Back in October, I posted about Creative Self-Care. I have to admit that I haven’t really done that myself. I’ve been in get-it-done mode.
You know how it is.
You have your list. You’re checking it twice. You’re gonna find out who’s naughty… Wait. Wrong list. And I’m not Santa.
Anyway, you have your list and you double- and triple-check to make sure you’re dong everything you want to do. Then a hiccup comes along and makes you adjust your plan, but you’re still determined to get it done.
You don’t take time for you. You get run down. You don’t feel all that great. You’re trying to do everything right, but you’re… just… so… tired.
There are a lot of reasons for it, not just being busy and trying to get things done, but that is part of it.
I’ve decided to lighten up on myself. I’m not going to harp on what I have or haven’t done, because that’s not the point.
I am going to rest. I am going to do things for me. That includes reading and listening to podcasts just for the fun of it. If my wrist cooperates, that means making a “dragon belly” shawl and some dragon-scale fingerless gloves. Or starting them, anyway.
It means slowing down and taking my own advice.
Do you feel busy? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Sad? Grumpy?
I have a suggestion that might help.
Take some time this weekend and work on something creative just for you. I’m not saying ignore the people around you or responsibilities you have. I am suggesting that you take a little time and do something you find both creative and fun and do it.
I meant to post this much earlier in the day, but that didn’t happen and I don’t regret it. I’ve spent the time, basically unplugged, with family. First I went swimming with my nieces and nephew. Then I went to a family dinner with cousins. It’s been a great day.
As much as I love being connected and creating stuff online and off, I know that sometimes it’s helpful to unplug. We need to take time for ourselves. We need to reconnect with the people around us and with ourselves without the addition of technology.
Some indications that I need to unplug tend to be:
- I stress over nothing.
- I feel burnt out.
- I feel like I don’t have anything to say.
- I get easily distracted.
- I hop from project to project without really getting anything done.
- I obsess over numbers. (Yes, we need to be aware of our numbers, but not obsess over them).
When I notice two or three of these, I notice it’s time to take a break. Your indicators might be similar or wildly different. Only you know what your indicators are. Just be aware and know when you need to take a break and unplug.
I have been talking a lot about making your creativity a priority and planning for it and so on. But…
Do you create when you’re tired? How?
It depends on you and what you can handle.
And, to be honest, it will vary. There will be times when you can create while you’re exhausted and there will be times when you just can’t. There are times when I can create when I’m overly tired and times when I can’t.
Here’s the key: Listen to yourself.
You will know when you can keep going and when you need to rest. If you find yourself trying to write and you’re just watching the cursor blink, shut it down and get some sleep. If you keep making mistakes on basic knitting or crochet stitches/patterns, it’s time to put it down and take care of yourself.
Here’s the thing…
It might not even be physical fatigue that is interfering with your ability to create. It might be mental or emotional. It’s still an indicator that you MUST take care of yourself. Maybe even more than physical.
I can’t — and won’t try — to tell you how to take care of yourself. Everyone has somewhat different self-care methods. I like to get my nails done or just veg and watch TV or YouTube videos. If my issue is related to writing, I may knit or crochet or play with stamps or alcohol inks. I also like to have a cup of hot tea when the weather is chilly.
Your favorite ways might be different. Find out what they are. Remember them. Use them when you feel “off” or when you feel any kind of fatigue.
In the meantime, happy creating!