Why Creativity can be an act of Selfcare
Selfcare is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. It seems everyone is talking about the importance of selfcare – and it is important. Life feels like it’s only getting busier and it can be hard to find the time or energy for anything that doesn’t seem essential. Trying to squeeze some selfcare in your life can feel hard.
Selfcare to me really is about making a little space, a little time and spending my energy on me, focusing in on my own needs in that moment. Engaging in something creative, especially if it’s low pressure regarding any outcomes, allows me to do this in an accessible and playful way.
Engaging in something creative can for me be a step out of day to day worries, stresses and to-do lists. I focus on what I’m doing, it quiets my mind and draws my awareness to that present moment. I might be trying something new, exploring an idea or medium, or maybe I am working on little details, drawing my focus in deeper until a sense of perspective emerges.
Much like a candle lit bath and a good book, engaging in something creative can – on the right day – provide perspective, faith, calmness and soothe those edges frayed by life.
I personally have a broad range of creative interests. I find that different mediums lend themselves to a variety of needs. I tend to crochet or embroider in bed (often while watching something on Netflix) when the day, week or even month has left me empty and lost. When I feel that I have little to give and I am exhausted, the repetitive nature of craft, especially crochet or embroidery allows me to see the growth and achievement. It might be slow but every hour my stitches grow, I am reminded that even empty and lost I am worthy. I might not feel like I achieved much that day, but my shawl has grown. A reminder that progress occurs is especially important on those hard days.
Somedays painting allows me to release some of the feelings that threaten to overwhelm me, that feel too big for my body. I paint them out and then feel relief, like my perspective has returned.
I believe any creative act, from making earrings through to painting or craft, or even baking a cake, can be an act of selfcare. By taking that time, that energy, that space to engage in something creative – you are also engaging with yourself. You have slowed down enough in your busy life to connect with yourself, to listen, to learn and hopefully to make some space to care too.
Walks, reading, baths, etc, are all great things to do to practice a little selfcare in your life – but if you want to try something new, try doing something creative. Try learning something new. Try taking a class, or learning a new hobby. Try turning up the music and splashing some paint on paper. Visual journal just for yourself. Often the more playful and relaxed your creative play is, the more rejuvenated you feel. And that can be a much more precious result than a particular outcome or insta-worthy product when it comes to selfcare and creativity.
Getting playfully creative can get you connected to the joy of being alive. The joy of play. You can meet new friends, or find ways of connecting with old ones through doing something creative together. The best part is that everyone is creative and there are accessible creative activities for everyone. Once you take the need for perfection out of creativity, it brings us back to what all children know instinctively, that creativity is play. Play is vital for learning…and living.