Creative people are often emotionally sensitive and empathic. We tend to tune-in to details and concepts that other people simply don’t notice. This sensitivity makes us easily susceptible to overwhelm, anxiety, loneliness and/or burnout: a.k.a. Low Flow. Below are four top flow-blockers among creative empaths, and what to do if you are experiencing one or all of them:

Flow Blocker #1: Toxic People

If you experience Low Flow, look closely at the people that you interact with on a regular basis: coworkers, friends, family.

·        Are they well-adjusted or do they create unnecessary drama?

·        Are they optimistic, or prone to negativity?

·        Do they balance and lift your energy, or do they leave you feeling drained?

Observe which people chronically drain your batteries more than they recharge you. After closer examination, you may recognize the need to establish better boundaries with certain toxic people. You may need to avoid interacting with them altogether.

Flow Blocker #2: Interpersonal Disconnect

It can be lonely when you are the sole Creative in your community. Of those people you examined above, make a list of the top five people that you spend the most time with. 

·        How well do you truly relate to them?

·        Do you feel a sense of creative kinship or connection?

·        Do you feel creatively inspired in their presence?

When you do this reality check, you may find that you are surrounded with a lot of support, but not necessarily from people who truly understand what it means to be a Creative. If you find that you need to develop a Creative Community, write down the qualities that you are looking for in your tribe. Assess how much time you have available to developing these new relationships. Then, seek opportunities for connection. Ideas include:

·        Visit a local art fair or event. Whether or not you strike up a conversation, simply being in the presence of other artists will uplift your mood and vibe.

·        Look for a local Facebook, Meetup, Mastermind or other kind of networking group;

·        Explore volunteer opportunities in your community.

You might also choose to reconnect with creative friends that you’ve lost touch with. Who would you like to connect with TODAY? Reach out!

Flow Blocker #3: Personal Disconnect

As you become more aware of the toxic people in your life, and your own possible lack of connection with other kindred creatives, you must humbly admit that this situation is, on some level, a reflection of yourself.

·        Do you feel like you lack a cause or purpose?

·        Is your inner critic shutting down your creativity?

·        Do you lack time or ability to creatively express yourself?

·        Are you prone to being overly dramatic?

·        Have you slipped into chronic negativity?

If the answer to any of these is yes:

·        Seek opportunities for self-reflection and personal growth. This could mean time in nature, taking a yoga class, or writing/painting/drawing in a journal.

·        Spend time celebrating and nurturing your creative self. Take yourself on a field trip and visit a place that inspires you. Do an activity that uplifts you.

Give yourself permission to get off of the hamster wheel of life and to go on a date with the creative part of yourself—your inner artist will thank you!

Flow Blocker # Four: A Loud Inner Critic

One major indicator of creative flow is your own self talk. When the Inner Critic is high, your Flow will be Low. Period.

Your Inner Critic is not just a bunch of bull. If you stop with the standoff, you’ll realize it might be trying to help you.

The first step in disengaging the inner critic is to recognize that it is not your authentic voice. Notice:

·        Who does it sound like?

·        If you could imagine your inner critic as another person or being, what would it look like?

·        What does it tell you when you’re doing well?

·        What does it say when you’re not doing well?

·        Journal with your inner critic and ask: in what way do you think you are trying to be helpful?

How to Address These Flow Blockers

If you notice one or all of these Flow-Blockers in your life, the first step is to pause and acknowledge it. The second step is to be kind to yourself: recognize that we ALL experience low or blocked Flow.

Like anything that needs a reboot, your third step is to unplug and reconnect. Yoga, meditation, guided imagery and expressive arts are wonderful tools that allow you to step away, look inward, and reflect on the impact that these Flow blockers have on your life—and then decide what to do about it. Even the smallest actions, done with consistency, can quickly make major improvements to your creative Flow.

Originally published by Jodi Rose at