Tortured artists are not the best artists. Despite what you have been led to believe, your suffering is not what triggers your creativity. You are not going to run out of ideas once you reach a peaceful state of mind.
The truth is, poor mental health can negatively impact your creativity. Cultivating a healthy mindset is vital to the creative process. The better you feel, the better art you will create.
In order to make sure you are at the top of your game this year, here are some resolutions for mental health and creativity:
1. Schedule specific break times every single day.
When you are involved in a creative field, your work day never ends. Your brain never shuts down. You feel guilty whenever you take a minute to yourself — but that type of mindset is dangerous. You need to set aside break times, times when you are not allowed to think about your work. Otherwise you are going to burn yourself out. This year, make sure you remember you deserve to rest.
2. Balance your work with your other responsibilities.
If your work is the only thing you care about, your work will suffer. Creativity requires you to be a well-rounded person. That means you should not forget to put effort into your relationships with your friends, to pursue outside hobbies, and to spend time with your family members. Even though your art means everything to you, there should be more to your world than work.
3. Keep a day planner.
When you are more organized, you will be less stressed. Keep a planner and jot down micro goals for yourself to complete throughout the week. It’s easier to focus on small tasks than to focus on the big ones, so break apart your goals into stepping stones. You are not going to reach success overnight anyway, so you might as well take one thing at a time.
4. Reduce the amount of time you spend scrolling.
Social media is a confidence killer. Your good mood is going to be ruined when you see posts about friends earning degrees, coworkers receiving promotions, and high school classmates making more money than you. It’s hard to stop comparing yourself to others, which is why you should start by cutting down on screen time. If you have the willpower, you can even deactivate your accounts for a few months.
5. Compliment your reflection every morning.
Say self-affirmations aloud in order to start your day off right. Leave post-it notes on your mirror to remind you of your beauty. For every awful thing you think about yourself, come up with a compliment to balance out the pessimism. Quiet the nagging voice in the back of your head. Train yourself to think better about yourself. Practice self-love.
6. Prioritize your physical health.
Set aside time to exercise every single day, even if that means spending forty-five minutes on the treadmill while you catch up on The Bachelor. You should also make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. Do not sacrifice your rest in order to complete another two hours of work. The more energy you have, the better results you will have. You don’t want your art to come out sloppy because you were running on fumes.
7. Practice saying no.
If a close friends asks you to work on something for them for free, you are allowed to say no. If someone reaches out to you with an idea for a project and you already have too many things on your plate, you are allowed to say no. Learn your boundaries and establish them. You are not obligated to do anything that will elevate your stress.
8. Sign up for volunteer work.
Helping people who are less fortunate than you will help you put your own problems into perspective. It will help you realize the little mistakes you have made with your art are not worth self-destructing over. As an added benefit, while you are volunteering, you will meet new people. You will visit new locations. You will discover new ideas for your art.
9. Learn the proper way to meditate.
Put down your phone for fifteen minutes per day to practice meditation. Allow yourself to slow down and exist in the moment. It will help you learn to appreciate the now instead of constantly worrying about what you have to get done later.
10. Find a therapist who makes you feel comfortable.
Therapy is the number one way to take care of your mental health. If you have never seen a therapist before, this should be the year when you treat yourself to one. If you already have a therapist, step back for a moment to evaluate whether they have been helping you heal. You might benefit from finding someone new, someone who is a better match for you.