We're in a season of big transitions and new routines this year. Sure, change is a constant and to be expected - but that doesn't mean it's any less unsettling. Self-care isn't just a fad - it's an important practice that can have a powerful impact on your life. Creatives are more prone to stress and discussions around self-care are becoming increasingly important in this community.
...creatives experience higher rates of mood disorders than the general population - Psychology Today
We've rounded up our favourite ways (and resources) to take care of ourselves in trying times.
1. Get back to the basics
Yup. We're serious. It's easy to overlook the basics of self-care, but they work. And sometimes, maybe it's only the basics you can manage - and that's ok! Have a shower or a bath, wash your hair, brush your teeth, take your medication, tidy your area if you're up for it, try a face mask or a bath bomb!
I know, I know, you're tired of hearing about meditation. But there's a reason why people keep pushing it - it actually works.
Some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term. - Healthline
Resources for meditation:
- Headspace app
- Calm app
- How to Meditate by Mindful.org
- Meditation 101 by Gaiam
- 10-Minute Guided Meditation for Beginners to Clear Thoughts
3. Move your body
Moving your body is a great way to relieve stress and get out excess energy. Even just 10 minutes of movement can make an impact on your day. We love starting the morning with a little bit of movement to set the tone for the day. Try doing a stretch, going for a quick stroll, or your favourite workout.
4. Get crafty
You might think it's counterproductive to get busy making something when you're trying to focus on self-care and de-stressing, but getting crafty is a great way to relieve stress and distract your mind. Opt for activities that are naturally soothing to you.
5. Do some breathwork
Breathwork is an incredible tool that is easy and accessible.
Breathwork refers to any type of breathing exercises or techniques. People often perform them to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. During breathwork you intentionally change your breathing pattern. - Healthline
6. Listen to upbeat music
You probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that music can have a positive impact on moods.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks. - Healthline
Craft some playlists of your favourite upbeat tunes, maybe even dance it out. Be present in the moment and let loose! Your mind will thank you.
- Happy by Pharrell Williams
- Songs That Will Instantly Put You in a Good Mood from YouTube
- Happy Tunes by Spotify
- Happy Hits! by Spotify
7. Try therapy
Therapy is one of the most powerful tools for self-care.
Talk therapy can help individuals overcome pain from their pasts and develop coping strategies for the future. It can also help a person define their goals, clarifying who they are and what they want out of life. - GoodTherapy.org
If you're concerned about accessibility when it comes to therapy, most practitioners offer virtual sessions so you can get help from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you feel comfortable). Therapy can be costly, so look for people that offer sliding scale pricing - they'll adjust the cost based on your financial situation.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- PsychologyToday Therapist Finder
- Here's what to do if you can't afford therapy by Buzzfeed
8. Get some sleep
Yeah, maybe this one is a little obvious, but it's important! If you're not getting enough sleep, this can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with stress.
" Studies show people who are sleep deprived report increases in negative moods " - Better Health
- 17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night by Healthline
- Guided Sleep Meditation
- Sleep Tips: 6 Steps to Better Sleep by Mayo Clinic
9. Call a friend
It's easy to isolate yourself when you're feeling stressed or in a funk. Instead of giving in to isolation, pick up the phone and call a friend! Friends are a great sounding board and support system when you're not feeling yourself. Take the opportunity to vent and discuss what might be weighing you down.
10. Practice gratitude
It may sound ineffective to focus on gratitude when you're in the midst of a storm or transition, but being mindful of what you do have can be incredibly healing. Try making a list on a regular basis of what you're grateful for or writing a letter of thanks to someone.
Whether you choose to write a few sentences in a gratitude journal or simply take a moment to silently acknowledge all that you have, giving thanks can transform your life. - Psychology Today
There has been a lot of research done in recent years on the impact of practicing gratitude and how it changes the brain and your outlook on life - even when you're struggling with your mental health. Give it a try and see what happens - but don't expect to see an immediate difference - it takes a little time.
- How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain by Greater Good Magazine
- 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude by Psychology Today
- Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier by Harvard Health
11. Have a good laugh
There's a reason everyone always says "laughter is the best medicine". Sure, it's not a cure all situation but it can provide some temporary relief and give your mind and body a break from its usual stress response.
- Jack Black Dances to Take on Me
- Best TV Bloopers of the Decade
- Kumail Nanjiani Has Pizza & Cake for First Time in a Year with Jimmy Kimmel
- Celebrities Read Texts from Their Moms with Jimmy Kimmel
12. Get outside
Take a stroll in your neighbourhood, or if you're lucky enough to live near some lush trails or forests, go deep into nature and breathe in the fresh air. It's a great way to unwind and check in with yourself.
We hope any one of these tips help! Take care out there, friends!