Why bother with self care? Aren’t we busy enough just trying to keep up with complex lives, be creative and successful?
Taking steps to stay replenished with energy and positive attitude helps keep us healthy and productively creative.
The painting above is “Woman in Bath” by Degas. Good self-care is more than just bathing, of course – it is taking steps daily, even hourly, to stay replenished with the energy and positive attitude needed to be productively creative.
“The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity.
“That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world. It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion.”
Read more quotes from self-care coach and author Cheryl Richardson below.
Advanced Teachings for Fully Loving Yourself: The Foundations of Lasting Self-worth & Profound Healing.
Free presentation by psychologist Margaret Paul, Saturday, September 24, 2016
Spiritual teachers tell you that unconditional love is your birthright and offer platitudes like, “Love is the essence of who you are.”
Psychologists assure you that embodying this love is the hallmark of healthy adulthood.
The truth is, it can feel agonizingly difficult to feel unconditional love for yourself, much less express it and live it.
That’s because there’s an aspect of your growth that is rarely, if ever, addressed by the “experts” you turn to for guidance.
This is the ability for you to truly love different parts of yourself and create a secure “internal bond” between them.
Alanis Morissette says about working with psychologist Margaret Paul:
“I am grateful for this tool that encourages me to tune in and find the most loving steps to take on my own soul’s behalf.
“This process is of great nurturance to my artist, who I see as being synonymous with my inner child.”
Sign up for the free event: Fully Loving Yourself
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“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.”
Original photo by Chloe Moore from her page: Laura Cunningham: Painter.
Photo shown here with text from Genius Quotes.
A related quote:
“The practice of any art isn’t to make a living, it’s to make your soul grow.”
Kurt Vonnegut – in post: Abandoning or Missing Creative Fulfillment.
“It is also good every so often to go away and relax a little for when you come back to your work your judgment will be better, since to remain constantly at work causes you to deceive yourself.”
Leonardo da Vinci
This need to “get away” from work and perhaps other people, even our own overactive minds, can be helpful for anyone, but may be especially important for introverted and/or highly sensitive people, who are often creators and innovators.
From article What is our rush? Freeing yourself from pressure.
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What is self-compassion? Do you think it matters?
Kristin Neff, PhD writes:
“Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.
“Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals.”
Learn more about her Sounds True course Self-Compassion Step by Step.
Donna Eden is an author, practitioner, teacher and spokesperson for energy medicine. On her site, she provides these brief definitions of Energy Medicine :
Right Brain Definition: “Energy is your body’s magic! It is your life force. You keep it healthy and it keeps you healthy. If you are sick or sad, shifting your energies feels good.
“When you care for these invisible energies, it makes your heart sing and your cells happy!” – Donna Eden
Left Brain Definition: “Conventional medicine, at its foundation, focuses on the biochemistry of cells, tissue, and organs. Energy Medicine, at its foundation, focuses on the energy fields of the body that organize and control the growth and repair of cells, tissue, and organs.
“Changing impaired energy patterns may be the most efficient, least invasive way to improve the vitality of organs, cells, and psyche.” – David Feinstein, Ph.D.
Read more in article: Energy Medicine, Energy Psychology, Energy Sensitivity.
Energy Sensitivity / Electrosensitivity
Multiple articles on the BioElectric Shield site address this kind of sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation (EMF).
Here is a testimonial from someone about using a Shield device for EMF Protection:
Visit the site for many articles and ordering information:
The BioElectric Shield.
Our potential for burnout
Many people feel inspired to pursue creative projects, even multiple ones at the same time. One potential downside is physical and emotional burnout.
One way is to change our thinking about having “too much to do.”
Entrepreneur coach Molly Gordon writes about this kind of shift:
“People are always asking me how I get everything done. There are many answers, but one in particular arose in the midst of one of my morning meditations.
“As usual, my mind was prancing around like a young puppy, willing to heel for only a moment or two before racing off to explore some enticing scent in the bushes.
“Also as usual, one of these enticing scents was my ‘To Do’ list. As I gave a gentle tug on my mental leash, I experienced a sudden shift in perception. It was as if I had slipped through the looking glass to discover that I was living in a world of abundant possibility as opposed to one of temporal scarcity.
“I no longer had the problem of not enough time and balancing my life with my work; I had the gift of more than enough to do.”
From my article Multiple Passions and Talents But Potential Burnout.
Photo from my Inner Entrepreneur post Molly Gordon on inner and outer transformation for thriving.
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See multiple articles on thriving on the Highly Sensitive site.
Health & Wellness classes on the CreativeLive site – “Develop new patterns that foster your physical and mental health.” Categories of classes: Health & Fitness; Mindfulness; Nutrition; Habits – and more.
Article: How to Be More Creative: Take Time Off and Work Fewer Hours
by Hanna Olsen
“But ‘all work and no play’ doesn’t just make Jack a dull boy — it makes Jack’s work boring, stale, and less valuable.
“At his firm, Sagmeister & Walsh, Inc, designer Stefan Sagmeister has mandated year-long sabbaticals every seven years.
“For a full year, he explains in his TED Talk, his entire shop closes down. They do no client work. Because, Sagmeister says, constantly grinding away at work had made their output less desirable.”
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The quote at the top by Cheryl Richardson comes from her post: Lose Your Self-Consciousness: How to express your creative potential.
In the post, she talks about Nick Ortner and The Tapping Solution.
Read more about this self-care program in my articles:
One of her programs:
The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Cheryl Richardson Online Course.
Here are a few excerpts from the course description:
Extreme Self-Care generally involves:
• Living and working in a soul-nurturing environment.
• Developing a greater appreciation for, and connection with, nature.
• Doing work that provides an opportunity to express your greatest gifts and talents.
• Caring for your emotional, physical, and spiritual health in a way that’s aligned with who you are and what you most need.
• Surrounding yourself with people who are smart, self-aware, and only interested in two-way relationships.
Video: The Art of Extreme Self Care with Cheryl Richardson
In her related book The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time, Richardson writes that her mentor Thomas Leonard (founder of Coach University) advised her that “making pleasure a priority was critical for Extreme Self-Care – real pleasure, not just a massage every couple of months, an occasional bath, or a yearly vacation.
“It meant leaving work in the middle of the day to get out into nature, enjoying a great massage once a week, and developing daily habits that made me feel happy and nurtured, including listening to the music I loved, drinking my favorite tea, or ordering fresh flowers for my office.”
She admits, “At first I had great resistance to the idea of Extreme Self-Care. A massage once a week? How could I ever afford that when I had to pay my rent?”
Also see another article (on my Highly Sensitive and Creative site): Cheryl Richardson on protecting our high sensitivity.
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Musician Henry Rollins commented about being a performer and staying healthy on road tours:
“Eating well is becoming easier on the road as more places are health conscious. Gyms are easy to find anywhere there’s electricity and traffic.
“Time is the hard part. I do my best and I learned a long time ago that without recuperative sleep, good nutrition and constant exercise, this high stress lifestyle of traveling, etc. quickly takes a toll. I just see it as a very important thing and make sure I get it done.”
From my article Taking Care of Your Creative Self.
Henry Rollins is a musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, radio host, comedian, and activist (Wikipedia).
Nicole Kidman was asked by a reporter: ‘Do you have special diet and fitness regimens?’
“There’s certainly no secret regimen. I wish there was. I’m actually not that strict with my diet. I pretty much eat anything, but all in moderation. Likewise with fitness, I try not to be too strict with it and mix it up to make sure it stays fun.
“I take a Swisse [Wellness brand] multivitamin daily, which helps fill any nutrition gaps I have when I’m on the road.”
‘What lessons have your learned that you try to teach your children so they will stay healthy and fit?’
“Get out with your family, have some fun, don’t take it too seriously and make health, fitness and nutrition an important part of your life.
“Ultimately your health, both physical and emotional, is the basis for everything.”
[From Nicole Kidman enjoys fitness that’s centered on family time, by Judy Mandell, Los Angeles Times, Aug 1, 2014.]
[Photo from article; Nicole Kidman – a brief profile of high ability and complexity.]
In addiction to acting, she is a producer, singer, pianist (she did her own piano-playing in Cold Mountain) and was named goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
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Read about more multitalented creators like Jessica Lange, Gordon Parks, Julia Cameron, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Seymour, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Mayim Bialik, Jeff Bridges, Viggo Mortensen, David Lynch and others in article: Multitalented Creative People – an excerpt from my main book.
Katy Perry is another performer who reportedly is health conscious in her diet – at least mostly: note the last item.
A magazine article says that among her supposed backstage requirements for her New Year’s Eve concert in Las Vegas were:
“fresh veggies at all times, two large baskets of fruit (one’s got to be tropical), dinner with a vegetarian option, all low-fat and MSG-free meals, granola, dried figs, hummus, fresh-made guacamole, whole-grain tortilla chips, and three bottles of wine.”
[What Katy Perry Eats Backstage, Women’s Health, January 6, 2014 By Alison Goldman.]
Drug use, abuse, addiction
Katy Perry may use wine moderately, but many of us, including artists, at times use drugs such as alcohol, nicotine and other substances in ways that are self-limiting.
One example: David Lynch is a very prolific filmmaker, musician, visual artist and writer – but also has been a chain smoker.
Also, some artists may still believe mythologies about drugs facilitating creativity.
Belinda Seiger, PhD writes that she has “known many gifted women who are constantly driven to learn, to create and to be intellectually productive even while raising young children.”
From my article Motherhood and creative work.
If you are a mother who is also pursuing creative interests such as art or developing a business, it can be a challenge to find time and ways to care for yourself, and you can push yourself too far, into depletion.
Of course, that can also apply to people who aren’t mothers.
Family therapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe talks about a number of techniques for stress management and personal growth including Tapping or Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and Holosync audio CDs – a program I use regularly, and find very helpful for relaxation.
Read more in my article: Psychotherapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe on technologies for growth.
(She is also author of the book Make Yourself at Home: Family Life As a Key to Personal Growth.)
Creativity coach and psychologist Eric Maisel has written a number of books on stress and anxiety related to creative people, and says “Creating is not an energy-neutral state: it is a high energy state, with, at its healthiest, enthusiasm and not anxiety driving its engine.”
From article: Eric Maisel on the creative value of calming – which has a link to our interview about his calming technique and related book “Ten Zen Seconds.”
This “What-if-you-chose” image is from one of the programs by Lisa Grace Byrne of WellGrounded Life, a Holistic Health Counselor, mother and author.
She asks, “You have all the information about how to best care for yourself…why is it so hard to actually live it out?”
Learn more her programs such as Replenish 365 – “a full year, extraordinary learning mentorship program for moms who want to lead calm, healthy, vibrant lives.”
Video: “Success Strategies for Overachieving Your Goals” – Lisa Byrne refers to her course Replenish 365.
She also writes about this program: “I put these success principles together because time after time the women who I watched make the greatest transformations in their lives all had elements of these working in their lives.”
She addresses perfectionism at the beginning – which can be a very significant topic for many high ability and creative people, whether or not you are a mother.
In her book Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life, Lisa Byrne writes,
“I don’t want the badge of living off fumes any longer…I wanted to live from a full and replenished well. I wanted motherhood not martyrdom…I decided I was going to define for myself what I really wanted out of life.
“Cumulatively, the small extensions of care you give yourself add up to enormous returns in how you experience your health and vitality.”
Here is a video with Lisa about her book:
Byrne also hosts “The M.A.P.P. Gathering” – a free series of “intimate conversations with nine exceptional women around the topics of motherhood, ambition, passion and purpose” with Brene Brown, Jennifer Louden, Renee Trudeau, Dr. Sara Gottfried, Pamela Slim, Jill Savage, Kelly Rae Roberts, Andrea Scher and Tsh Oxenreider.
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Program by SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy):
Three Part Harmony – Become a Feelings Master and Change Your Life
She says, “You can take baths and long walks. And that’s all a part of good self-care. But this is about long-lasting Inner Self-Care: really managing our feelings. And most of us are not Feelings Masters.”
More related articles:
List of self-care articles (on the Highly Sensitive and Creative site).
Also see one of my Pinterest boards: Personal Growth and Health.
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Aren’t health and vitality essential to us for living well in general, but particularly to support being an extraordinary creator?
“Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity…Finding ways to maintain that optimal zone where we are neither under- or over-stimulated allows us to use our minds to respond rather than to react.
“The greater access you maintain to yourself, the richer and broader your array of creative tools.”
Psychologist Cheryl Arutt, on the page: Emotional Health Resources