Artist Self Care Strategies Part 2

Today I cam across another epic list about Artist Self-Care here:

50 ways to take care of yourself in the arts

Published by Performing Arts Hub after  Making Time: Arts and Self-Care conference held by Footscray Community Arts Centre, AU.

Here are my favourite 16:

4. Nurture an attitude of gratitude
Being grateful for something as small like having milk in the fridge can help give you perspective.

7. Have the treat now
Don’t wait for something ‘good’ to happen in order to give yourself a treat. Enjoy something now, even just a cup of tea, and reward yourself for your hard work

20. Be okay with doing nothing
Pressure to be productive all the time is nonsense. Let yourself have a bath, read a book, switch off from social media or just lay in bed and do nothing. It’s okay to do nothing.

22. Make self-care part of the acquittal
Self-care needs to become part of the vernacular and a respected and valued part of any project or workplace.

24. Put recovery time into the budget
When applying for a grant or putting together a budget, factor in self-care and recovery time.

25. Acknowledge and reflect on the project
Often it’s best to reflect on the project a few weeks after its conclusion. Acknowledge the work you have done, the personal and organisational learnings, and how they can be applied to future projects.

26. Manage the post-show high
You may feel a rush of adrenaline after the completion of a show or project, but if you blow out by going to a big party and end up in bed for a week to recover it’s not the best use of your energy. Think ahead to your sustainability.

28. Don’t let FOMO fool you
It’s okay to retire to bed. We can feel this pressure to go to every opening, exhibition, see every project, keep ‘networking’ ​least we be left behind, but acknowledging what you really would prefer to do instead of being ruled by what you should be doing can diminish the feelings of fear of missing out.

31. Reconnect with friends
When our collective mantra is ‘I’m so busy, busy, busy’ we can neglect people around us. Reconnect and reach out to your friends and family and let them know if you are feeling burnout.

35. Say no
There is an art to saying no, and it’s essential to preserve self-care. We can’t eliminate everything we don’t want to do in life, but saying no to relationships that aren’t working well, projects that you don’t have time for or interest in, or the commitments that don’t enrich you in some way, is extremely beneficial.

44. Systematic issues and what is acceptable
Working long hours for low pay is entrenched in the sector but would be unacceptable in the corporate sector. We need to do our bit to try and break this down by saying no to working for free, taking breaks, and factoring in self-care into budgets and grant applications.

45. It’s okay to walk away
Whether it be during or at the completion of a project, sometimes our health and wellbeing may require us to walk away.

46. Really listen
You don’t’ have to have the answers, but letting someone speak and really be heard can be helpful. Platitudes such as, ‘How’s your depression?’ are not really listening, but offering a genuine conversation helps build empathy. Your offer may be rebuffed, but it’s still a step towards us all getting better at listening.

47. Stop telling ourselves and others to ‘toughen up’
Telling ourselves to toughen up when we are feeling burnout creates a harmful feedback loop: we feel exhausted, then guilty for feeling exhausted, so we ‘toughen up’, and wind up feeling even more exhausted. If we acknowledge and take our own well-being seriously, we set a good example for others to nurture their own. Small steps at an individual level could see a change in the ‘toughen up’ culture of the sector.

48. Be comfortable with uncertainty
Stress can manifest when we worry about the future. At Making Time, delegates were advised to look at what you are fearful of and what you are avoiding. Is it failure? Is it letting people down? Trying to bring your focus back to the current project can minimise stress and worry surrounding an imagined future.

49. Are you biting off more than you can chew?
Assess your commitments. Is there anything that you are doing that does not align with your goals? What is the biggest stress? Could you reduce your workload in one area? Time and attention are two of our most precious resources and what we do with them can either aggravate or defend against burnout.

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