let’s take a look at some ways that artists can get some well-deserved R&R.

Step outside your head

It’s a hackneyed saying, but it’s true: “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Get out of your studio, step away from the work table, click ‘save,’ and take a break. Look at other artists’ work without comparing it to your own and enjoy it without a discerning eye. Read a book, visit a museum, do something that is unrelated to work. Take a break from doing and thinking about work to see the bigger picture that is life.

Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity is actually known to boost your creativity. Not only that, but if you routinely exercise, you’ll feel better too. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Yoga, tai chi, or even just a nice stroll through the park are great, non-demanding ways to move your body. Feeling the sun on your skin and breathing fresh air will lift your spirits.

 

 

Disconnect

This’ll probably sound weird because you’re on the internet right now and reading this, but I’ll tell you anyway, because I love you, and I want you to succeed in life. Get off the internet (preferably after you read and share this article). Be alone, be silent, disconnect from your electronic devices, and, if possible, other people. This isn’t like going to sleep. It’s for when you’re wide awake. Take time, even five minutes, to allow your mind to rest. Take the time to reaffirm your goals. Take the time to check with yourself that you’re okay. The world was here before you and will be here when you get back.

Befriend other artists

An artist’s life can get lonely. Creatives tend to crave solitude, so it can be a challenge to make other creative friends. Being around other creative folks will help you maintain your creativity, and you’ll have someone who can relate to your creative work and The Struggle.

Self-care comes from self-love. Take time for yourself, make friends, put your phone down, get a good workout, and enjoy life because as far as we know, you only live once. So love and take care of yourself and feed dat hustle.

Are you a self-care pro? What are some other ways that creatives can treat themselves?

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Deborah Dumont is an artist, mother and wife. She’s the mastermind behind DMD Studio Art and is interested in painting, cute things, writing, coffee and Asian language and culture. Deborah has been painting for over 20 years and mainly works with resin and fluid acrylics.

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