Creatives and their wellbeing #initiative #health

It was fantastic to read about this new initiative for the arts sector this week. I’ve known for a long time people working in the entertainment industry experience anxiety, depression and substance abuse in higher numbers than other industry groups in the general population.  Suicide rates are high in this sector also. So indeed there does need to be sector wide change in the industry.

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Creatives are passionate folk and we care deeply about our work. Some of us, like myself balance our creative work with subject matter that includes social or personal themes, being qualified in counselling and highly involved in the community health sector, I want at least some of my work to have foundations of relevance within today’s society. Working on the front-line keeps me up-to-date with real people and not just sitting in my own little bubble or motivated solely by clinical theory. If you are going to talk the talk at least make sure you can walk the walk. That’s why I like to stay connected to working within the community sector.

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Developing the whole self is correct, what we do outside our work, however, for many of us that’s not always readily available. Balancing work, family responsibilities, for some more than one job, study and the list goes on.  But we must make time to do things we enjoy. Hiking, sports, painting, community involvement, something outside the arts. Eating well, getting the right amount of sunlight and sleep. There are times when I have to remind myself to go outside and sit in the sun. Particularly if I’ve been writing all week. While I walk and run every day it’s often in the early morning or late afternoon when there’s no sun. Which brings me to the point of exercise. There’s enough research out there now that links a healthier mind, body and spirit  with exercise. Then there’s mediation. Every day folks, every day. 5 minutes. Get to know your quiet self.

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While an individual can do all the right things to help their wellbeing, change is also about institutions implementing sound strategies to improve strong service networks, including strategies that help leaders to be proactive in understanding and supporting workers, reducing stigma and assisting people to seek help. Because let’s be frank, healthy people are usually happy, and happy people will enjoy the creative process which equals productive and energised workers, right? That’s why the health and wellbeing of everyone in the arts sector and beyond is so important. Our wellbeing reflects and adds to the joy of our life and that joy comes out in our work and eventually into society.

I have a five finger rule for balance.

  1. Sleep well (it’s not the quantity it’s the quality)
  2. Eat and drink healthy (clean fresh food and lots of water)
  3. Exercise (at least 20 minutes a day)
  4. Time out (15-20 minutes mediation every day)
  5. Socialise ( volunteering, coffee with friends, a movie, whatever rocks your social world.)

If you’d like to read more about the initiative you can find it here

So until next time… “Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques

 

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