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Linda Dessau : Creative artists, why think about self-care?

Creative artists: 10 reasons why to think about self-care

By Linda Dessau

1. To be more comfortable in performance situations — performance anxiety usually stems from a variety of causes — physical, mental and emotional. Maintaining your overall health and wellness, including keeping your stress at a manageable level, managing your negative thinking tendencies and getting the emotional support you need, will diffuse some of this anxiety before you hit the stage.

2. To connect more and isolate less — other creative artists can provide you with inspiration, understanding and support. Looking at your social and communication habits can help you to deepen these relationships and allow them to enrich your life.

3. To have enough energy for everything you want to do — healthy habits will give you a fresh spark of energy and a clear mind.

4. To relax — relaxing, letting go and gaining some perspective on the creative process can help you to ease into it, and to let what's meant to be expressed come out naturally.

5. To use your physical environment to make you more creative — paying more attention to your physical surroundings and how they affect your creativity and well-being can have infinite rewards, once you take the steps to create your ideal environment.

6. To find time for what's important — learning how to say "no" to things that are draining your time and energy, in order to say "yes" to yourself and your art.

7. To deepen your creative experience — self-awareness and personal growth will add depth to your creative expression.

8. To stop sabotaging your own efforts — more awareness into the choices you're making will help to shine a light on your hidden and destructive self-sabotage patterns.

9. To take the power away from your inner critic — learning to recognize, hear and then dismiss the voice of the inner critic will increase your confidence and give you back a sense of empowerment.

10. To have easier access to your muse — whether it's speaking to you as your own higher self, a higher power greater than yourself, or through someone else's music, art or words, it's sometimes necessary to "set the stage" for these important conversations. Why make your muse compete with your inner critic, your busy schedule, your late-night adventures or the many other users of your time and energy? •

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3/28/05