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Healthy Habits for Creatives

Designers Share How They Stay Inspired
Stess Ringold | Graphic Designer

It seems like there has been a renewed focus on the importance of mental health and wellness, especially because of the pandemic and the additional stress it has put on people who were already struggling with stress, illness, and other factors. We all have routines and processes to help us deal with crises and trauma when they happen, but it’s the more minor, mundane and every day stresses that pile up until we feel overwhelmed.

As creatives, we have an additional reason to take care of our mental health – when we are struggling or stressed, our creativity suffers, and we feel stifled. Whether it’s writer’s block or creative burnout, hitting roadblocks with our inspiration is always frustrating.

Readimag recently interviewed 5 designers from around the world about their daily routines and how they stay creative, and the folks at Print broke their answers down into five easy-to-follow steps for taking care of your creative mental health that I think are pretty solid. Take a look at the list below and think of ways you can change up your routine to take better care of your creativity.

  1. Stick to a Brief – Even if There Isn’t One. It’s important to have full understanding of the who and why of whatever you’re working on. If you don’t have clear instruction, then give yourself parameters, and do your own research into the client and their goals so that you have a target in mind.
  2. Cultivate Your Space. No two creatives workspaces should look the same. Don’t buy into the trap of what your space should look like, rather, find what type of space or environment works best for you.
  3. Surround Yourself With What Inspires You. As with above, the best thing you can do for your creativity is to constantly feed it with whatever inspires you. Whether that is specific music, art supplies, fresh flowers – make sure that you are constantly replenishing the well of what sparks your imagination.
  4. Explore the Analog. This is one I have a lot of trouble with, but particularly when you feel creatively stumped, sometimes working with pen and paper can be less overwhelming than your entire digital toolbox.
  5. Give Yourself Time. Creativity doesn’t always keep to your schedule. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about how they always get their best ideas at night, it’s because creative brains are always on – even when we’re not “working”. Even if you aren’t a freelancer or working from home with an open schedule, it’s important to give your creative muscles time to step away and rest so that you can come back with a fresh approach to a creative problem.
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