Welcome back to the Creative Personalities series! I recently started this series with Self Care for Creatives (check it out here if you missed it!). Today is all about the Type A’s. By that, I mean those whose tendencies are to be organized, structured, routine-oriented, on-time, and go-getting. Type A’s can find it particularly difficult to slow down, enjoy the moment, and practice self care. I think part of the reason is because achievement and productivity are ingrained into the Type A, and that is so often a wonderful thing! But if you’re a Type A and feel like you’re being run into the ground, it’s time to check out these tips.
Create routines for yourself
Type A’s can get really overwhelmed with no routine or a significant change in routine, even if it’s free time. Embrace this fact of life and schedule out your activities, including time that’s designated for yourself. Creating morning and bedtime routines is a great place to start, because they allow for structured self care.
Simple routines tend to be the best. In the morning, I like to do one thing to care for my mind, one to care for my body, and one to care for my soul. That could be yoga + a healthy breakfast + journaling one day, and mindfully sipping coffee + meditation + jogging the next. It’s totally up to you! But incorporating all three elements every morning helps to make sure your morning routine is balanced. Bedtime routines are important too, as they help us slowly adjust and get ready for a quality night’s sleep. If I’m feeling really stressed or anxious, I’ll opt for a bath to relax. I love comfy PJ’s, lavender essential oil, and reading a good book to help get myself ready to sleep.
Remove the pressure
If you’re a Type A who struggles with perfectionism, know that you’re not alone. Perfectionism can be a struggle for any personality type, but Type A’s tend to be predisposed to it. A tendency toward perfectionism tends to result in creating unnecessary standards for yourself, thinking that you must do or act or be a certain way in order to impress _____. But the reality is that, more often than not, our unrealistic standards are only held by ourselves and our inner critic. How do you silence that inner critic?
Start with positive affirmations every morning. It’s helpful for me to write them out in my journal, or write them and then stick then somewhere I’ll see every day, like my fridge or my bathroom mirror. Remind yourself of truth: that you matter and that you are worth loving just as you are right now, regardless of your performance. On your worst days, you are worth loving. You are worth celebrating. Remind yourself until you start to believe it.
If necessary, cut out external pressures too. Perhaps it’s a relationship that’s constantly draining and life-taking. It could be that extra project or committee at work that, if you’re honest with yourself, you never wanted to do in the first place. Maybe it’s lightening up your workout routine, or skipping happy hour with your coworkers because you hate the small talk. Whatever it is, if you recognize that it’s causing you to be more perfectionistic, think about whether it should go.
On your worst days, you are worth loving. You are worth celebrating. Remind yourself until you start to believe it.
Take ownership of the most important tasks, and delegate the rest.
A lot of Type A’s take on waaaay too many tasks. This can partly come from a people-pleasing desire, the desire to achieve at work/school, or simply the fact that Type A’s know they’ll get things done and don’t like delegating.
Take ownership of the tasks that you feel are most important. Type A’s practically live by the maxim, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” This isn’t necessarily bad. Sometimes waiting for others to step up or hoping they get it done exactly as you want causes needless stress and anxiety. If doing a particular task yourself will help ease your anxiety, do it.
However, you can’t do everything. Delegate other tasks, especially those things that really shouldn’t have become your responsibility in the first place. You can’t control everything, and delegating is a good way to practice accepting that. Plus, it takes things off your plate and allows for you to relax a bit.
You can’t control everything, and delegating is a good way to practice accepting that.
Enjoy the process
Instead of working with efficiency in mind, allow yourself to slow down sometimes and enjoy the process. Type A’s often feel inner satisfaction through their work and achievements. Take advantage of that positive energy by finding satisfaction in each step accomplished. This may also help you train your mindfulness muscles!
Invest in your creativity
Type A’s can sometimes get hung up on learning creative skills because they want to immediately be good at that particular skill. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works! Decide on something you want to learn, like painting or a musical instrument, and invest in lessons. Lessons help take off some of the pressure of wondering if you’re doing it right, because you receive regular feedback and instruction. Lessons also give you a designated time to learn the skill and incentive to practice. You’ll be a pro before you know it, and you may have found a new hobby that fills your soul.
The bottom line…
Type A’s have unique needs when it comes to self care. Make sure that you are paying attention to your body and your heart, not just your mind and your deadlines! It’s also 100% okay to not practice self care like your friends. Self care isn’t a one-size-fits-all kinda thing, so take the time to invest in yourself and figure out what works best for you! If you’re a Type A, do these tips resonate with you? If you have others to add, share with us in the comments!
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