There’s nothing like coming up with something that is considered wonderfully creative (maybe even genius), but what happens when stress from outside factors gives your otherwise squeaky wheel of creativity a swift kick in the rear?
Many of us would prefer to avoid the topic of stress because basically, it stresses us out. However, coming to terms with job related stress is a necessity for our mental health, physical health and the health of our business.
Coming up with a helpful list of creative solutions to combat art job stressors ensures that everyday annoyances and career disappointments won’t get the best of you. Keeping a list of de-stressors available doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it simply means you’re organized, self-aware and prepared to deal with life’s unexpected complications. Here are 20 strategies to help you overcome negative stress and set you bacon the road to calm, clear and creative:
1) Refuse to fret needlessly over things you can’t control – We cannot always determine the outcome of certain events. While showing up prepared to meet life’s challenges increases you chances of success, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll always win the prize. Do your part to the best of your ability. Then make the conscious decision to focus on something else.
2) Go ahead and take the occasional break; it won’t kill you – Some of us agree to become workaholics because we have fallen into the false belief that if we allow ourselves a little break, people will think that we’re lazy. Slacking off aside, proper breaks often help to you to “reassess the situation” so that you can approach your work with a fresh perspective
3) Quit playing the Comparison Game- Not everyone’s circumstances, level or talent or experience is the same. So why even go there. Instead focus on learning valuable skills to help you improve. Each day, approach things with your best effort.
4) Don’t take on too many commitments- Consider the amount of work you can safely handle without if affecting the quality of your work, health or relationships.
5) Rely on the support of friends and family- Don’t neglect the people that are there to encourage you. Knowing that there are other people that have at one time, shared your aggregation helps you to realize that you are not alone.
6) Don’t let others put unnecessary pressure on you or steal your joy- Sure their are bullies out there in every nook, cranny and profession, but why give them your day or your week. People have their own agendas. It is very easy to sucked into their manipulations, but is it good for you? Learn to politely say no to things and people that you know will harm not help you.
7) Stop sharing your problems with people you don’t know- Sometimes we set ourselves up by giving others the ammunition to use against us. Remember that art is often a “cutthroat business”. Sadly, some people will use your weaknesses, worries, and fears against you. They naturally do what they believe is necessary for their own survival and benefit, not yours. With the exception of sharing with the most trusted family members,friends and professionals, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
8) Curb multi-tasking; it’s overrated- Everyone loves to say I accomplished all these things in a short space of time, but when the quality of your work and relationships suffer, it’s time to slow down and cut the number of tasks that you normally perform in half.
9) Don’t get stuck in the past, stay in the present- So many of us operate on what we used to know rather than on what we currently experience on a daily basis. If “old tapes” from the past are preventing you from making better decisions in the present (ex decisions that have the potential to move your career forward), mentally seal these negative thoughts in a time capsule, bury it, and never look back.
10) Concentrate on learning, not winning- When you concentrate on learning concepts instead of always winning prizes or accolades, you remove the emotional stress of always having to best others as well as yourself. The positive result of this is that doing so can add additional interest, vitality and depth to your artistic vision.
11) Don’t forget to ask for help- It’s O.K. to pass certain tasks on to others that can do these tasks faster and more efficiently. Then, you can dedicate more time to your art and your business plan.
12) Don’t place all of your hopes and dreams into one possibility- This could be a recipe for depression if you’re fist plan goes bust. Instead, concentrate on coming up with more than one plan, gradually adjusting to life’s challenges. In other words, be flexible.
13) Stop missing out on sleep- Getting some much needed “shut eye” decreases stress and helps to improve your overall well-being. When you suffer from lack of sleep, social, physical, and cognitive abilities are impaired. Sleep makes you more productive.
14) Don’t focus on all the things that could go wrong; instead plan ahead- Expect the unexpected and make plans for how to deal with difficult situations that might arise.
15) Address the areas that are causing you stress- For example, if you stress over money, try to come up with a budget. If you stress over transportation, research the different modes of transportation in your area. When you begin to see that their are reasonable solutions to your problems, your stress level diminishes.
16) Encourage others and encourage yourself- When you help others as well as yourself, it improves your mood and outlook.
17) Don’t try to do things all at once- Breakup large tasks into smaller goals so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
18) Don’t be oversolicitous- Helping others is admirable, but when you take it to the extreme, you become “wait-staff” minus the paycheck. People begin to disrespect you and even take advantage of you. This can lead to excess pressure and resentment as you begin to feel used and unloved. Be generous with your time and gifts, but don’t become a doormat for users and career opportunists. Let others know you have limits.
19) Spend more time with positive, caring people- Their positive outlook and behavior will rub off on you and eventually become a good habit.
20) Avoid users and narcissists- When you invite users and the self-obsessed into your life, the only thing you find time for is them. The only thing they find time for is them. See the pattern. Treat them with respect, but don’t get involved.
Keep these items close at hand. Use them as an important part of your de-stress arsenal. If you feel yourself slipping back into old habits, don’t fall into self-blame. Reconsider the situation. Respond accordingly and get back on track. Remember that positive life changes take time.