Creatives & Mental Health

Taking care of your biggest asset...

As a collective, authors, writers and creatives in general are often the solitary sort. And with the days getting colder and darker, this can have adverse effects on one’s health – both physically and mentally.

So I thought it might be helpful to remind creatives (and others) of a few ways they can take care of heir mental health.

1). Exercise.

You may not need to join a gym, or even go for a walk in the cold, but did you know that standing counts as exercise?

Yes, standing. Just by standing every 30mins or co, you are getting your body to move, helping your cirtulation, and improving your mental health. So stand, walk round the room, then go back to whatever you were doing.

2). Get fresh air.

Now, I already said it’s cold, and if you’re like me, you’re probably not built for that sort of weather. But fresh air helps. It really does.

It helps clear your mind and improves your state of thinking. So go stand at the door for a few minutes. Or stick your head out the window once a day.

3). Eat healthy.

A cup of hot chocolate may keep you warm, and with the festive season, sweets and cakes and puddings may seem like a great way to improve your mood. But after a few hours, the crash from your sugar high will leave you feeling worse than before you had them.

And it’s not just sweets. Eating fresh, healthy foods help to boost your immune system and unfog your mind. Which in turn helps your creativity.

So these are three tips I hope might help. And if you really are struggling to cope during this time, there are people out there willing and trained enough to help. Call a friend. Hell, call 10 till you feel you’ve got the help you need. And it if isn’t enough, call a hotline, or your doctor.

Just remember, you’re not alone. You don’t have to be. Take care of you.

Glasses: Also a writing tool

 "...And one sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw."
***

To all those who wear glasses… you know what it’s like when your glasses just don’t sit right.

For those fortunate enough to never experience such discomfort, wearing glasses that don’t sit right can be really frustrating, especially when you’re writing.

Besides typing, I like to write, draw, and doodle in my notebooks. And recently, my glasses keep sliding off my face. But I get ahead of myself. It all started when…

I travelled for a few months, and got locked down abroad without my spare glasses. One sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw. (#crying)

It relieved me to find the screw about an hour later. I fitted it back, thinking that was over and done with.

Until my glasses started zooming in.

I’d be reading, and after a couple of minutes, my glasses would creep down my nose, toward the page. It got steadily worse, and by the time I returned after the travel restrictions were lifted, I was literally having to hold my glasses in place.

Clearly an inconvenience.

And for those wondering, I don’t wear contacts because my eyes water a lot.

Anyway, many reading and writing blogs touch on tools, apps, and equipment creatives need. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen any which touch on glasses. And I know I’m not the only creative who wears glasses (or has had an interesting experience with them).

Glasses are a tool to aid your sight. They’re meant to make your visual experience better, not worse. And I know there are a lot more issues that occur with glasses than them just not sitting right. Things like getting the right prescriptions, and the right shape of frames to fit your face, and the right size so the lenses cover at least 70% of your field of vision. And let’s not even go into tinting and glares.

So, there are many, many things to deal with when talking about glasses. This is just to remind you that glasses are also a writing tool, and as a reader, writer, or just a basic human being, remember to get your glasses sorted.

When Should You Write?

Your natural proclivity is to desire comfort. You don’t want to do anything until the stars have aligned and the booming voice of the universe says, “It’s time to write, my dear child.” But the question is, when was the last time you heard that voice? Have you even ever?

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Stretch your creativity

Haven’t we all had our fair share of the crippling writing advice: Write What You Know? The givers of this advice come at you with hard buttocks rendered rigid from sitting so long in the writers’ comfort zone. They don’t ‘waste’ time imagining what is unfamiliar to them and they don’t attempt to tell stories not crafted about characters like them within settings like the ones in which they live.

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It’s All About The Story

As a writer, it’s important to develop your writing style, plot, and all the surface drama, but the honest truth is this: what really grabs is the story.

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Read Widely

Reading widely not only broadens your vocabulary, it also expands your mind and exposes you to new concepts and ideas you would never have dreamed of.

You learn different writers’ expressive styles and, in the process, develop yours.

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Live well, then write well

The creativity flows from your heart. When your heart is open to new experiences, that joy, excitement and sense of adventure in you seeps onto the pages of your book/story.

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Write what you would like to read

There’s nothing more frustrating than writing stuff you’re not interested in. The words will lack passion, and it will come through to your readers.

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