10 Happiness Habits for Creatives
As I’ve been interviewing my fellow artists in my Where Makers Make series, I’ve been surprised to see similar themes emerge again and again. What this series has taught me thus far is that there may be a template for how to be a happy creative.
Below are the habits that have been mentioned many times in my interviews, as well as some habits I’ve implemented in my own life…
Work in a space with bright, natural light: This is the number one thing my fellow artists have said they like best about their workspaces. If your workspace is dark and dingy, try to make a change. This simple adjustment will do wonders for your happiness. If you can’t change workspaces, purchase a mirror to reflect more natural light into the dark corners of your space. Even a cozy lamp goes a long way in warming up a space.
Walk daily: I’ve heard this one again and again. I can personally say that nothing brings me more joy than taking a walking break. It’s so simple, but it really helps to clear my head. If the day goes by without me getting outside, I feel frazzled and overwhelmed.
Dress up for your day: While a lot of creatives have unconventional workspaces, I’ve constantly heard how important it is to still look presentable. I get fully dressed each day - doing my hair, makeup, and putting on jewelry. It helps me feel put together, and ready to face the day.
Take coffee and tea breaks: Need I say more? One thing that has become apparent in my interviews is that us creatives LOVE our warm beverages. Not to mention, we all struggle with taking breaks, so this is the perfect excuse to stop what we’re doing and savor the moment.
Learn new things: Never stop being a student. Several artists have said this, and it’s so true. I always feel like I’ve had the best day whenever I take a course or learn something new. Take some time to study a new artist, or learn a new skill to grow your business. Even reading a few pages of non-fiction each day can do wonders over the course of a year.
Have a routine: While everyone’s routine is different, this theme came up again and again in my interviews. A great book on this is Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. If you read that book, you will find that most successful artists, writers, and performers throughout history did the same things every day. Having a daily routine saves our brainpower for creative tasks.
Keep healthy, energizing food around: Eating healthy and taking care of our bodies is the best way to keep our minds running on all cylinders. Try keeping Larabars, extra dark chocolate, and nut butter packets in jars within reach. Instead of thinking about what snack sounds the best, I try to think about what snack will give me the most energy to do my best work.
Become a plant lady: Most of the artists I’ve interviewed have more than one plant in their spaces. Keeping plants in your office will brighten your mood. Not to mention, plants purify the air, which is so important when working with paints and solvents. Lastly, you will be forced to take breaks to water.
Set boundaries: Boy has this taken me some time to learn! It’s the number one thing creatives struggle with. First, set boundaries for yourself. Work regular hours and make time for your loved ones. If you work from home, close your office door at the end of the day. Don’t do art projects for friends. Say no to a completely booked weekend. Guard your energy like your life depends on it, or else there will be nothing left for your work. Try creating a list of your boundaries, so you’re aware the next time one gets compromised.
Make your bed: While I haven’t heard another artist mention this yet, making my bed has done wonders for me. It makes me feel successful before I’ve even sat down at my desk. It only takes a few minutes, and the accomplished mindset it gives me is well worth the time spent.
I hope this list was helpful! I’m sure I could do an article on each one of these habits (and maybe I will). In my years as an artist, I’ve learned that creatives don’t need more chaos and negativity. What we do need is more self-worth, rest, structure, and curiosity. You will notice that all of these habits fit under one of those umbrellas. It doesn’t matter who the creative is, we all struggle with the same things.
What do you struggle with, and how do you infuse happiness into your life?