Mental health for creatives / designers?

Do you know of any resources that are specifically designed to help creative professionals and designers to deal with stress, burnout and other mental issues, that may arise especially during the pandemic?

It’s called whisky. It also kills germs.

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Art therapy.

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It’s not specifically for creatives, but I am a big believer in exercise’s ability to manage stress. You can still walk, run or ride a bicycle outside.

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removing spots depends on the whiskey

Along practical lines, a diet consisting of foods low in fiber (processed), sugar, alcohol, etc. will unnecessarily cause stress on a bodily level, and that translates to the mind, of course.

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Escapism, eg read some good fiction books.

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May sound goofy but hypnotism actually works well for relaxation. I downloaded an app with Joseph Clough, and have listened to the free “Deep Relaxation” recording many times. It’s only 14 minutes long.

I highly recommend it for relaxation.

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Since about the age of 12, I’ve had to deal with a generalized anxiety disorder that’s been very disruptive. I don’t think anxiety-related symptoms stemming from Covid19 issues are all that different for designers than for anyone else. Nor do I think the feelings of anxiety and worry are all that different from my own, except that mine are always present to some degree — pandemic or not.

So here are some thoughts and experiences from a chronic, neurotic worrier.

My first attempt at dealing always-present anxiety was in high school when I signed up at the local college for a Transcendental Meditation Course. That helped a little, but I wasn’t disciplined enough at the time to keep it up.

After that came various doctor-prescribed tricyclics and benzodiazepines, which work like magic, but are, unfortunately, highly addictive.

I’ve taken a couple of psychologist-led, one-on-one courses in bio-feedback. There, I learned how to, in essence, slow down or stop some physiological responses to trick the anxiety into receding.

Two or three years of psychotherapy also helped in the sense that I now know where my chronic anxiety likely originated and what has kept it going all these years

More recently, I’ve become interested in a product called Muse, which is a headband and software that measures brain waves associated with stress then provides auditory feedback during regular meditation sessions. Very similar to bio-feedback, this enables me to, again, immediately notice and shut down problematic thoughts and physiological responses that worsen anxiety.

All these things are still options that I use or can use as needed, but what I’ve found works better than anything is what @Steve_O mentioned — exercise.

I used to run about three miles each day (well, 5 out of 7 days) for about 20 years until bone fractures from all the running caught up with me. Now I’ll either walk/hike/climb 5 miles each day or bike 10–20 miles. For me, it’s a hard workout where I push myself to the breaking point before stopping. It’s difficult to worry about much of anything other than the immediate situation when I’m huffing, puffing and gasping for air. And the endorphins that remain in my system for hours afterwards muffles the anxiety.

And finally, put strict limits on caffeine and sugar intake.

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Wow, I haven’t even thought about it. It’s scary.

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