6 Tips for Introverted Creatives with Anxiety
Being a creative person and dealing with anxiety or depression can be a complicated mess. If you throw introversion into that mix, it can be a disaster. Between the insecurities, social exhaustion, and overanalyzing, just being awake everyday can be overwhelming. No one ever really talks about suffering through these things but I’ve learned that it’s not uncommon to find a person who is all three of those things.
In fact, I think it’s very important to talk about being an introverted creative and dealing anxiety, so confession: I’m very introverted and I’ve dealt with anxiety all my life. There are days when I’m completely immobilized from it. I’ve probably had minor cases of depression on and off, too, but I was too afraid to go get seen for it.
I didn’t understand what these things up until recently when I was trying to do too much, pushed to my upper limits, and started having very terrible thoughts. Over the last couple months, I’ve learn the importance of taking care of my mental health and, after talking to many artist who were going through what I did, I felt it was important to share how I deal with my anxiety.
Taking the time I need for me. After a full weekend of being out at an event and talking to tons of people, I need to recharge because I’m introverted. If anything interferes with that, the anxiety comes back with vengeance. I sleep things off when the anxiety is too overwhelming. But I don’t sleep all day, I sleep until the panic subsides enough to get up. I also reduce socializing until I’m ready and don’t feel bad about disconnecting from social media and other forms communication.
Understand it’s okay to not be perfect. This means it’s okay for my creative work to not be perfect. My creative work is a journey in search of perfection instead of trying to obtain it. Secondly, if others are giving me a hard time for being different or having a hard time, instead of being supportive of my needs, I ignore them. I do my best when I ignore all the bad noise and focus on doing what I need to be at my best.
Be open-minded. So introverts don’t socialize all the time but I am always talking to others about how I’m feeling. They can often give me what I need to feel better even if it’s as simple as “I’m here if you need anything”. I’m also always trying to understand how people view life. People come from all different walks of life and if they disagree with you, it’s not wrong. I’ve learned a lot about myself by understanding that I’m different from others due to my upbringing or culture.
Be productive. This one is hard. I have a to do list for everyday. I don’t force myself to get through it all but it helps to have a list to reference when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’ve found that making my bed in the morning helps me get focused. If I wake up feeling crappy, then I think, “Ugh, how do I even get started today? Oh, first I need to make the bed and then do that.“ Getting what I need to get done is really helpful in getting positive feelings back.
Be positive and accept that difficult situations are just difficult situations. A lot of times things are out of my power so I’ve learned to have a no-shits-to-give attitude towards a lot of things I can’t control. My goal is to always find ways to reduce the chaos and find my way back into my happy place. If I mess up, I very honestly own up to it and try not to dwell on it too long. It’s really easy to make a problem way bigger in your mind than it really is.
Stop everything and focus on what you need during panic attacks. Finding someone to talk to when I’m freaking out has been the most effective way of dealing with the panic. If I just want to be alone because communicating my feelings is too hard, I find a lot of comfort in burning incense and trying to sleep. Hot water/tea and walks outside also help to calm me down. In some instances, reading (romance manga..lol!) or playing videogames also help me to escape from the world temporarily.