self care for creatives

Today's guest post about self care for creatives is is brought to you by Jess Schleicher from Knot by Gran'ma.

Hello daft crafters. I’m Jess, and today I’m sharing some of some techniques for self care for creatives. It seems to be an area that creative people tend to forget about, and this can lead to stress, which eventually leads lack of motivation and inspiration, leaving creatives feeling burned out. We are the most important element in our creative business, and we must remember to take care of ourselves. 
Here are a few techniques I use to make sure I’m taking care of myself while still being able to run my business and keep my creative juices flowing. 

Separate want-to-dos from priorities.

If left to my own devices, I have a daily to do list that is easily 30 items long. Being a creative soul, this makes my brain hurt. Sometimes what we want to do and what we can do is not going to be the same thing. To balance this, I have a notebook I keep a list of all my projects I want to do, but are not priorities. I get to them when my actual priorities lessen, in the order that they were added. I keep a priorities list goes my weekly planner so I can see what needs to be done for the week. It makes it easier (for me) to add in the things I want to do.

Eat regularly throughout the day. 

This probably seems like a given, but most creative people that I know forget to eat… myself included. Food is fuel. The piece of art or whatever it is that you are creating can wait a half hour, while you make yourself a sandwich. 

Make sure you’re putting good food into your body too. Marshmallows are good, but the sugar will just make you crash harder and faster than maybe a nice salad. Make sure you are consuming enough water, too! When our bodies are taken care of our creative brains are able to function at max capacity!

Take time out of your creative work day for you. 

Think of it as recess for adults. Some creatives work from home, some work outside of home. I’m sure there’s a way to make sure you’re taking a small recess for yourself at some point in your creating, whether it's your full time gig or if you are working after work to make your indie biz work.

Try to do some light exercise… maybe a little yoga or just some time outside. Or just sit in front of the tv for an hour, and rest. I do one or both of these depending on the day and how I’m feeling. Once my rest period is over, I find I’m able to get back on track. and am more creatively charged.

Set working hours. 

We have to turn ourselves off at some point. The project can wait until tomorrow. There has to be a point where we say enough for today and then go relax. It’s important to wind down before bed, and that keeps our brains from going 80 million miles an hour while we are trying to sleep. 

Set a time, and stick with it. This is the absolute hardest for me to do. I try to not “work” past dinner time and not on the weekends too. I can usually stop after dinner, but the weekends always seem like there time to squeeze in that one thing I didn’t finish.

Know when to walk away. 

We’ve all been there. A piece or project is stressing us out, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to get through it. Whether a concept isn’t working, or you’ve overextended yourself, taken on too many commitments - whatever. It happens. We all need to know when to say enough. When to say no. When to walk away for a bit and come back to it later. Stress is a horrible thing, and our creativity shouldn’t be the cause of it.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. 

Just don’t do it. Being a creative person is a beautiful thing. Not everyone gets to be creative. Go with it, and enjoy it. Life is short, so take time out to enjoy the beautiful bits of it.

Taking care of ourselves is one of those things that needs to start becoming a priority for creatives. It’s in our nature to think we can take care of us later. In the long run this makes our craft and art suffer, leaving us to fall short of our true potentials.

What ideas and techniques do you use to help better take care of yourselves? What’s hardest for you to follow through on?


  1. One of the best things I did for myself as far as forcing myself to eat regularly was to keep potatoes in the house. A baked potato takes an hour to cook, so if I pop one in I know I have another hour to work on my project, then I need to go get my potato and eat.

  2. Great list! I'm still working on the 'eat regularly' one - sometimes I get deep into a project and forget. But setting actual work hours as to when I'm available to clients has been a HUGE help.

    1. You could try setting a timer - a lunch break, maybe? Make sure you take enough time for lunch too! I try to take 30 minutes between my morning computer work and afternoon sewing for lunch and just restful time for myself to clear my head. ♥

  3. Can we add: Coffee Before Food, To your body, that's rude?
    Caffeine always sounds so good to me when I'm sewing and then BAM I get a migraine and start feeling woozy. Yup, caffeine reacts poorly to an empty stomach.

    1. Such a good reminder! My rule of thumb is before each cup of caffeine drink one full cup of water. Staying hydrated is SO important for your body!

  4. Great post. I need to make myself set working hours and to stick to them. And when I take time out to watch a film or play a game I always feel guilty that I'm not working.