Updated: Aug 9, 2021
I sometimes get asked why I spend so much time making dog necklaces, doing DIY projects, creating posts for Instagram and Pinterest, photographing my pups, and writing blogs, especially since I have a full-time job.
My quick answer back to people is simple, and always the same: “because I love it.” BUT... there is actually more to it than this quick response. You see, as I write this blog, I am actually practicing self care.
Creativity is Self Care
Embracing Creativity Allows You to Be Curious and Discover Your Uniqueness
When you first start exploring your own creativity, you will be forced to ask yourself several questions:
What do you enjoy doing?
What or who inspires you?
Where did you learn your skills?
What colors, textures, or notes do you love the most?
Is there something you have never tried before, but would like to?
All of these questions are a journey to self discovery. Just deciding what creative venture to take on, no matter how big or small, will encourage you to be curious about who you are, and what makes you unique. You get to reflect on past creative endeavors, what truly makes you happy, and what new creative adventures you want to take on.
Creativity Allows You to Be in the Present
There is so much literature on being in the present moment to reduce anxious and worrisome thoughts (look up Eckhart Tolle, for example), and I am certainly a firm believer that if I am focused on what is in front of me, there is nothing to worry about.
I am especially a proponent of meditating to calm the mind and be in the moment, but sometimes stillness and silence is too difficult for me. I have days where my brain will not allow me to rest, no matter how hard I try to sit still and take in deep breathes.
So, on those days, I look towards my creative outlets to still my mind and be in the present. Being creative gives me something simple to focus on, and makes being in the moment easier. When your mind feels like it is spinning out of control, go to your creative zone, and focus on the feel of the thread between your fingers, the next music note, the feel of bread dough as you knead it, the colors in a photograph, or the impact of your shoe on the floor as you dance. This is mindfulness, and over time it can provide you with great mental clarity, all while you are doing something that you love.
Creativity Connects You with Community
Once you discover a creative outlet, share it with others! Find others with similar interest at work, at church, or through social media. Human connection is vital to mental health and wellness and critical to living a fulfilling life. Be inspired, and inspire others. You will never know how much of an impact you can have on others or that others may have on you until you start sharing your creativity and connecting with community.
How to Start Incorporating Creativity into Your Wellness Routine
I believe that if you want to start a new habit, the best way to do it is in consistent bite-sized pieces. So, if you are someone who does not naturally incorporate creative activities into your daily routine, I recommend consciously scheduling at least 30 minutes daily/weekly for a creative break. It doesn't really matter how much time or how many days a week you do this, but it is important to be consistent.
My personal go-to is to get up 30 minutes earlier. However, if you are not a morning person, try incorporating a rotating dinner cooking schedule with your partner where one person cooks while the other person takes the night off, or turn the TV off 30 minutes earlier in the evening to give you the needed space to write in a journal, sew a dog bandana, color, or photograph the vase of flowers on your table.
Conclusion - Shine On!
You are unique, and I encourage you to start unleashing your creativity and experiencing the mental health benefits that comes with it. Be curious about your creative side to help discover what makes you who you are, express your creativity to gain mental clarity, and share your creative projects to experience connection and inspire others. So, shine on my dear friends and live beautiful, creative lives!