Creatives, Personal Development, stress

Stress + The Creative: You Don’t Have To Struggle

Did you know that STRESS is a major killer of creativity?

It took me so long to realize this!

I was one of those creatives (AKA, all of us, LOL) that bought into the idea that procrastination and stress were necessary for me to produce my best work. As creatives, we tend to cling to stress and claim it as motivation. We hang onto the idea that the only way we can accomplish great work is to feel the pressure, or to draw inspiration from our shadow selves.

How many times have you heard yourself saying::

“I work best under pressure”
“My best work is when it’s off the cuff”
“If I don’t have my back up against the wall, it won’t get done”
“Planning takes all the passion out of creation”
“My depression/stress/anxiety/fear/sadness/etc… feeds my art/work/writing/etc…”
“I can’t slow down or I will get lazy + stop altogether”

While there might be some truth lurking in those statements, the fact is that many creatives don’t know what it is like to function or create WITHOUT stress. We live our lives in a state of “busy”, high-octane, intensity. We constantly bounce back and forth between states of high creativity where we escape into our “zone” + blending into the crowd, putting on the mask of “fitting in” and laying low, trying not to be picked up on the radar.

Creatives by nature possess overwhelming levels of curiosity + a need to explore. That combined with a tendency to forgo self-care, exhaustion from an inner need to constantly be in “go-mode”, engagement in intense thoughts + emotion, life throwing its little curve-balls + the annoyance we feel toward the everyday monotony often leaves us feeling like a cat that got left out in the rain.
Stress becomes the status quo + so we function there because it’s what we know best. We even cling tight to it, as if our creative edge might leave us if we were to get a good night’s rest, finish something BEFORE it was due, or take a moment to breathe. But stress, left unchecked, can actually be one of the fastest things to poo-poo on your highest creative self and it’s sparkly parade. WHY?

  • Stress zaps your energy like a bug in a blue light, which dulls your senses (including your intuitive senses!) AND your mental muscles, leaving you unable to accurately tap into your intuitive self (where creativity starts!) and struggling to see things from multiple views (a key aspect of creativity).
  • Stress kicks you into primal fight-or-flight mode, which floods your body with not-so-happy hormones, and that not only makes your body go whack-a-doodle…but it also wreaks havoc on your mindset (enter all those mental yuck trolls and nasty self-limiting stories)

HELLO RESISTANCE, my old friend!

  • Stress puts a gigantic wad of peanut butter in your productivity, resulting in lack of focus, lack of follow through, and getting stuck in a loop of perfectionism…something I like to call the Dead or Alive Cycle: šŸŽµYou spin me right round, baby, right round…šŸŽµ

To function at your best, you really need to ditch the stress!

Here are some ways you can tell the stress monster to take a long walk off a short pier:

  1. Self-Care, Self-Care, Self-Care.
    • Seriously. Self-care. It’s that important. Don’t forget that it’s OK (really) to take care of your own needs and even (GASP!) your own wants! If you want to shine, you gotta polish!
  2. Calm the F down, Unicorn!
    • Under stress, you body, mind and spirit are NOT at rest. Check in with your breathing…is it deep or shallow? Check in with your neck and shoulders…are they tense? Check in with your body in general…are you feeling sluggish? If so, it’s probably about darn time you stop, drop + roll yourself into a blanket burrito, downward dog, or a nice warm tub of lavender!
  3. You should think about it….take a second. Matter fact, you should take 4 beats. (And sing some Snoop Dogg)…then do this —>
    • If you find yourself stuck or anxious, chances are your mind is doing that annoying thing that your computer or iPhone does when it’s just so done….shutting down randomly without your consent. Take a break, yo. Dance breaks are even better.
  4. Step back from the ledge, my friend…because your Third Eye is BLIND (I know this was cheesy….but it’s true…so just give me this one, k?šŸ˜‚)
    • When you are functioning from a place of stress, black + white thinking takes over + it stands in the way of intuition, innovation, flexibility + adaptability (all parts of your visualization process..found in your Third Eye Chakra). Step away from the ledge-like thinking. Do some meditations + affirmations to re-center + reawaken your creativity centers.


Beautiful unicorn….know that you do NOT have to struggle. You are not required to be in pain. You don’t need to be a martyr. You did not have to sign a waiver resigning yourself to a life of Hot-Messness before you appeared on this planet as a creative soul. It is completely possible to create your wonderland, embrace your quirks, live your beautifully eccentric life + spew sparkle all over this world and still keep your sanity.

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