Ten Tips for a Healthy, Active Mind

Maintaining a healthy, active mind is important for anyone in a creative field. You rely on your energetic brain to fuel your work. This, coupled with the business of being an independent artist make it priority number one for you to maintain a strong, stress-free mind. That isn’t easy. In even the best circumstances, all of us are vulnerable to cluttered, anxious brains. Sometimes finding focus can be the most difficult part of the day. This can spell disaster for anyone relying on their ability to regularly produce and market their own creative work. Not to worry, there are some simple ways you can help promote a calm, productive mind every single day.

  1. Catch your Z’s-A good sleep schedule is one of the most important things you can do for your brain. Healthy sleep affects how we think, how we feel, it even has an impact on our overall physical health. How much sleep is required varies from person to person, but in general trying to stick to a consistent routine–whatever that may mean for you–is the best way to train your mind and body to get enough good sleep.
  2. Move it-Exercise is right behind (or even beside) sleep when it comes to overall well-being. You don’t need to be a marathon runner to pull this off. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (about 20 minutes a day) or 75 minutes of more vigorous exercise (ten minutes a day over seven days) in order to maintain base aerobic health. Exercise does more than keeping your body healthy, it also impacts your mind, your sleep, and most other aspects of your day to day existence.
  3.  Keep a calendar-It may seem unlikely that keeping track of what you have to do and when you need to do it can contribute much to your overall ability to focus and work well, but evidence shows this is a key component. Learning good time management takes away the burden of constantly catching up with what’s next leaving room for your mind to focus on other things. As a professional artist, you should already know that time management is critical for things like grant applications. Applying this technique to other aspects of your life will help you streamline the work process and work with less stress.
  4. Say no sometimes-It is tempting to want to commit to every opportunity that comes your way. When you are trying to build a business and a brand as an artist, of course, you want as much exposure as possible. It is important that you begin to recognize what opportunities you can pass up without losing too much ground. Over committing yourself will lead to burn out and can cause you to underperform across the board. Learn to say no when you don’t have the time or the mental energy for one more thing. It will pay off in the long run.
  5. Take breaks-Working for yourself can be incredibly freeing. You may find that you are more mobile and that your time is your own more than ever before. It can also be something of a trap. All too easily, you may find yourself in a pattern of never truly unplugging from your work. Make a concerted effort to step away. Don’t check your email after a certain hour or on weekends if possible. Schedule times when you can take a few days off. You’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to go when you return.
  6. Look on the bright side-The power of positive thinking is very real. Do not dwell on your perceived failures. Applied for a grant you didn’t get? Brush yourself off and try again. Keep moving forward. Find ways to see potential and positivity in most situations. Everything can be a learning experience, and your inner dialogue has a bigger effect on overall well-being than you may realize. Be kind to yourself!
  7. Reach out-No one can exist well in a vacuum. It is important that you build a community from which you can draw inspiration and support. Be open to helping those around you when they are in need, and never be afraid to ask for help. We are a pack oriented species. From time to time even the most solitary among us need a little community.
  8. Relax-Maybe the most obvious and simultaneously most difficult is the ability to simply relax. Most of us are not programmed to let go easily. Wandering around under stress all the time can lead to all sorts of unfortunate consequences. Find ways to relax, whether you seek the shelter of a walk in the woods or enroll in a yoga class. Keeping your body and mind relaxed will allow you to open up and let your creativity flow.
  9. Know yourself-It’s impossible to de-stress if you don’t realize you are stressed in the first place. We are all too prone to ignoring the signals being sent by our own minds and bodies telling us we need to pull back a little. Take time to recognize stress when you see it.
  10. Have fun-No, really. Go out and have a ball. Do it often. Don’t let your merry-making disrupt your work, but do set aside time for frivolity. No one thrives by being constantly serious. Live a little, laugh a lot.

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