Have you nourished yourself today?
As a creative person who wants to make a positive difference in the world, it is absolutely crucial that you take extra special care of yourself first. Gone are the days when martyrdom and suffering were the noble way of life. It’s time to nourish ourselves so well that we are bursting with positive goodness to share with the world.
My friends will tell you that my number one recommendation when you are feeling burnt out, frustrated, confused, etc… is to DRINK WATER. Super basic nourishment, right after taking a deeeeeeep breath.
Ask yourself what is the most basic need you can meet right now?
What is most important for your health and your sanity in this moment? Maybe you need to step outside for some fresh air. Maybe you are starving! Perhaps you’ve been around too many people lately and just need a break, some solitude. Are you feeling sluggish and just plain lacking energy lately? Maybe your body is crying for some movement, some fun activity to wake up your cells, your muscles, your blood flow. Are you getting enough sleep? It is time to make your beauty rest a priority. You will be amazed at what routine good-night-sleep can do for your creativity and energy.
Once you are meeting your basic needs, it’s time to take it up a notch. It’s time to lavish yourself with pleasure. Take yourself on a romantic date (yes, by yourself) to see a movie that YOU have been wanting to see. Eat dinner at YOUR favorite restaurant, just because. Eat whipped cream and strawberries for breakfast because it is decadent and just plain yummy. Spend hours at the beach with no plan, no worries. Press pause on your work and go have fun. Go into relaxation mode. When it’s time to press “play” for working, then you can step back into get-it-done mode.
You’ll find that it may be scary to do this at first, you may worry about the things that need your attention. Once you take the time to nourish yourself, you will start to realize that you have more energy to take care of the things that need your attention, or you find clarity about what things you can take off your plate. Your mental and emotional well-being are crucial if you intend to be productive and effective in your work.
First, decide what are the key essentials to your well-being.
Usually the basics are: Nutrition/hydration, sleep, physical activity, social/play time, and creative/work time. Making these basics a priority in your life requires a commitment to caring for yourself first. When you make this commitment, you are saying “I am worth my own time and energy. My needs are important and need to be met in order to create the awesome things I am meant to create in this lifetime.”
Then, make a list of all the fun and lavishly indulgent things you’d like to do sometime.
I highly recommend having an ongoing joy list, where you write down things that sound like fun to you. Think of things that you know would nourish your spirit but that you hardly make time for.
Finally, create space in your day or your week, that is devoted to YOU. To nurture yourself, to have some not-so-plain-old silly and ridiculous fun or relaxation. Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, is adamant about going on a weekly “artist’s date” and I completely agree with her. It is absolutely essential to give ourselves that time off, that intentional indulgence, so that our creative spirit is energized and free to create!
Yes, there will be some discomfort in this commitment. Why? Because when you are proactive about your needs, it requires you to say no to things that come up that aren’t in alignment with your priorities. And quite often, it means you must say no to requests from friends or family members.
What can YOU simplify in your life right now, so that you have more time and space to nourish yourself?
What are the non-essentials that you frequently allow to take up your time and energy? Are there toxic relationships that leave you feeling drained? Too many family activities and commitments? An overload of work projects?
Solutions are infinite. When you take time to open up to solutions you may not have thought of, you will be surprised at what happens. Be curious. Observe, experiment, and play with ideas and possibilities. Ask yourself questions like “How can I simplify this?” or “What’s most important to me here?” When things go “wrong,” I LOVE the science experiment approach. Consider everything in life an experiment, and you’ll discover that there is no actual “wrong,” just conclusions, new observations, more experiments. When you are curious about a situation rather than critical, you are more likely to ask the questions that will bring you the quality results you are looking for.
Another important thing, GIVE IT TIME. Habits take time to really feel like a natural part of your routine, so keep experimenting and practicing. Re-commit to your self and your well-being daily. Every moment is a new opportunity to decide that you are worth your own love and tender care. Imagine yourself as your dearest friend. She deserves rest, quality food and water, fun and invigoration. These are the things that nourish your creative spirit, and your creative spirit is what is going to serve the world for the better. Your creations make a difference, and anyone who attempts to make you feel otherwise probably isn’t nourishing their own creative spirit.
So, go drink a big glass of water, and write down what YOUR essentials are. What does your creative spirit need to feel refreshed, energized, ALIVE? Then begin by gently applying one of your essentials. Practice making it a regular part of your day. Do it with love and gusto. The world is waiting for your energy, your creative genius, so nourish it and nourish it well. Have a beautiful day!