Self-care for creative people

Sheila Chandra - Friday, August 31, 2018

Being a creative person can be exhausting and draining without a self-care practise. Learn how to create a self-care regimen that supports you and keeps you in top form.

Creative people need an individual approach to self-care

Creative people lead a life that is outside the norm with strange hours and working conditions. Things change quickly and each minute and each month is different. As a creative person, you’ll need a wealth of self-care resources and practises to draw from based on your own patterns and industry. Think about issues you’ve had in the past. Do you have trouble saying no? Do you work for long hours in the same position? Does your mind suffer first if you get stressed?  Knowing your weaknesses and vulnerabilities helps you work out what you’ll need, spot common patterns and personalise your self-care practise. Write a list now of your common stressors.

Self-care is preventative medicine for creative people

There’s a reason why self-care isn’t just a ‘frill’ that creative people can cut back on. You are your most precious resource, because there’s never going to be another you to create your work and you can’t just buy a new young and fit body off the shelf.

Your body and mind are probably strong, but all creative people, including you, have their limits and a self-care practise acts as a preventative measure. For instance, can you get the same work done in 3 x 4 hour sessions instead of pulling all-nighter? Is the all-nighter worth it if you are wrecked for days afterwards? Self-care is often about making smart choices that prevent harm. Above all, never work if you think doing so will cause you permanent injury. Better to lose a client than your capacity to work.

 Be creative with your self-care practises

Work out what self-care means for you. It could be walking, meditation, swimming, breathing techniques, coffee with a friend or reading fiction. What rejuvenates you? Look out for new ways that make you feel good and recharge your creative batteries. Do you work better when you take a break every 40 minutes? Does adjusting the light help you write for longer periods? Does listening to a soothing song before you perform help to calm your nerves? Notice what works for you. Ask other creative people what their self-care practises are. Be curious and observant.

Creative people’s bodies need self-care too

We use our bodies to paint, sing, dance, play instruments and create. Don’t endanger your body with excessive alcohol, drugs or extreme sports. Nourish yourself with food and take time to recover from illness. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Go outdoors. Wear protective gear (earplugs, masks) when needed. Is your working space ergonomic? Are you warm enough? Notice which parts of your body hurt after you’ve been working for hours. Self-care encompasses physical practises like adjusting your chair, doing regular stretches or regulating the room temperature. Be attentive and listen to your body.

If you’re young and male, I know that this advice is going to seem ‘soft’ – but take it from someone old (in your eyes anyway!). Those injuries and ways you neglect yourself are going to come back to haunt you sooner than you think. The body stops repairing itself after a while. And you don’t want to be bothered with limitations you didn’t need to have. So be efficient and start taking care of yourself. You’ve only got this one body to last you your whole lifetime!

Resting is part of self-care for creative people

Whether it’s resting your mind or your body - we all need “down time”. Many creative people are workaholics who are scared they’ll lose their magic if they stop. But tired brains are not terribly creative. In fact, a tired brain starts to stew in its own toxins. What if your magic improved after resting? Your state of mind can change drastically after a nap. Make a place by the window with some cushions to doze, or even read a book. Turn your phone to airplane mode. Put yourself into self-care mode and have a guilt-free rest.

How creative people manage self-care when they’re stressed

Being able to identify the source of the stress is incredibly useful. You’ll often have too much on your plate. Are you expecting too much of yourself? Is there an issue you’ve been avoiding dealing with? Are you overscheduled with work that isn’t that essential? Work out what the problem is. Then you can plan a long term strategy to deal with it. Make a list of which self-care practices work for you in particularly stressful situations. You’ll be grateful for that list during times when you are so stressed that you can’t even think. Or recruit a friend who can ‘prescribe’ you some rest when you’re too tired to work out what you need.


Are you a creative person who would you like help with your self-care practise? Contact me to find out how my creative coaching can give you the support you need. Email me at for a free 30 minute consultation today.



Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image


Recent Posts


creative routine artist collegues grounding practices professional jealousy auditions singers creative industries cry confidential creative career balance career strategy staying tidy effortlessly scheduling work trips cave art children career strategies strengths re-framing workaholism artist goals onstage relationships 'Organizing for Creative People' creative emotional support audiences imagination workstations structure being organized publisher diary work life bad reviews instincts audition success career infrastructure creative block, artist, creative, energy sappers absences loyalty productivity career goals personal space professional mentors goals achieved intimidating career direction creative ambitions colleagues self-critisicism resentment green room artists attraction brainstorm critics coaching artist mentors blocks power dynamics self-care artist strategy client #metoo support collaborations managers 'Ever So Lonely' career support holidays success mentoring social time time management creative process client testimonials, eastenders star lisa hammond, rachael spence, coaching service for creative people, actresses, comedy writers fellow creatives musicians lists breaks USP fear self-reflection being kind to yourself quick tune-up artist career tact planning books creative support nascent artists visualise creative people testimonials work on weaknesses family routines peers re-imagining avoidance creative career coach five year plan insights emotional resilience dreamtime procrastination performers 2018 goals author passive aggressive behaviour professional encouragement. subconscious nerves creative support network artist vision managing schedule partners creative relationships bands counselling stress grace contents of proposal goal setting human needs gentle safe space anxiety artist organization female singers meditation competition budgeting problems artist workspace non-fiction creative person Grange Hill cluter-free living professional boundaries skills literary proposal audition panels new year creative goals agent instinct misuse of power mental health 'Ouch!' podcast motivation timewasters artist routine health jealousy working for free efficiency silver package career resources planning confidences career conacts creativity friendship austerity artist community weaknesses writing efficiently home grounded clutter creative industry calendar disability drafts Lisa Hammond performance good coach bodily needs shows creative identity creative vision touring tidying up insecurity boundaries negative people goals collaborators mistakes success stories standard issue podcast BBC just four coaching sessions writing artist support artist stage fright personal boundaries criticism creative career coaching purpose audience agents impetus artistic conviction shake up short and sweet