Does this sound familiar?
Oh, I don’t have time.
I need to get A-B-C before I can do…go ahead fill in the blank with that excuse you may use before we do something to nurture our soul.
Burnout is something I hate to admit I know a little too well. It led me to a stroke this past December and like a fire drill, I had to stop, drop, and roll out a new plan. Burnout is real, and we often don’t know we’ve pushed ourselves into this predicament until it’s too late.
As I reflect on my own experience and talk with others, I find more often than not, a lot of us feel guilty about taking time to fuel our engines.
Why do we carry this guilt? Taking time for ourselves is necessary for us as individuals to stay on track and feel good. Maybe you work full-time and are trying to get a side hustle going. Perhaps you are a parent and have to be in two places simultaneously, all while trying to get dinner on the table. Or maybe you are caring for an elderly loved one. These things can take much of our time and can be physically and emotionally draining.
As a creative and a human, we need rest. We need to nurture ourselves. And we definitely need a creative outlet.
We usually know when we are stuck. Have you had the feeling that all of the world is on your shoulders and is ever-present? Are you getting a little more emotional or have an attitude you usually don’t have? This is your cue, sign, or message to stop, drop, and create.
Stop what you’re doing. Seriously! Taking a few minutes to catch a breath will not hurt anything. Believe me, your list isn’t going anywhere. Take a few moments to think about the creative things you’ve been wanting to try.
This may take a little finesse, but drop what you’re doing and schedule an hour just for you. If you’re struggling with one full hour, do a bite-size session of 20-30 mins, working up to one hour, and so on. Again, that list will be there waiting, waving around, saying ‘don’t forget me’. No one will die if you take one hour (unless you’re in the medical profession and attempting this at work – then maybe drop when you’re at home!) This is when you’ll want to gather items to begin.
This is the part where, instead of thinking and looking for inspiration to strike. Just grab a canvas, furniture, or any tools in sight and begin the motion: paper and pencil. Begin to scribble, but move that pencil around, and eventually, your body begins to calm, and stress will be released. Don’t have any expectations of creating a masterpiece. The intention is to nurture your soul and release, the real creativity will follow.
In my experience taking time for creative self-care can do wonders for your well-being! I recently spent a week at Courage on Canvas in Connecticut and not only did I get some much-needed rest and relaxation with new and old friends. I got to reconnect with my creative soul and completely surprised myself with a newfound artistic ability I only dreamed of. It was enough to ignite me to continue on the next journey.
Kimberly is the owner and artist behind Rubbish Restyled and The Creative Mingo. You can find her retail and teaching studio in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. She is best known for her colorful whimsy furniture creations and her specialty is fun inviting spaces for creative gatherings and party hosting. Kimberly is a wife and mother of three sons and resides in Milton, Wisconsin.View Kimberly’s Full Bio