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7 Things You Should Say to Yourself Like a Crazy Person

I’m an artist! Of course I’m crazy! (Actually, believe it or not, there might not actually be any correlation between creativity and mental illness according to this Psychology Today article. When I got myself tested, I was only diagnosed with a minor form of anxiety, but who doesn’t have it in this day and age?)

Even so, sometimes we feel like we’re actually two people. There’s the rational side that has big dreams and knows that it requires hard work to reach said dreams, then there’s the instant-gratification monkey that doesn’t want to work hard. These are also things I say to myself when I’m feeling frustrated, scared, or lazy. These are things that help me a lot of personally, and I invite you to try saying these to yourself.

1. I Will be Okay.

I wish I could say I came up with this, but this something that I hear all the time from Charlie on his YouTube Channel Charisma on Command, which I strongly recommend especially if you’re socially anxious and shy.

Every time I think things are not going well, or I’m about to apply to have my art exhibited, or try something new that could potentially help my art career, I just think to myself, “No matter what, I will be okay.” And I will. Even if things turn out so wrong for a while, I know I’ll get through it somehow.

2. This Too Shall Pass.

Oh hi, Mark!

A quote from my old buddy, Mark. Something I say when I’m really not having a good time for whatever reason like I made a mistake at work, am receiving harsh criticism that I can’t find a way it will help my art, or I’m sick and miserable (at least then I can read a book). These are the moments you really can’t stop and appreciate. All you can remember is that they will pass, and you can move on.

3. Don’t Compare yourself to others. Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday.

I really really should have put the book I got this from on my list of books that shaped my philosophy, but I’m happy to give a nod to it now. This is a rule from Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life that helped me a lot as an artist (that and Treat Yourself Like Someone You’re Responsible for Caring For). This is something that keeps me from being overwhelmed, and even happy for, the artists out there with skill that I will never come to close to, but I still get to keep my competitive spirit by competing against myself. Although, sometimes I feel I’m ahead, and sometimes I’m behind. And that’s okay too.

4. I am Not a Quitter

Running on a treadmill? Having a rough time at your job that you’re not sure you can take anymore? Learning something new and you’re hitting a wall? Whenever this happens to me, I simply whisper, “I’m not a quitter.” and it gives me the boost I need to keep going, even if it’s just for a few more minutes. Now, maybe you are a quitter. Maybe you’re the kind of person who quits 100 times out of 99. Not in that moment, you’re not!

5. It Will Only Take 10 Minutes

Every time I wanted to read a book, paint, work out, or something I needed to do, suddenly, I never wanted to do it. I believe you have felt this way repeatedly. I learned, albeit later than I would’ve liked, that’s not the act of doing something that’s all that important, but starting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked myself into spending only ten minutes on a project, ten minutes go by and I think, “Eh, I can keep going” and next thing I know, two hours went by, I have an almost completed painting, and I realize I forgot to eat breakfast.

6. Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Life

When I was about to graduate with my bachelor’s, I was in a kind of slump. I wasn’t sure where my life was going, what I was going to do next, and I was very, VERY scared. That was when I decided to go live in Italy for a year. Every step it took me getting there from the application process, to the acceptance letter, to the getting my passport and visa, it felt like something was fighting me. What if I end up destitute? What if it goes wrong?

My mother said, “Don’t let fear rule your life.”

If I listened to that fear, I would have never had that experience, met those wonderful people on my journeys, and have those wonderful stories.

7. If takes less than 5 minutes. Do it now.

Nothing art related, just a good rule of thumb. Keeps time doing chores down to a minimum.

Bonus thing:

“I will find a goddamn light, man.” Was listening to a Kevin Hart interview excerpt while I was writing this. The fact that this man is just “happy” and can take any moment and find joy in it somewhere is just a rare thing.

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7 Day Lazy Morning Challenge

Hey all!

So, I didn’t think I’d be doing this again so soon, but the 7 Day Lazy Challenge was such a huge personal success, that I couldn’t wait to start again.

I’m a huge believer in doing anything new twice. This probably isn’t the best way to go about life, but generally when trying anything new, I generally wing it, suck at it, learn from it, then do it better a second time.

What is the 7 Day Lazy Morning Challenge?

In short: It’s a challenge to wake up at 5 am every day for 7 days and spend 30 minutes minimum on a project- while being as lazy as possible.

Prior to Day 1, you set up your week so that you are able to accomplish this with as little effort as possible. This means having breakfasts set up ahead of time, having your wardrobe already planned and ready to go, and having your work space already set up and planned out so that you can. Another important aspect is eliminating as many distractions as possible- are you working on your project, or playing on your phone?

Last week, for example, I made 14 hardboiled eggs so that I could wake up and start the day with a quick, healthy breakfast without cooking or dishes taking up time. Since my project is art, I made sure that I had a space set up with my sketchbook, drawing utensils, and drawing references. As a result, I’ve been leaving the house earlier for my day job, starting the day less stressed, and feeling more focused and in a better mood overall.

This week, I’m adding a few tweaks.

  1. The name “7 Day Lazy Challenge” is now “7 Day Lazy Morning Challenge.”
  2. Wardrobe is now taken into consideration
  3. Minor Adjustments to the kitchen routine.
  4. More emphasis on workspace set-up

Day 0: Setting Up

1. Alarm

My alarm is the app, Alarmy. It is set so that the noise doesn’t go off until I take a picture of the coffee maker. The purpose being that I can smell the coffee (which was Delay set the night before to brew 15 minutes before I’m actually supposed to be up).

2. Breakfast(s)

I decided to go a little fancier with the breakfast this time. I made multiple yogurt parfaits using plastic cups my husband and I still had left over from our wedding.

Basically, it’s a fruit preserve (in our case, blackberry, strawberry, and apricot), plain yogurt, and granola. I made one for every day of the week.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What if one day I decide I really want to set time aside to fry up bacon, waffles, or pancakes instead? After all, I have extra time now!” Not to worry! You can pack up your “quick breakfast” and take it with you to work to have with your lunch or as a snack! This is simply made as a time saver and will make you very happy when you’re too groggy to make a proper breakfast!

I also attempted to set aside 14 coffee mugs -7 for me and 7 for my spouse- so that they’re just right there. No looking around and finding one or washing one if there’s only dirty ones. Turns out, we don’t have 14 coffee mugs (because we’re not insane). But that’s okay. It’s not good to have dirty mugs pile up anyway.

3. Wardrobe Set Up

For a more in-depth look into Wardrobe set up, I recommend reading Who What Wear’s article, I Tried Planning My Outfits by Gina Marinelli.

It’s really weird how much of a difference your wardrobe makes. One factor of morning stress is trying to think about and throw together an outfit the morning before going work.

One thing I’m adding for this week that will save a few minutes: setting up the wardrobe. On Day 0, do your laundry make sure you have 7 outfits. set up ahead of time. A really easy way to do this is to have a Capsule Wardrobe. Where you don’t have a lot of pieces of an outfit, but the few you have are the some color pallet and all the tops, bottoms, socks, etc go with each other perfectly.

For extra measure, I put my outfits in a laundry basket in my art studio. The intention being I’ll paint for 30 minutes, then turn around and put an outfit on. This guarantees that I’ll actually go into my art studio to paint since the clothes I need to wear for the day are in there.

Don’t worry, they’re on the opposite end of the room, so they won’t get paint on them… I hope…

4. Workspace Set Up/ Project Planning

Having your workspace all ready to go will save time and stress. In my art studio, I have fresh, new turpentine, clean brushes, and a blank pallet for my paints (if I wanted to take it a step further, I would have set up my color pallet ahead of time as oils don’t dry overnight).

Another thing: Instead of being completely lazy, and just drawing on the couch with my references, I have a plan as to what I will do every day this week for my paintings.

  1. Ascension (the angel painting pictured above)
  2. Portrait of my husband
  3. Under drawing of a portrait of my sister
  4. Under painting of the portrait of my sister
  5. Merchantman (1 hour)
  6. Portrait of my husband (1 hour)
  7. Theotokos (1 hour)

The last three will be for one hour instead of 30 minutes because I don’t have those days.

Since I’ve already planned what I will do ahead of time, I won’t sit in my studio wondering what painting to work on. If I feel inspired to work on a different painting, that’s fine, at least I planned out what I intend to do for the next 7 days.

5. Limit Distractions

I’ve been using the app, Forest, which grows a virtual tree on your phone that prevents you from looking at social media for a set period of time until the tree has grown. You can even look at your progress in the form of a virtual forest that has grown over the past day, week, and even year. It’s not perfect. You can still look at email, texting, and YouTube, but it’s still fun.

Another thing I want to add is a music playlist or podcast. I remember when I was in highschool and I would waste so much time putting together the perfect playlist for my schoolwork instead of doing my actual schoolwork. If you can have that set up the week before, whether that be a Spotify playlist (note: If you have Forest and Spotify on at the same time, your tunes will still play, but Forest will prevent you from looking at Spotify to skip or make changes), a daily podcast, etc. Have that set up the week before so that you don’t have to waste time worrying about it in the morning.


Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels