Free Spirit or Burned Out? Maintaining Creative Health

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Many think that artists are the epitome of stress-free living. They call us free spirits and believe that we live a life of doing exactly what we want without a care in the world. The truth that we all know is that stress is inevitable for creative types who are trying to make a living off of their work, and burnout is a common result of unchecked stress.

Burnout happens when stress gets out of control to the point where it shuts down that thing that is causing it. This burnout can lead to fluctuating moods that block our enjoyment of life, and sometimes shut our creative side down completely. It is that creative energy that makes us who we are, and losing it can be devastating, often resulting in anxiety and depression.

Establishing and maintaining a lucrative creative enterprise means successfully juggling many different balls, and it requires a difficult balance between artistic considerations and business/professional matters. We are under constant pressure to create on a regular basis, while also needing to manage the creative venture: creating budgets, dealing with promotion and marketing, and of course selling what has now become the “product.”

It can get beyond frustrating. An important thing to remember is that we have the power to take control of our stress and our lives. We humans have a unique ability to take care of ourselves in a natural way. Each of us has many sides, but there are three that function as umbrellas for all the other sides. I’m speaking of the spiritual, mental and physical aspects of our being. The strength of each of these three foundations is dependent on the other two. It is a perfect symbiosis that can create utmost feelings of peace and stability in our lives. When our spiritual lives are damaged, our emotional lives will also feel the consequences. When our emotional well-being is compromised, so too is our physical health.

In a nutshell, here is a breakdown of how we can care for these three domains of health:

  • Physical: Taking care of our body can have far-reaching benefits well beyond physical health. If our physical body is not healthy, nothing will be.
  • Mental: Taking care of our emotional health and well-being by establishing healthy and correct patterns of thought, and insight into our feelings.
  • Spiritual: Taking care of our soul in whatever way is most comfortable for us. This could mean religion, or it could simply mean hiking in nature.

Taking care of these three core areas is essential to a more healthy way of living. It’s not always easy. Burnout can take a toll on these three domains, but there are ways (I’ll look at these in future posts) to allow them to heal. I hope that this knowledge and these practices will empower us to achieve a more holistic health.


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About Russell Pyle

Russell is a singer-songwriter and Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of New Mexico, although he no longer holds a practice. If you need assistance in locating mental health resources or just want to drop a line, he invites you to email him:

Please check out his blog on connecting with nature as a coping skill:

To download his new release Rise and see where he’s playing, check out Russell’s website. You’ll also find him on Twitter: @simplexmath and Instagram: @russelljamespyle.

1 Comment

  1. Jean on May 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Very impressive, Rus. Looking forward to more writings that give light into you and also help to others. Your loving grands in FL

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