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The whole room was a buzz. I was sitting towards the back, taking in the scene as laughter and chatter filled the Tribeca hall. Being in a room full of writer, influencers, and creative entrepreneurs felt so refreshing. To kick-off 2018, I attended the #BlogHer18 Health Conference in January and found immense inspiration from the powerful stories of such women as Camila Alves, Arianna Huffington, and Latham Thomas.
It was motivating to hear how these creative entrepreneurs practice positivity. All these wonderful women shared stories about finding strength in the midst of challenging times. Overcoming depression, fighting for their dreams, getting through heartache.
Being an artist is challenging.
As a self-proclaimed (and proud of it!) writer and creative entrepreneur, I’m no stranger to the challenges entrepreneurship brings. The journey is littered with obstacles, or tests, to weed out the non-believers from the believers: dreamers who don’t care for being “realistic.” Balancing money with creativity is one of the fun (and no lie messy!) parts of following your heart.
Is it possible to get your mind right and not let the negative nancy keep you from heaven? YES! Hearing all of these strong women talk about mental health, building their own businesses and overcoming challenges made it very clear to me that being tested is part of the creative’s journey– it’s whether or not we give the test a try that determines our success.
The line between work and life when work IS your life requires positivity and tons of self-care. Whether you’re a newbie freelancer, a disciplined moonlighter or a well-spiced entrepreneur, be sure to care for yourself!
Here are 5 ways to maintain an equal footing as you reach for the stars:
- Journal: True story, I go through a journal every 3 weeks. If there’s one accessory I can’t live without it’s my journal. Journaling is so therapeutic. It’s a great way to vent, visualize your dreams and affirm the life you’d like to live. In those moments when you’re feeling really stressed out, or angry grab a pen or your favorite notes app. I’m a true believer that our words become our life. Instead of venting to a friend and circulating negative energy, use your journal to let out all of those feelings. Have you ever noticed how your keyboard gets the brunt of your anger when these emotions well up? Scribbling furiously into a journal is a healthy way to release those pent-up sentiments. You’ll literally feel so relieved once you do it, that maintaining a positive attitude will be that much easier.
- Meditate: One of the best tools for gaining clarity, clearing stress and staying mentally well is meditation. Just a week of consistent meditation can greatly benefit your work and mood. There are a number of resources that allow you to get into the zone, from free recorded sessions on YouTube to paid apps like Headspace and Calm. You can even enjoy meditation on your own! If you don’t meditate already start by finding a nice quiet spot. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Count each breath – 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 as you inhale, and so on and so forth. Count up to 10, then repeat. Do this for 5 minutes your first week. The next week, challenge yourself to increase your time and sit for longer.
- Get Creative: Allowing yourself space to “play” and get your creative juices flowing are so so so necessary for keeping a positive attitude while on the grind. Listen to one of your favorite podcasts, watch a video or even create something outside of your usual medium. As a writer, I love taking up my pen and pad to doodle! I always end up with some really hilarious drawings and illustrations. They make me laugh so much that I do it time and time again for the positive release. Not only is it a fun way to use your creative muscle, you also get to explore a new art form! Don’t worry about being good at it, just have fun with it. It’s okay to be silly!
- Do Something Nice For Yourself: Saturdays have become my favorite day of the week. Yes, it’s the weekend. It’s also the day I pamper myself like a celestial Goddess. When was the last time you treated yourself like the Goddess you are? Treat yourself to a nice at-home pedi or put on your favorite lotion to de-stress. Spend an hour a week doing something just for you to boost your mood, and free your mind. Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it’s a necessity. So go ahead. Love up on yourself!
- Carve Out Time For Learning: Is there a class you’ve been meaning to take? A skill you’ve wanted to add? Diving into a new subject or topic of interest is food for your brain and soul. No matter your medium, learning is beneficial to today’s hustle, hustle, hustle mentality. These days, you don’t even have to step outside of your home to take a class! Sites like Skillshare, Coursera, and Lynda.com make it super easy to dive into new interests.
As creators, staying positive and maintaining a healthy mental balance can be a challenge. Taking care of yourself while hustling hard can do wonders for your productivity though. An imbalance in any part of your well-being can cause you to feel sluggish, unmotivated and even depressed. Affecting not just your work but your happiness as well. The first step is to check in with yourself.
Remember, you’re human. Not a productivity robot.
Has staying positive and maintaining your mental health been a challenge for you as a writer or creative business owner? What helps you keep a balance?
I’d love to hear your favorite practices! Leave a comment below with what helps you stay positive in the throes of the daily hustle.