Have you ever heard someone say something and it just stopped you in your tracks? It made you have this great epiphany and all of a sudden you understand yourself better; even though they weren’t speaking directly to you? The other day I had come across an amazing photographer on YouTube and she made the statement “Focus on Self Care through Creativity” and it’s like the skies parted and the light shined down and the angels sang…
And I can hear you all now say “Seriously, Jules? I think you’re over-exaggerating.” and maybe I am. Ok, I am but really it truly hit me. I instantly grabbed a paper and pencil and I wrote it down. I didn’t want to forget this.
Monday-Friday from 7am to 3:30pm I am expected to be on top of my game and creative. It’s literally what I get paid to do. It’s what is expected of me for those 40 hours every single week. I am not complaining but rather stating a fact and don’t get me wrong. I love my career. I love design. However, it’s insanely difficult to make yourself feel creative when some days you wish you could walk away and become a professional napper. Or my dream job of being a dog nanny.
I suffer with anxiety and I am not too proud to admit that and I have learned over the years how to manage it. My anxiety is what they call “high functioning”. Meaning that I can function like normal, when inside my head it’s reeling and I am over thinking everything and trying to hold it altogether. Sometimes attacks just happen but most times it comes from a sense that I am losing control of everything around me.
Busy work schedule, busy week at home, lots errands, the dog tearing apart my garden beds, Shawn not feeling good, and add in that the cat just threw up. It can all hit at once and my brain just starts panicking. Once I am able to calm myself down and just take things one thing at a time, I can usually work myself out of it. (Most of the time)
At this point I know that I just need some time to be me. To stop worrying about deadlines. Stop worrying about my family (they’ll be ok without me for a little bit). Stop worrying about the laundry or the dishes or the long to-do list I have. Just stop.
Sometimes this “stop” is a bubble bath and browsing Pinterest. Or reading a book. Or getting into my cozy PJs and laying in bed watching a movie. Or snuggling with my favorite guys.
But sometimes… it’s in being creative. Which is something that I never realized until I heard this photographer say it. I tend to “Self Care through Creativity”. When I am overwhelmed by my to-do list at work, struggling to find a shred of creativity left in my head, and I am ready to just break down, I find myself just “playing” in Photoshop. I have always felt bad because I am not working on a project, or doing anything that I could really use for work purposes but I truly am playing around. I always thought that I was just procrastinating.
But now, I understand it! I am not playing around. I am not wasting my time. I am not procrastinating on my to-do list and putting off work that is due tomorrow. I am practicing “Self Care through Creativity” and it’s exactly what I needed right then and there. After playing with some new techniques and tools or watching some tutorials on how to do something cool in Photoshop, I always feel better and more energized and I can then get my real work done.
Sometimes I just need to be creative for the sake of being creative without a project or a deadline or because it’s Wednesday and I have to be. Even though I do have all those things, taking an hour to play is all I need and then I can jump back in the game again and kick some butt.
I find myself being like this at home too. I can feel like I just haven’t been able to catch up on housework and yet, I will wake up on a Sunday morning and tell Michael, I am going to the craft store and I will be back. Then I spend the day crafting and making something (like the unicorn planter above) and I will ignore it all. I just thought that I was being lazy or procrastinating but now I understand that isn’t really the case. I am putting my self care first and just so happens to come out in the form of….