Extreme Self-care For Creatives In Tumultuous Times

by @thewritermama on January 19, 2017

I have written, taught, and spoken so many times about self-care, but it seems like we could all use some reminders right about now.

First of all, the key to all self-care is to stop making excuses for not taking care of yourself.

For example, if you are thinking, “It would be selfish to take care of myself while [insert any drama on any given day] is going on in the world.”

This is a classic self-care dodge. It’s merely an ingrained mental excuse to avoid self-care.

In an ideal world, we would not lift a finger on any given day without taking excellent care of ourselves first, and we would continue to take excellent care of ourselves throughout the day, not yielding our personal priorities until the day was done.

Beware the idea that external circumstances are more valid than taking care of yourself, and putting your personal power first.

Many of us were not raised to think this way, especially if we are women. We were likely raised to put ourselves last on our priority lists, and to only think of taking care of ourselves after most of the rest of the world was taken care of first. And even after we habitually kill ourselves trying to take care of everyone else, we often still feel guilty and selfish for thinking we deserve self-care at all.

I have been working on healing from martyr syndrome my entire adult life, and I’m not done yet. In fact, I have declared 2017 my year of extreme self-care. I have decided to take all of my self-care principles and not only practice them, but also amp them up to maximum capacity. It feels like the best way I can protest against all of the things in the world that are beyond my control.

What? Taking care of yourself as a form of protest? That can’t right, you may be thinking.

Not only is it wise, if you are a woman, I think self-care is the most radical form of protest there is. For me, this protest is absolutely necessary, if I want to get through this year joyfully.

Yes, you read that right. I don’t just plan on surviving this year. I plan on having my best year ever. I feel this way about every year, so why should this year be any exception? I stubbornly refuse to give up my priorities just because there is a crazy-maker running the free world.

I am going to post three things below. Two are posts from my Facebook page that were meant to inspire me to stay detached from all of the drama. Others have found them helpful, and you might find them helpful, too.

I’ve also included a list of baby steps you can take to decrease emotional upset and increase your detachment during especially difficult times, so you can get back to increasing the joy in your life as soon as possible.

If women leading a joyful life no matter what isn’t a form of protest, then I don’t know what is.

If women leading a joyful life no matter what isn’t a form of protest, then I don’t know what is.

Don’t let external factors or factions rob you of joy in your daily life. Remember that you are 100% responsible for how you feel today.

So guard your joy with all of your might, today and every day.

Don’t let external factors or factions rob you of joy in your daily life. Remember that you are 100% responsible for how you feel today.

From Facebook on January 15, 2017

If the world as we know it needs to fall apart, then let it fall apart. No one is blaming you for problems you did not create. You are not responsible for the horrors of the world. When we dwell on horror, we embolden it. Do not deny the horror, but do choose to not participate in it. Turn your back on horror instead of wrestling it. Stop fueling it with your attention and emotion. There are plenty of other things to do right in front of you. Take positive actions that reflect your deepest intentions for good. This is what I am reminding myself of this week. Peaceful heart, peaceful mind. I refuse to traumatize myself because of external circumstances that don’t reflect my hopes and dreams. I get to choose, and I choose mental health.

Peaceful heart, peaceful mind.

From Facebook on January 18, 2017

My intentions for Friday, as of right now, are to take a personal day, with no screen access, and practice extreme self-care all day long. One of my goals is have as creative a day as possible. My protest is to not let anyone or anything rob me of feeling as creative as possible for 24 hours. For me, that means not participating in either side of what is sure to be a huge media circus. I wish everyone well who is doing what they feel called to do. Above all, I hope that folks will choose to do what feels best for them, and not feel pressured into participating in anything that is not a heartfelt desire. Don’t beat yourself up for what you are not doing. Embrace what you choose to do. I hope trauma survivors will take especially good care of themselves. If you are looking for detachment from difficult emotions and having trouble finding it, feel free to partake of my blog, where I have been posting on the topics of self-care and detachment for a long time. Take good care of you, friends!

Above all, I hope that folks will choose to do what feels best for them, and not feel pressured into participating in anything that is not a heartfelt desire.

Babysteps For Self-care During Emotionally Upsetting Times

Go straight to media-deprivation. Get offline. Unplug your modem and TV. Stash your phone in an out of the way place and power it off. Don’t try to do media deprivation half-way or you will likely get sucked down an emotional rabbit hole. If you do, be kind to yourself and begin again.

Find other things to do. Get out some inspiring books you’ve been meaning to read. Color, collage, or crotchet. Dive head-first into a creative project and stay in there for hours. What a great excuse for full creative immersion! If you are having trouble getting started, make yourself a cup of tea and take it from there.

Ground yourself spiritually. Spirituality is a form of intelligence according to experts who have done their homework. I couldn’t agree more. Cast a circle around the property where you live using salt crystals and statements of protection. Smudge your entire home by burning sage while sing-songing uplifting words . Spray water infused with essential oils around the house. Make an altar to peace, love, and kindness. Get down on your knees and pray. Take a mindful walk. Do yoga. Plan your garden. Basically do whatever you already do to feel more grounded and then add some extra practices for good measure.

Hold your attention on whom and what you love. Make a gratitude list. Set your intentions for the year. Read an inspiring book that helps channel your attention more creatively like The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron or Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain.

Turn towards inspiration, beauty and enlightenment. Who inspires you? What do you find beautiful? Where do you find enlightened ideas? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, get busy answering them now. Your answers may change over time, that’s fine. What are your answers today?

Steer clear of anyone who is agitated or judgmental. If you are cow-towing to these people or trying to soothe them, stop. Taking care of other grown adults is not your job. When you notice these types of behaviors, simply back away and refocus on taking care of you.

Remember that taking care of you IS taking care of the world. If you have been through trauma or have felt traumatized by recent or past media events, you likely need extra self-care. People who have been traumatized may recreate their traumas so they can relive them, and unwittingly upset the people they care about in the process. Here’s some tough love: even if you were traumatized, it’s your job to recover. Find a healing path and get on it until you learn healthier ways of managing pain from the past. Recovery work is powerful. If you don’t know this to be true, then why not give it a chance?

Make the world a better place for all. If you contribute to the world from a place of emotional upset, you bring upset to the world. The only way to create a more peaceful world is to be a peaceful person. After you are calm, clear, and grounded, ask what you can share with the world. You might be surprised by the answers, and that’s okay. The world needs all of our gifts. Our job is to take care of ourselves so our gifts can take root and blossom. Only then can we co-create the multi-faceted and colorful world that we all deserve.

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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