“Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature. It is curious and playful, changing with the tides of time” – Debbie Ford
When I look back at my life, I realize that in some of my darkest times of stress it was creativity that helped me to balance it all. I remember how alive and rejuvenated I felt after allowing my creative juices to flow and letting productivity take a back seat.
We live in a society that places one’s value in their physical output. Don’t even think about rest and recovery. One is told that it is all about the journey, but are rushed to prove themselves to everyone. There is an everlasting echo in society saying that the individual isn’t enough. Our society is framed that way for a reason. I didn’t know it, but back when I was in middle and high school, I used creativity to decompress. It was my escape from the harsh realities that I had to endure. Creativity was the pathway to clarity.
How I Used My Creativity
I loved to draw in middle school. My mother went to an art store and purchased all sorts of materials to nurture that within me. She could sense that my transition from home school to public school was a shock. I remember the day when she took me with her. It warms my heart ’til this very day.
I progressed into poetry. My English teacher was impressed with my poetry and she selected one of my poems to be read at one of the school’s ceremonies. I was still very shy then, so I had one of my other classmates to read it for me. It was a poem about a person caring for a living thing. The poem started as if I were talking about a baby or child, but I was talking about a plant. I look back and realize that I was talking about my inner child. Plants are very delicate and need sustainable environments to flourish. That art form helped me to access and process my feelings when I could not do it verbally.
After that, I graduated to origami. Not many know this, but I used to origami to calm my anxiety. I used time after school to do my homework, so it was rare that I had any to do once home. If I wasn’t folding paper, then I would make things. I remember trips to the bookstore and renting DIY books to find different projects.
Now that I look back and reflect, I realize that I was always very creative and introverted. I didn’t need large crowds to enjoy myself. I relished in challenging my creativity. It fueled my curiosity and awareness of self. Creativity peeled back the layers of stress and anxiety to reveal the peace that was waiting underneath it all. My creative moments reminded me to relish in the moment of self.
In moments of creativity, I am reminded that I am enough. I was allowed to embrace everything that is me in all its messiness and complexity. So, here are 5 creative things that you can do when you’re feeling stressed and drained.
View the world around you through a lens. Photography as a hobby can be very fulfilling and fun. I purchased a camera roughly two years ago and use it to capture random moments. A hobby has the same effect of meditation. Google a daily photography challenge and use it to decompress daily. Don’t have the extra cash to drop on a camera, use your phone! Create a new folder in your albums and get to snapping! It will boost your mood while you engage in mindfullness.
Forget staying within the lines, get messy with paint! What I love about painting is how far you can go with it. If you are intimidated by it, then try abstract painting. I love the abstract because it is such a pure form of expression. There is no right or wrong way to abstract! If you don’t want to deal with the mess, then find a sip and paint party in your area! I have two pieces of artwork from a sip and paint event that I hung up in my house. I feel really proud of my mediocre painting skills too. 🙂
I was introduced to poetry in middle school. I fell in love with Zora Neale Hurston. She was and still is the bee’s knees for me. Poetry is an amazing outlet for stress because you can express it in a clever way through each stanza. Don’t allow rhyming to intimidate you! Start with a short poem and work your way up.
Well, this is piggyback off of poetry, but writing is so versatile. Write about your day that you had and how you would like to do something different tomorrow. Don’t want to write about that? That is okay! Instead, write a short story. Allow your imagination to soar. Write a letter to your younger self. You could write about an old memory that you had from your childhood. It is really that simple. Don’t stop writing until five full minutes have passed. Break. Then, write for another five minutes.
Oh, this is one of my favorites! Find the recipe for your favorite baked good and go to the grocery store. Grocery shopping is so therapeutic, especially while listening to your favorite music. Return home and follow the directions and turn up the volume on your speaker. After they are done baking, decorate your baked goods. If its cookies, use your phone to take a photo of them instead.
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