What you can do to stay mentally healthy as a creative
Mental Health is THE topic of our time. Doesn‘t matter if you‘re a student, working an average job or you‘re an entrepreneur, this topic crosses your path regularly.
Creative people like you and me tend to be drawn into a mental illness easier than others. We think with emotions more than with rationality and that opens us up to negative thought spirals, thinking up worst case scenarios and pushing stress hormones into our system.
So how can you stay mentally healthy as a creator?
Healthy habits. Coping mechanisms. And a bit of escapism sprinkled in. If you put it under an umbrella term that would probably be self care.
I think when someone is open minded, it also means every day is a little different for you in its time management, emotions and stress levels. So habits and especially routines can help a lot with not falling off track with your mental health. Yes, I mean morning and evening routines. You should really start one yourself and see how helpful they can be.
I got my eyes opened by the book „Miracle Morning“ by Hal Elrod. The Miracle Morning Routine has 6 habits in it. Meditation, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Journaling. I tweaked mine a little bit and combined meditation, affirmation and visualization into a specific kind of meditation I do. So it can boil down to four habits: Meditation, Exercise, Reading & Journaling. Three of those also happen to be common coping habits you will come across in therapy.
I‘m going to be honest here, I still struggle with building that routine. I‘ve done it on and off for years now, but getting it to stick permanently is hard sometimes. Especially in bad times when you feel like you can‘t do anything.
When it comes down to it, these four habits can change your entire mood for the day and I‘m sure they help people with depression to stabilize their mood. I know they do for me.
So what exactly am I doing?
After I wake up and let light into my bedroom, I sit down on my bed and close my eyes. I breathe deeply and try to visualize either what I‘ll do for the day, a short term goal being achieved or a long term goal being achieved. And then I repeat affirmations in my head. Those can be different. It really depends on what I need to hear that day. On some days I‘ll say things like „I‘m going to be okay“ and on others I‘m just cultivating self acceptance and self love. Doing this regularly helps me with listening to yourself and figuring out what you need. A skill that a lot of mentally ill people lose in all their spirals.
After that is done I decide if today is a workout day or if I‘ll just do a few squats. Most of the time it‘s the squats, let‘s be real. Other days it‘s going outside for a short walk. Listening to your body really helps a lot here. Especially if you‘re already dealing with something like depression or anxiety, being outside can greatly benefit stress and happiness levels.
Now to the reading part. I usually read self-help books for this part, since it‘s easier to read them in small bits and still keep the information. Sometimes I only read one page, sometimes two chapters. This is the habit that I let slack the most in this routine. I‘m sure most of you can relate to that problem of not reading enough.
Last but not least, my favorite habit that helps so much with not only detecting mental health problems early on but also with getting rid of brain fog in the middle of a bad phase: JOURNALING! It really depends on my mood if I write something called Morning Pages, which is three pages just brain to pen. Or if I write based on a journaling prompt. Speaking of journaling prompts. I have a freebie with journaling prompts for positivity & self love in my freebie that you can access by signing up for my newsletter:
So, after all of this, what else can a creative do to stay mentally healthy? Therapy is a good idea, but also learning about techniques taught in cognitive behavioral therapy, like re-framing your thoughts.
Socializing is also a big one, especially when you are an introvert or already dealing with mental illness. A little bit goes a long way here.
You see, these are really basic things to stay mentally healthy as a creative. You‘ll find posts out there that tell you to do fifteen different things, but if you stick to 4-5 you‘ll be totally fine and also feel a difference.
Conclusion: Meditate, Exercise, Read, Journal, Socialize.
And in case you wanna learn more about self care habits you can check out „MIND, BODY & SOUL“ to have all my self care knowledge in one eBook.
Did you like this post? Pin it!
Stay mentally healthy as a creative by Rabea