"How to Combat Stress and Anxiety for the Creative" by Jennifer Lueders
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
During times such as what we are going through in our world today, I find myself having to work hard at combating stress and anxiety. Anytime stress and anxiety in daily life are affecting me, I need to pause when it gets to the point that I might begin to feel discouraged, lose sleep, or just be generally agitated. I cannot let stress and anxiety overwhelm me. So I thought you might be experiencing some of the same things that I'm experiencing. As a "coping creative," I decided it would be nice if I gave you a list of some of my best coping strategies that I have found useful.
One way that I try to combat stress and anxiety is by eating properly. I have at least two to three meals a day; plenty of fruits, vegetables, and seeds; and berries and nuts. I include healthy fats within my diet, along with protein and healthy fiber. I also try to consume as much clean, spring water within my diet daily.
Another way in which I try to combat stress and anxiety is through exercise on a daily basis. You can exercise by using online videos or by walking or biking in your neighborhood. You can grow a vegetable garden (and weed it!). Speed cleaning your house gives you an opportunity to scrub even a little bit harder than usual and push yourself by counting the strokes. You can establish a routine of different needs that concern you at home to deal with on a regular basis. For example, once a month you might shampoo all of your carpets; or clean all your windows inside and out; or maybe do some work outside like cleaning and detailing your car once a month.
During exercise, it is important to think about getting adequate amounts of oxygen. It has been proven that adequate blood flow allows oxygen to flow through your body and can properly feed your cells which will, in turn, improve your overall health and well-being and increase the function of the immune system. One of the bits of advice that my primary care doctor gave me was to: get moving, breathe deeply, and get your oxygen levels up. She said do it for a month and you tell me how you feel. Sure enough, I had less stress, more mental clarity, more energy, and I had lost weight.
Another suggested way of relieving stress and anxiety as a fellow creative, might be to just get into the studio. I find that rolling up my sleeves, creating art with a purpose--just expressing myself, helps me to feel gratitude and reduces negative thoughts and pent up emotions.
For me, I try to look outside of myself for my ultimate peace and hope. For example, I pray to God, I study His Holy Bible, I praise God, and I listen to God when He speaks to my heart. In my relationship with Christ, I find peace, comfort, and stability, no matter the season or storm. If you want to know more about Christianity, please feel free to search for these teachers: Dr. Charles Stanley, Allister Begg, or Ravi Zacharias on Youtube. They also have websites with a lot of resources.
Next, I try to get lots of sunshine every day. Sunshine contains Vitamin D which is of extreme importance to various processes within our bodies. It is true that you can supplement Vitamin D, but there is no replacement for actual sunshine. We were created to leave our dwellings and hunt, fish, and farm and be outside in the natural sunlight every single day.
Another way that I combat stress and anxiety is by seeking the healing of my scars from the past. I seek healing through going to my God through prayer, journaling, and reading various books on the topic. In the scriptures of the Holy Bible, it is said that God will bind up the wounds of the broken hearted. In my life, this has proven to be the ultimate truth. Am I completely healed? I'm not sure, but I know that I am receiving healing every day and I am getting healthier and healthier as time goes on. For example, I no longer react and respond to stress and anxiety as I did in the past. Finding healing is a choice. When stressful times come to us, they can trigger things that have not had any closure. It is best to seek health, that includes for the emotions.
Maybe a good opportunity to obtain emotional healing could be from an online resource, such a compassionate and respected counselor, such as June Hunt. Her website, “Hope for the Heart” has tons of books, articles, and podcast on many subjects, from anxiety to depression and more! How you receive healing is your responsibility to figure out. Just know that there are a lot of resources out there. Counseling can also be beneficial if you find a mature and ethical therapist. Don’t feel that you are all alone in your struggle. Keep reaching out to friends, family, and mental health professionals. One thing that helped me a lot was recognizing that all of us are basically going through these events at the same time. I am video chatting more and not isolating, even if I do not feel like chatting. What has lessened my stress and anxiety a lot would be loving others. For example, I try to chat with my neighbors, parents, family, and friends often. I check in on others. I'm just not solely thinking about my stress. I write letters, cards, and I pray for others.
Next, you can try to include music, fun, uplifting sounds, and nature sounds into your art space every day as you are creating your artwork. You can find these sounds on YouTube, through sound machines or getting outside and walking in nature. By simply opening up my window, I'm listening to the birds and nature outside. I enjoy bird sounds; ocean sounds; the rain; harp music; different theme music from various movies like The Lord of the Rings; and I enjoy praise and worship music, such as Eden’s Bridge, and so on. Ask yourself, what music and sounds give you joy?!
Another thing to possibly incorporate into combating your stress and anxiety level would be considering the aromas which you have in your space. I use candles, potpourri, essential oils, and organic soap. I sometimes love to boil cinnamon sticks. What smells do you like that offer you comfort and peace?
In conclusion, I hope that you have taken away something from this short article that will give you uplifting and encouraging ideas on how to combat your own stress and anxiety in times such as this. If you would like to list below some of the uplifting and fun things that you are doing to combat stress and anxiety, please do so in the comments below. Like and share this blog and check out my latest on my Facebook, under “The Art of Jennifer Lueders@vintagetalesstudio”, my Instagram, and hopefully my new YouTube channel that I will be developing in the months to come. Have a wonderfully creative day, and remember that you are not alone, we will get through this together.