This is a guest article by Indiana Lee. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
Global creators are motivated people. They are producing more and more content by the month, by the week, by the day, by the minute, and even by the second. However, this level of productivity and efficiency depends on how they are doing internally. For you as a content creator, it doesn’t matter whether creativity is your livelihood, a passion, or something in the middle. You are bound to experience creative blocks from time to time. Writer’s block happens regardless of your level of skill or commitment to the craft. It is typically fueled by issues with motivation or focus.
Let’s learn how to improve your well-being to reduce the negative impacts on your creative processes.
Impacts of mental and physical health on creativity
Some of the top reasons for a drop in writing creativity include:
- An environment not conducive to creativity;
- A lack of organization and planning;
- Focusing on the wrong priorities;
- Not engaging in other creative hobbies;
- Not sleeping well.
These are just a few of the factors that can stunt creativity and productivity. Many of them relate back to physical and mental obstacles. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, irritability, distractibility, or any host of physical ailments, your mind is understandably focused on other things. Your body’s main priority is to make itself feel better, and when all resources are being used to do so, your writing can suffer.
Upgrade your lifestyle
Bad habits can impact your health — and vice versa. For example, if you exhibit bad chewing habits, like biting your nails when stressed, nervous, bored, or overwhelmed, it can cause physical ailments like infection, unsightly nails, broken skin around cuticles, and gastrointestinal issues. This can all impact how you write, from typing discomfort to physical distractions.
Instead of turning to nail biting during writer’s block, consider trying to calm your mind instead using various techniques. Maintaining your well-being as a writer is important to creativity but also to avoid issues if you lack access to affordable means of care. It truly is a vicious cycle if you aren’t taking care of yourself, first and foremost. The following are some tips you can start incorporating into your lifestyle to make sure you’re listening to your mind and body instead of punishing yourself during creative blocks.
Maintain a healthy diet
Nutrition has a big impact on brain function, including facilitating serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects your sleep, appetite, moods, and pain tolerance. In order to regulate these functions, you should try incorporating some of the following into your daily meals:
- Vegetables and fruits;
- Whole grains;
- Meats and dairy.
Also strive to avoid processed foods and sugar, which can be easy to reach for when you have a writing deadline and don’t want to leave your desk for too long. However, a little meal prep at the beginning of each week can make it easy to eat healthily even when you don’t feel like cooking during writing sessions. Your brain and creativity will thank you.
Get the right amount of sleep
Serotonin also affects the way you sleep. If you’re eating better, that’s a step in the right direction. While writers are often characterized as “burning the midnight oil,” you must get enough snooze time to function properly. In fact, memory replay in sleep can actually boost your creative problem-solving, allowing you to cure any previous writer’s block the next day. Your brain reorganizes your creative thinking during REM sleep.
In order to get enough sleep to boost creativity, you should aim for at least six to eight hours of restful sleep per night. You should also aim to sleep early and wake up early, as this has many health benefits. Try to wind down as a fixed, disciplined routine each day, even if you feel like you have more work that needs to be done. (Unless the work is exceptionally important, of course.) Dim the lights. This part is important as you need to keep in mind the harmful effects of blue light on melatonin production, as it interferes with your body’s circadian rhythm. Try to ensure getting into a repeatable and practical routine before bed.
Create a soothing environment
Soothing environmental factors can help with more than just sleep habits. The space around you affects your mental health, even contributing to the development or staving off of mental disorders. It stands to reason that a more comforting, organized working environment will provide you with a clearer head and fuel your creativity.
Green places and less pollution are thought to impact people positively. If you can, go on nature walks regularly or take your laptop and work outside from time to time. Physical activity and exposure to nature can boost your creativity. You can even bring the outdoors inside with biophilic home design — using natural elements like sunlight, water features, and natural wood in home interior design.
Spruce up your work environment however you see fit. Organize your space so that there is less clutter, and your mind will be less cluttered and more open to creative processes. Listen to inspiring lectures to facilitate creativity. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable and focused, amplify that in your workspace.
Move forward creatively
The deep relationship between well-being and creativity cannot be overstated. Creativity thrives in an environment of mental and physical wellness. As a creator, you must prioritize your well-being, not only for the sake of your art but for your overall quality of life.
About the author: Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors regularly with her two dogs. Indiana has experience in owning and operating her own business. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @indianalee3.