But today, I’m talking about a different type of toolbox. The toolbox you need to keep yourself in optimal mental and emotional shape to be able to create not just any kind of work, but your best work.
I occasionally have periods in life when I struggle doing my creative work, and neglect my personal creative practice. After a while, I remember that I have the tools to turn it around. As I begin to use them regularly, surprise, surprise—it works. I’m no longer feeling burnt out or depressed, and I’m ready to catch up on work I’ve been neglecting for months.
It’s hard to think of things that can help you while you’re feeling low. When we’re down, things look bleak and meaningless, and like there’s no point in even trying. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for these moments of gloom while you have a clearer view of your life and the true purpose of your creative work.
For this purpose, I’ve designed my toolbox as an illustrated mind map in my sketchbook.
My Creative Wellness Toolbox
I divided my mind map into 5 main areas, but it doesn’t have to be as organized if that’s not your thing.
Here are some other ways you can create your toolbox:
- In her book “The Creative Entrepreneur”, Lisa Sonora suggests making inspirational cards with ideas on what to do when you need a boost, and keep them in a box.
- Collage photos or illustrations representing activities that feed your creativity and keep it on your studio wall.
- Assemble a “first aid kit” box with messages of encouragement—a letter to yourself, reminders of past success, thank you notes from your fans and clients…
- Keep a checklist of nourishing activities on your phone and put a daily reminder (use an app like Google Keep, Todoist, or Evernote).
Your creative toolbox can look like anything you want—just make sure you keep it within reach, so you don’t forget you have one.
If you need suggestions for self-help tools to include, or more information on some that I’ve mentioned above, check out my post The kooky stuff I do to feel better when everything sucks.
What nourishes you and helps you overcome your creative slumps?
Share your favorite tools in the comments!
Then, take this a step further and use your creativity to craft your wellness toolbox today.
About Nela Dunato
Artist, brand designer, teacher, and writer. Author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”. Owner of a boutique branding & design consultancy that helps experienced service-based businesses impress their dream clients.
On this blog I write about art, design, creativity, business, productivity and marketing, and share my creative process and tips. Read more about me...
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