If you have been following my blog for over a year, you know that I’ve had a bit of a struggle with my mental health. For months I lived in a haze of depression, and today I still have to battle it daily, along with the impulse to destroy myself due to anxiety.
A lot of my mental health issues were linked with physical health, and so today, I thought it was time to talk about the importance of physical, mental, and emotional health in art. Some of you might have just balked. Physical health? How does that affect art? And emotional health? Don’t we need emotions to impact people in art?
We’ll be taking a quick look at each of the different categories during the post, and what I’ve found to be helpful.
The clock showed that it was one o’clock. Another night of only sleeping five hours. Another night when my brain kept me awake past the time most humans should be awake.
Insomnia has been one of my greatest enemies. It has hindered my artistic pursuits, and my regular day – to – day life. One night I decided that I had had enough. I was going to figure out how to fix this problem.
Physical health affects more than we tend to realize. The food we eat, the amount of activity we indulge in, and the amount of water we drink really does matter when it comes to art.
Art is a type of work that uses primarily your brain, and if you don’t have a keen and healthy brain . . . well, your job is going to be a lot harder. Just as athletes must train, eat healthy, and drink lots of water, I’d like to argue that artists need to do the same.
Personally, to help my insomnia and brain fog, I’ve found that avoiding certain foods my body is sensitive to was the first step. I try to eat high – fat, high – protein meals, as well as a lot of vegetables and fruit. Water is also my best friend. Not only does it (along with avoiding chapsticks I’m allergic to [yes, I have a lot of allergies]) make my lips hydrated and full, it also helps me feel better. XD (Such a lame ending, goodness.)
How do I take care of myself physically? Glad you asked. XD Besides my food, I like to wake up a 6, in order to make time for some “me” time and exercise. Directly at 7 (am. Yes, it’s early), I’ll go on a walk with my dog, and if I get back soon enough, I’ll do a ten minute exercise. I also exercise around 6 or 7 in the evening, in order to tire myself out for bed. If I’m doing a lot of computer work throughout the day (writing, anyone?), I’ll take a break every 20 – 30 minutes and do as many pushups as I can.
I tend to follow the diet that is shown on this YouTube channel
This is my favorite channel for exercise.
I feel like I could also encompass “spiritual” health in this category. (Which is just as important as all of the other things!) Mental health is one of the biggest things in art. If you don’t have the motivation to get out of bed, how are you going to get up and create some art? If you aren’t happy, how can you make people smile?
Eventually the inner turmoil will come out. Perhaps art is your therapy, and if it is, no judgement. I’ve found, however, in my own art journey that it’s so important to at least be aware of your mental and spiritual health as you create. If you’re not, then you’re in danger of a major burnout.
For my mental health, I religiously take A LOT of vitamin C. I know, a strange thing to take for mental health, right? But I’ve found that it helps my brain fog, it helps my joint pain, and it helps my fatigue and depression. My mom can even notice a difference with my outward personality. Now, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t guarantee this to work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot, right?
I haven’t been able to find anything yet that has helped my anxiety. If any of you have a natural suggestion to help me, drop it in the comments. I need help to keep me from tearing off my skin and pacing the house. 🙈
For my mental and spiritual health, I wake up at 6 every morning, unless I’m sick or was sick recently. I light a candle (because I love candles, and it makes me look forward to getting out of bed. 😉 ) and make myself a cup of tea before recording what happened the day before, writing down goals for the day, and reading my Bible and writing about what God is teaching me. I also take time around 5:30 to read more out of my Bible and work on memory verses. If I’m have a particularly hard day, or stressing about something in particular, I will take time to just write a list of either blessings, or reasons I’m stressed, and figure out how to make the day better.
Doesn’t this fit with the one before it?
Hmm. I think all of them intertwine, but I want to take a moment to just look at emotional health. Some days I can have amazing mental and physical health, but I’m just sad. Or I’m just bleh emotionally. Emotional exhaustion is just as much a thing as mental and physical exhaustion.
Emotions are one of the biggest part of art. We are trying to convey our emotions to others, we are trying to play with emotions of those who see/read/hear our art, and so our emotional health needs to be somewhat stable.
For my emotional health, I try to keep myself scheduled, and take time to do things that make me happy. Some of the things I do that make me happy is drink coffee, burn candles, wear outfits that make me feel beautiful, and style my hair. As well as listening to my favorite music.
Everyone has different things that make them happy, and it’s okay to do some extra things if it gives you a little bit of happiness. When I was younger, I told myself that I should just work, work, work, and ignore the little things that I can do to improve the quality of each day. There’s no need to do that. In moderation, a little bit of extra sparkle can make your day much better.
How is your physical, mental and emotional health? What are some things you do to improve those three things? Do you enjoy being scheduled?