drawing by Kitty Knorr OK Cool Magazine

How do we define self-care?


Have you ever considered creativity to be the ultimate form of self-care?  The words “self care” tend to trigger intrusive imagery of face masks, bubble baths and overspending on pay day in the name of treating yourself. 


At Sassy Healthy Fit we define self-care “as prioritizing your own needs in ways that are simple, sustainable & fun so that you can live a life that is fulfilling mind, body & soul.”


Mindful habits, grant the gift of tapping into one’s inner most thoughts regardless of outside noise. The concept of tuning in and turning off feels very reminiscent with that of the creative process. Now, our initial understanding of self care doesn’t typically coincide with creativity- but why not?


The creative process as the ultimate form of self-care


The creative process is one of inspiration, cultivation, manifestation and repetition.  All of which requires a deep connection with one’s internal dialogue. What if creative self-care is actually the ultimate form of self-awareness and self-prioritization??


The ability to think for one self, outside of the box, original authentic thought, that’s creativity.


Clarifying the definition of creativity, psychological studies understand it to be “the ability to generate, create, or discover new ideas, solutions, and possibilities … Although creativity is often associated with the arts, it is actually a vital form of intelligence that drives people in many disciplines to discover something new.”


The ability to think for one’s self, outside of the box, original authentic thought, that’s creativity. 


Here are three reasons why creative expression is the ultimate form of self-awareness and self-prioritization:


Reason 1: Creative thinking demands self-reflection


Author Joan Didion once said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”


Journaling is a great example of creative self-care.  The average Joe’s thoughts are usually a recipe of stories and hopes and fears and ideas. By confronting the inner world, one begins processing lived experiences. 


Why is it that talk therapy and journaling, brings profound benefits? Why is it as humans we feel the need to connect by venting to our friends about the crappy day we had yesterday? 


By sharing insight into the weight of our burdens, it lightens the load.   Further, honoring self-reflection allows individuals the chance to process burdens and treat them as a source of inspiration. The tortured artist stereotype exists for a reason. The act of channeling personal experience into an external form of creative expression, is a process that requires an abundance of self-awareness and self-prioritization. 


But don’t get it twisted!  One doesn’t have to feel tortured to be an artist! Self-proclaimed bad bitch Gabriella Rosie revels in dismantling the idea that creatives need to suffer for their art, instead encourages her audience to “create what you wish existed” and gives advice on how to enjoy the process. 


But step one to creating what you wish existed, requires being self-reflective to the point of acknowledging and honoring your deepest wishes. 


Reason 2: The creative process, like a self-love journey, requires both rebellion and patience


For generations, stigmas placed on creativity have dampened authentic artistic urges. It’s become socially ingrained in us to believe “you’re either born creative or your not”, “there’s no money in being an artist” blah, blah, blah. 


In a similar vein, through parenting and social conditioning, humankind has attained a capitalistic, self-consciousness, insecure social norm. We’re sold beauty products, gym memberships and bogus beliefs that subconsciously grant social acceptance. 


Creative expression necessitates rebelling against what is expected of you and defining what you expect from yourself. 


There’s no one right way to be creative- which is very freeing and in the same way it’s freaking terrifying. Creativity has no rules, no borders, no God telling you how you can and can’t show up in the world.  


You, the creator, hold all the cards baby. 


This is understandably a lot of pressure, so it’s only natural that bouts of self-doubt slow down even the brightest of creators from time-to-time. Please know that rest and blocks and setbacks, are all part of the journey. Your worth is NEVER dependent on how “productive” you are. The creative process ebbs and flows, like a self-care practice, it’s not perfect and requires patience. 


Reason 3: Bringing your ideas into reality is an act of courage


Bringing an idea to life, is the boldest form of self-care.


Belief facilitates action. 


Henry Ford is attributed with saying “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t- you’re right.” When we believe in ourselves, in our ideas, we become unstoppable. 


Bringing an idea to life, is the boldest form self-care. Because it’s a tangible example of you valuing your thoughts, your potential and your contribution. 


It requires an insurmountable sense of self to launch the website, write the book, pitch the idea or quit a desk job.   Creative expression involves valuing your internal world before showing up in the external one. 


In conclusion


How do we begin to think outside the box? By first being aware that we are living in a box. The game changers, like yourself, that find themselves on self-love, self-prioritization journeys, are typically very in tune with their creative side. 


The world needs you to make the things you’re dreaming of.  And once you start believing that, it becomes the truth. 


Creative expression is a windy journey of self reflection, rebellion, patience and courage. Creative living that asks individuals to bet on themselves over and over and over again. 


A life spent cultivating ideas, acting on them and contributing to the world, is ultimately, a deeply authentic and fulfilling one. 


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kitty knor is the editor of OK Cool MagazineKitty Knorr is the proud mother, founder and editor-in-chief of @OkayCoolMagazine- a mindful magazine created for creative minds. A current Literary Studies major at The New School in Manhattan, Knorr loves writing poetry and fiction. She is also a big fan of Hallie Avolio and is extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to share a few words here on Sassy Healthy Fit!! You can find Knorr on both instagram and twitter @kittyknorr