Coming into 2019, I was wrapping up a busy holiday season, after almost 12 months of designing, contracting and building a house, packing and moving twice, not to mention packing and moving my studio, countless art events, and juggling the activities of 2 busy teens and a local college daughter. I finally hit a wall.
To top it off I had just turned 50, and got to do all the fun 50 something things, like getting a colonoscopy. During my procedure a mass was discovered, followed by doctor appointments, CT Scans and a quick surgery. All praise to God, the mass turned out to be an abscessed appendix, and it was removed just in time. But needless to say, the last 6-9 months have been stressful, and my creativity has suffered. I had to take a step back. I've discovered a few things in the process that got me back on the road to happily creating again, and I wanted to share them with you.
Take a step back
When we are depleted from energy and creativity, it usually signals that our life is out of balance. Sometimes, when I'm stressed, creating is the perfect fix. But when I'm TOO stressed, it just doesn't work. For me, I had to take a step back from activity in general. As an introvert, and a creative, I tend to get overwhelmed easy, so learning to say "no", and not bringing guilt along with it is a must.
Take a walk, sit and soak up the sun, take photographs of nature, create a flower arrangement to enjoy, visit a local nursery or botanical garden, take a drive through the countryside, skip some stones in a pond, or sit by a babbling brook. Nature is God's way of giving us a built in stress buster."He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters" Psalm 23:2
Do Something Fun
Be silly. Do something fun that you haven't done in awhile. Dance to your favorite music, sing loud in your car with all the windows down. Go to a video arcade and play PAC MAN. Embarrass yourself and have a good laugh. Sometimes when the weight of being an adult starts to wear you down, you have to remember how to have fun.
Invite a friend to create
Sometimes just getting together with another creative to make art or anything crafty will increase your creative energy and give you a new perspective. Create something just for fun to give away, or swap creations with your friend.
Take a class
Take a class outside of your norm. This spring I took an online class by Australian artist Laura Horn. It was just what I needed to try something different that what I normally create, and resulted in a whole new series of work for me.
Pick a class that is short and simple, so you don't add to your feelings of overwhelm and normal expectations and you can actually complete it.
Work a regular exercise regimen into your daily routine, even if you think you don't have time for it. A quick walk, some stretches or a jog around the block will increase your energy and clear your head-20 minutes of something is better than nothing-you will feel better, I promise!
For me, time in prayer and God's word is a necessary reset each day. Maybe for you it is meditation, breathing exercises or just sitting still for a few moments. I find that time reading the Bible brings me back to my core values and reveals truth, calms me and gives me intention and purpose for my life. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33
Hope these tips help you to bloom if you're struggling. I'd love to hear things that you do to revive yourself when you've been in a creative slump! Check out my new Piece by Piece series this Friday, May 17, in my Etsy shop.