Long hours in the studio, constantly working with your hands, feeling the stress of running an art business—these demands can’t help but take a toll on your health.
While many artists would work day and night for their craft, it’s important to remember that you are human. And, you can’t create the best art possible unless you are happy and healthy.
To help you feel your best, we’ve rounded up six health tips for artists, so you can stay strong both physically and mentally.
1. Detox Your Studio
It’s important to keep in mind your long term health. If you only do one thing, make sure you rid your studio of toxins. Do a studio inventory, enclose all harmful substances, and double-check your room’s ventilation. If you are worried that your supplies are in the same place you eat and sleep, you may want to consider getting a separate studio space.
2. Stay Hydrated
While this one is a no-brainer, it can still be hard to stay on top of hydration when you’re on a creative roll. Especially since many health professionals recommend getting sixty-four ounces of water a day between your food and drink consumption.
Our tip? With a sharpie, draw a line every few ounces on a large clear water bottle to indicate how much you want to drink each hour. This prompts you to sip every so often, you don’t have to keep refilling your cup, and your water intake doesn’t seem as daunting!
3. Stretch It Out
Hunched on a stool or bending over a table, no matter what position you take to create your art, most likely you are putting strain on your back. Keep the pain away by stretching out your back regularly, before and after studio time. Try stretches like Lying Knee Twist, Cat Cow yoga pose, and more all demonstrated here by APM Health.
Still, your back is not the only thing you need to focus on. Your priceless creative instruments, A.K.A. your hands and wrists, can become strained from overuse as well, so stretch them with these exercises from The Huffington Post.
4. Ditch Worry and Stress
Catering to your mental health is just as important as physical health. Whether you choose to practice mindfulness or actively try to overcome your fears as an artist, letting go of stress and worry will help you feel better all around.
Another smart strategy to ward off stress is to make staying organized a priority. With an art inventory management system like Artwork Archive, you can manage your pieces and track your sales with the click of a button. Check out what other professional artists are saying about Artwork Archive here.
5. Sit or Stand
Both standing and sitting have their benefits. If you prefer to sit, then try to move around and stretch a couple of times each hour. Joyce Cherrier, fitness specialist and guest author for Lori McNee’s Fine Art Tips blog, suggests setting a timer so you never forget to take a stretch break.
Standing is great for working your muscles, but just make sure to wear supportive shoes and consider buying a cushioned mat to help avoid any strain on your feet.
Have you ever tried replacing your work stool with an exercise ball? It’s not just for trendy, millennial office workers! Cherrier puts her stamp of approval on these make-shift chairs, which are wonderful for working your core muscles and battling back pain.
6. Take Time to Meditate
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back from your hectic life and find peace again with meditation. Refocusing the mind not only alleviate stress, but can helps capture creativity again.
If you want to try meditating on your own, Zen Habits suggests finding a quiet, comfortable place, counting your breaths, and regathering your thoughts as your mind wanders. Don’t feel like going it alone? YouTube has tons of guided meditations you can listen to, or try the free trial of Headspace in between studio breaks.
Health comes first.
Whether you need to clear your mind of stress or stretch out your sore muscles, putting your health first will have a positive effect on your art business. Just think about what you could achieve when you aren’t held back by pain or fatigue. Take these tips to heart and see how much better you feel.
Want more health tips for artists? Check out “How to Re-Energize Your Art Business with Mindfulness.”