Living as an artist can often be a stressful job. Since many artists work on a per-project basis, there often isn’t any guaranteed income at the end of the day. There can be seasons of lots of income and seasons where projects and income sources are few and far between. This financial tension can often also be coupled with a desire to make the best art possible, which can lead to stress in the creative process. It can be a constant battle to maintain a positive and healthy attitude and mindset as an artist, even if a person isn’t naturally prone to increased levels of stress.
At the end of the day, it is very important to know how to resolve stress as an artist. Every person is different, and so not every solution will work for every artist. However, it is very important to know how to help yourself. These are a few suggestions that tend to work for a wide variety of people, and especially for artists. Learning how to incorporate these new habits and mentalities into your lifestyle can result in massive improvements in your mental health and bring a new sense of freedom and peace to the art that you make. Here are five ways that artists can relieve stress
1. Taking Care of Your Body
One of the best and most effective ways to relieve stress is by taking the best care of yourself and your body as possible. Your brain and the rest of your body are deeply interconnected, and getting the two to work together in as beneficial of a way as possible is critical to relieving stress. Prioritizing your physical health can have massive effects on the way that your brain works and can lead to your brain handling tough situations and stress in much healthier ways. This can be done in a multitude of ways, and these methods are often just found through living as logically healthy as possible.
First off, go outside and get some exercise! When the body is exercising, it produces chemicals called endorphins that help to increase the positive feelings inside a person’s brain. They are essentially feel-good chemicals. Getting exercise stimulates these endorphins and causes them to release in a natural way, which has massive effects on a person’s mental and emotional health. Exercise can also improve self-esteem, confidence, and clarity of mind.
Another very important thing to focus on is eating well. Often, when someone is stressed out, it’s very easy to just eat whatever they want. This can lead to short-term boosts in your brain (whether from caffeine or sugar), but the crash will be unpleasant, and it’s not great for your health in the long term. It is critical to make sure that the food that a person is consuming is healthy and sustainable because this will help the body to produce the positive chemicals that it needs. Increasing your level of vitality through the food you choose to eat also just leads to better health in general. It can impact both your physical and mental health for the better, which can also help to decrease stress.
2. Surround Yourself with Peaceful Art
Often, a stressful headspace is a result of not consuming material that will bring peace to your mind. When an artist is so deeply focused on creating art to the point of stress and burnout, often the best thing to do is to increase their intake of other people’s art, especially the kind that soothes and brings joy to the brain.
In terms of audible art, finding some peaceful and relaxing piano or ambient music can have a massive impact on your mental health. Looking on streaming services or YouTube for playlists of peaceful music can be a massive mood booster, especially for those who are struggling with a stressed headspace.
For a more visual source of peace, looking for art that is peaceful can be critically important. Abstract art is something that is appealing to a wide variety of people, and especially artists. At Canvas Cultures, we have a wide range of abstract art prints that all kinds of people can use to help bring about a healthier and happier mental headspace. If abstract art isn’t the person’s preference, there is also a wide variety of canvas artwork depicting nature, space, and several other categories. All this artwork can bring large amounts of clarity and peace to one’s headspace.
Another very important thing to do in the midst of stress is to consider journaling. This is like a form of counseling or therapy that a person can do by themselves. Being able to express yourself without any form of judgement can be incredibly helpful for any person. Artists often have to put themselves and their expressions on display, and having an avenue to genuinely express oneself privately can lead to a massive increase in mental health and overall peace with the world.
Journaling increases a person’s self-awareness and helps them to really get out of their own heads. It creates a place where a person can be honest about their feelings and even reveal to themselves what they are really feeling. This is massively beneficial for people who aren’t too skilled in the art of self-expression and self-awareness. Journaling can boost a person’s clarity in their own feelings and open their eyes to see ways that they can improve their own lives and lifestyles. Journaling opens up opportunities for self-improvement in countless ways.
4. Taking a Break
This may seem fairly self-explanatory, but it is a massively important part of life for any artist. Often, we as artists get stuck in the creative process and find it incredibly difficult to get out. Letting ourselves just take a little bit of time to breathe can sometimes be the most difficult thing to do. However, this is absolutely essential for all kinds of artists. That’s why vacationing is so important; it lets you take your mind off of the subject at hand and really get a grip on the rest of life.
Burnout is a massive problem in today's art culture. There is a constant desire for content and new releases unlike ever before. Social media is often putting up unrealistic expectations for ourselves; it can be exhausting to try and keep up with everything that we see on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
So it’s massively important to realize that as artists, we need breaks! If we are consistently putting out more energy than we’re taking in, eventually, we’ll be empty, and that will create massive problems in our psyche and mental headspace.
Learning how to know when you need to take a break is one of the most essential skills for an artist to have. This can mean going for a walk, watching a movie, hanging out with friends, or anything else that gives you peace. Fundamentally, it just means letting yourself have the time to rest, restore, and get ready to really give yourself 100% when you need to. You can’t give 100% if you’re only 20% full, so give yourself the time you need to maximize your own mental and emotional health.
5. Bettering Your Environment
A huge stressor in many artist’s lives is the environment that they are working in. It can often be really difficult to have a consistently accessible environment that is good for creating art, but it is very important to try and find that place. And if you are only able to go to one space, try and make that place as comfortable and peaceful as possible. There are many ways to do this, and finding what works for you is very important.
Perhaps the most common and useful way to improve your environment is to increase the aesthetic appeal that the place has. This can mean many things, from rearranging the furniture to painting the walls to even removing things, like an ugly chair or an out-of-place table. But one of the best ways to increase the aesthetic quality of a room is by filling it with incredible art.
Here at Canvas Cultures, we have all kinds of art available for people who just need to feel more at home, wherever they are. We have all kinds of art available, but we also have a way for all sorts of people, especially artists, to create custom prints of whatever they want. If you have a favorite peace, check out the personalized canvas section of our website.
Maintaining a good level of mental health is incredibly important for artists. Stress relief is a massive part of that. With these five steps, you can easily get back on your way to optimal mental health!