Superpowers of creatives
As creatives, we are passionate about our art. A desire to share our work with other people can be all-consuming. We drive ourselves harder and harder to succeed. Does this sound familiar?
Writers, artists, musicians and entrepreneurs have some character traits in common. These can be both a blessing and a curse. This blog is about recognising our superpowers as creatives and nurturing them with self-care so that they serve us well.
Creatives are sensitive people. As we regularly tune into the right side of our brain to create, we further develop our intuition.
I suspect that many of us are empaths. An empath is a highly intuitive person, who senses the feelings and emotions of the people around them. We absorb other people’s pain, as we try to ease their suffering.
Creatives are perfectionists. We are self-critical, and that inner critic can sometimes prevent us from expressing our self for fear that our work will not be good enough.
We tend to be good and loyal friends. Our emotional intelligence means that we are often successful in the workplace, and are caring and supportive of our staff.
Our drive to succeed makes us self-starters. As entrepreneurs we put everything into our work, striving to achieve the best we possibly can.
These attributes are amazing superpowers, but they need to be treated with respect, or we risk burn out, writers’ block, feeling overwhelmed, or emotionally and mentally exhausted.
A new project gets one hundred percent superpower. We are flying high. For example, you have finished writing a novel. You have self-published and spent weeks marketing it. The steep learning curve has been worth it because you have received fabulous reviews and your friends and family are proud of what you have achieved. Or, you have set up a new business and after months of work, you have launched with a fanfare.
This is when we are most at risk of burn out, if we do not recognise how to look after our superpowers. There is likely to be an adrenalin slump after the work and excitement of a launch. We will be vulnerable to our self-critic when we look at how far we still have to climb, and our energy levels will be low.
I have noticed on social media that a number of creatives are experiencing low energy levels and poor health. It is not surprising as we are trying to adjust to and cope with a pandemic. As empaths, personal stories of heartbreak and loss, and those we hear from friends, and the media affect us deeply. This is another reason why we need to take extra care of our mental and emotional health at this time.
If you are anything like me, you will be very good at giving advice to friends, telling them to take care of their emotional and mental health but may fail to look after yourself.
A holiday or a spa day away from home may not be possible, at this time but you can create this at home. Find a day when you are going to be alone for all or part of the day and plan some treats. This will be different for everyone, but this is what my retreat day would include:
- A guided meditation for chakra alignment or deep relaxation. There are several on YouTube. I favour Deepak Chopra or The Honest Guys.
- Restorative yoga. Again, there are workshops on YouTube, but I subscribe to Core Vitality Yoga, and recommend the virtual retreat, I equip myself with a couple of pillows, a bolster or rolled-up towel, a throw/blanket, a face mask, and soothing oils, for this.
- A light lunch made up beforehand. This would include a delicious salad, fresh fruit, and maybe a smoothie.
- A walk where you can enjoy nature.
- A warm bath with scented oils, and candles. I might put a conditioning mask on my hair, or include other beauty treatments such as a face mask.
- Put on comfortable clothes to lounge in and read a book or listen to music.
- Manicure and pedicure if you feel inclined.
I have enjoyed a couple of home retreat days like this. It is important that you have a complete break from work and social media on this day. Do not let anything interfere with this special time. I promise you, it will feel good.
On a day to day basis, we can take care of ourselves by slowing down. How many of us obsess about being active on social media? I love my Twitter friends, and because of that, I do not want them to feel pressurised into constantly responding to me. Mindfully monitoring the time that we spend on social media can be beneficial to our emotional and mental wellbeing.
Find time to do things that you enjoy. I have been so intent on getting my debut published that I have neglected other interests: riding my bike, walking in the woods, crafting, and baking. I am going to make time for these things, and when I do engage in them, I will try to be one hundred percent present.
Finally, I will share with you a little visualisation that helps me. I imagine that we are all climbing a mountain. Some travellers are ahead and others behind. When I look down, I am surprised at how far I have come. Small steps each and every day have had an impact. However, I am tired and I still have such a long way to go. I sit at the side of the mountain and rest. The view before me is beautiful. It is momentary – the exact fall of the light, the little bird that has alighted at my side, the flowers in bloom. I rest in the moment.
‘Why do you need to carry that heavy backpack?’ a voice says. ‘Everything you need will be provided.’ And so, I let go of my load.
There is a well of crystal-clear water and I drink my fill. As I rest I help others on their journey. I know that when I need a hand or a word of encouragement there will be others to help me.
As I set off again I feel lighter and restored. Instead of worrying about the climb I enjoy the sun on my back and remember to admire the view.
These are techniques that help me. I hope that by sharing them I have given a hand to you on that mountain path.