Taking time for Creativity

Happy Tuesday, everyone!
I hope you enjoyed my post from yesterday about my birthday.  This week we have two posts!
Today I’m going to talk about why it’s important to take time to be creative.  I am excited about this topic because during the last several months, I was able to get back to enjoying what I make.

There are many benefits to taking time to be creative. The positive impacts on mental health alone are well worth it. Especially with the last year we’ve had with Covid-19.

Creativity helps us perceive the world in new and different ways. It helps us create works of beauty, problem solve, and refresh our bodies and our minds.
When you are having fun, you are positively impacting your health.

verywellmind.com

It’s no surprise that over the last year stress and anxiety have greatly increased for many of us. If you’re like me, and already had anxiety, I’m sure you are all too familiar with the struggle to find ways to deal with it and calm down.  I’ve talked about how important it is to stay off the screens in the morning and limiting time on social media in my Morning Routine post.  That has been a big help.  Taking time to be creative has had the biggest positive impact on my anxiety, depression and overall state of mind.

Over the last couple years, I’ve talked to a lot of people in my Twitch stream and in different Discord servers I’m in about creativity and mental health.  I even have information about the benefits crochet has on mental health on my Twitch channel.  This doesn’t mean that you need a special skill to be creative.  It can be anything!  Some people enjoy fiber arts like crochet, knitting, cross stitch, felting, etc. Others enjoy sketching, drawing, photography, or painting with acrylics, oils, or watercolors.  You don’t need to be able to draw a family portrait or paint a picture of your dog. Mixing colors and putting them on a canvas panel is being creative.  Sketching shapes, flowers, or letters is being creative.  Writing in your journal, singing, dancing, making things out of paper, or coloring are all creative things.  What is important is that it is something you enjoy so much that you end up losing track of time. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “in the zone.”  That’s what we’re aiming for when taking time to be creative.  When we can do that, it calms our minds and bodies. We relax and become more mindful. When we get in the zone when being creative, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and brings happiness.  Psychologists call this flow.  Flow is a state of mind when we become immersed in whatever we’re doing.   Read more about flow on Verywellmind.com.

One of the most important things to remember is that being creative is not about the end product.  Let me repeat that.  Being creative is not about the end product.  It’s about enjoying the creative process, letting go of that mental to-do list, and moving your focus from the things that are raising your anxiety, to something that brings you joy.  For several months, I lost that.  I was so busy with commissions and making things I thought people in my stream would like to see, that I tossed my creativity right out the window.  Something I used to love doing was now a chore.  It wasn’t bringing me happiness; it was stressing me out even more.

If you haven’t read any of my “Goodbye 2020” posts yet, I shared why taking the long hiatus from streaming and commissions was something I am so happy I did. I needed to get back to enjoying what I was doing.  I didn’t want it to be a chore or something I dreaded.  I missed the creative process.  Honestly, that’s where I am the happiest.  I blame my creative parents. ♥

“Engaging in a creative process, like singing, dancing, painting or drawing, has full body benefits. When we focus on something that is challenging and/or fun, we make new neuropathways, increasing connectivity in the brain. Increased connectivity, especially in the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, makes us more emotionally resilient in a way that is similar to what occurs when we meditate. The release of dopamine brings an enhanced sense of well-being as well as improved motivation.” 

Laurel Healy, LCSW verywellmind.com

How do I work being creative into my daily routine?
For me personally, I take time each day to do something creative.  Sometimes it’s sketching out new things I want to crochet, adding embellishments to projects, or working on learning Nålbindning. Other days it’s putting together playlists of music from Epidemic Sound or playing with image editing. Now that I have an oil paint set, I’ll be adding that to my options. The important thing is, I do it to enjoy it. Not because I have to.

I’m very fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom of a teenager so usually I can easily work these things into my days.  I don’t really have a set time, but usually it is during the late morning or early afternoon.  My house is quiet since my husband it at work, and my son is working on school.  I play some of my favorite music that ranges from modern classical to Scandinavian artists like Aurora and Wardruna.  It all depends on my mood and what I feel like working on.  I use music to help inspire me and to give my mind something to focus on instead of the non-stop to-do list.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying my Relax playlist.  I’m actually listening to it right now as I work on this post.  Bella and Jaina usually end up napping when I have it playing.  For me, it infuses calm and focus. I love it. You can find it on Epidemic Sound here.

Even if you can’t work being creative into your daily routine, try to work it in a few times a week.  Give yourself that break from screens and tasks.  Do something you enjoy and that will bring you happiness. It will make a positive impact on your mental health and well-being.  Remember, it’s not about the end product it’s about doing something that makes you happy.  


I hope all of you take a little time to be creative and give yourself a break from stress and anxiety.
Until next time!

Love,
Sota

  1. Do you take time to be creative?
  2. What creative activity would you like to try?

Here are some great articles from VeryWellMind.com about flow and positive psychology that I have really enjoyed reading.

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