How to maintain self care as a creative this year

It’s 2018 and while we all are surely making goals for our current and future projects, it’s easy to fall back on our old 2017 ways. As tenacious creatives, we can get caught up in the constant hamster wheel of working toward greater success. Most of the time we feel working harder is the fastest way to our goal, but what’s that old saying, “Work smarter, not harder”? Yeah, we’re going to be on that wave this year and it’s about time you get on board too. We’ve narrowed down our biggest game-changers and hopefully you can pick one out for yourself to work a bit differently this year. Let’s get to it!

1. Stop putting your craft before your own needs
Say what? Yeah, you heard right. We all do it. You know those times where you skip a few important meals because of a deadline or spend your last on inventory instead of transportation? We have this idea that our business needs comes first, because we can find a way to survive while our projects can’t. Now, while this idea can be true in certain circumstances, when you find yourself constantly emotionally and physically struggling for the sake of business, you’re doing it all wrong. Your business or project cannot be 100%, if the person running it isn’t. So grab a granola bar if you don’t have time for breakfast. Set money aside every month for YOUR needs. Take a relaxing bath and ease your mind. Your body will thank you later.

2. Treat your customers and supporters like your family and not just a follower count
Now even though this sounds like a no-brainer, I assure you I’ve seen it create failure in businesses. You have to treat every single customer or supporter you have like they are the most important aspect of your business, because they are. Without them, yes you probably would still be creating, but supporters and customers can catapult your business and you know it. When you envision your supporters as just a number and not a face, you run the risk of disregarding their questions, advice, and needs. When you personally respond to an email or request, picture the person on the other end as a celebrity you’ve been dying to work with; and if that doesn’t work, picture them as yourself. We know how hectic your emails and customer service can be on your mental health, but if you can treat each person like they are the only one that matters in that moment, you can begin to narrow each request down until you’re done! Treat others how you would want to be treated?! Yup, it works every time and your supporters will appreciate the time you take out to ensure they are being seen as people and not just a number in your growing follower count. Not to mention, you can go to bed in peace.

3. It’s okay to be lazy…..sometimes
This pretty much falls into #1, but this is still a major condition on its own. Yes we all have the same 24 hours as Diddy, but we all know we don’t have the same resources. So, yes, work your ass off but also give yourself a lazy day or hour. Give yourself time to do nothing, catch up on a show, take yourself to lunch, etc. Give back to yourself for all the hard work you’re currently accomplishing. I don’t want to hear “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, because all I asked, was for you to calm down for a second Energizer Bunny.

4. LOG TF OUT!
It seems like most millennial creatives love to scour the internet and social media apps for direct inspiration and that’s another conversation for another day. However, know when to log out. We all have had a feeling of insecurity or change of heart concerning our projects or goals because we see other people doing the same thing better and effortlessly. Know when to congratulate someone on their success and log tf out to work on yours.

Take some time for yourself this year and put your needs before your business, congratulate your creative peers so you can focus on your own goals, and most of all, learn to work smarter and not harder. Now log out.

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Day At Dusk by Walker Lewis, a series symbolizing the burden of femininity

Color Me Bad by photographer Jen Christo