A creative person’s guide to coping with stress

A creative's guide to coping with stress | Soho House

For National Stress Awareness Day, Soho House member and VP at Headspace Louise Troen shares her top tips

Wednesday 2 November 2022   By Louise Troen

Being creative can be a stressful business. Indeed, coming up with endless ideas in a high-pressure working environment is challenging, but add to that the financial pressures that are continually present in the creative world and it’s a wonder we’re not all going under.

So, how best to relieve the tension? Whether you work in the arts, music, entertainment, fashion or design industries, here are seven key areas I recommend focusing on to help relieve stress and leave space for creativity. 
1. Remember, you’re not alone
When we’re experiencing periods of stress, it’s natural to feel alone.  Those feelings can manifest in a variety of different ways – many of which can affect anxiety and sleep, and ultimately induce panic. Remember to reach out to people; in particular, those who work in your industry and understand what you’re going through.

2. Book in some personal ‘inspiration’ time
Carve out some time every day (it can even just be 30 minutes) to read, go outside, listen to a podcast and remind yourself of external factors that could potentially teach you something new and inspire you. 

3. Stay in control by creating routine
Often in the creative industries we lack structure, so it’s important to keep to a routine that enables you to feel inspired, gives you space to create, and room to rest and recover. 

4. Switch up your environment
Take a walk, head to a coffee shop, or work from a new place like Soho Works. Taking yourself out of your everyday environment stimulates the brain, which will ensure you move into a more productive mindset. 

5. Get playful in challenging situations 
Imbuing a sense of play into your daily routine will make it possible to navigate challenges with more clarity. When difficult situations arise in life, it can be tempting to give in to feeling weighed down, and in turn it can be hard to find a sense of calm – but that’s what we need most to handle tough scenarios. When we bring a sense of lightness to our working day, and sometimes (when appropriate) a sense of playfulness, it can transform our experience. Instead of feeling defeated, we can see tricky moments as opportunities. 

6. Start moving 
Exercise is also key to reducing the body’s stress hormones, as it stimulates the production of endorphins, which will elevate your mood. A short 10-minute stroll can relax the mind and clear your head of overwhelming thoughts. 
7. Incorporate some grounding phrases 
Simple phrases repeated over time can ground you in the moment. Some of my favourites include: 
‘May I make the best of the situation that’s presented to me’
‘May I remember that I’m not alone’
‘May I tap into gratitude for the people and resources that I have in my life’

Headspace offer a variety of tools to help with day-to-day stress management. Go to headspace.com to download the Headspace app to try for free today.

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