I just can’t do anything creative nowadays. I stare at the blank page and feel nothing but frustration. Even when I manage to pull out something I end up feeling drained and empty for days afterwards.
Does this sound familiar to you?
I hadn’t had this problem until the first week of school here.
Our family has been homeschooling for seven years now. When the pandemic hit, we were all set for schooling from home. We had to adjust to not having our regular activities just as the rest of the world but we managed.
This year, though, my oldest started middle school and my youngest is in the 3rd grade. These are very demanding academically and my help is required all the time. If I could assign the page and switch to something else for a bit last year, I’m required to be hands on all the time now.
I am tired. I find it hard to do anything creative on the scale I used to before this school year. By the end of the day, I just want to shut the door and be left alone. Yet, I still have this nudge deep inside that says, no, get back to your desk. Paint something. Make something. Connect with your people. Guilt creeps in.
As overwhelming as this can be, I find myself falling back to my planning and organizational skills from ways back. I take a deep breath and start looking for the pockets of time (and energy.)
One of my favorite pockets is weekend mornings. I discussed it with my husband and he has my back. Weekend mornings are for catching up on everything business and creativity related!
Have you seen this diagram that represents life balance? It’s in the shape of a triangle and the angles are happy kids, perfect home, and career. It says you can only have two. Ha! In my case, I work with my kiddos most of the time and then I work on my art and business. I have a couple tiny pockets when I get groceries, cook dinners, and clean up. BUT, my home is far from perfect and I’m ok with it.
Did you notice how this triangle has nothing to do with my mental health? Yes, I noticed it too!
As creatives we need to have outlets for the juices to flow! Otherwise we become stagnant and nothing good comes out of us. One of my biggest energy flow outlets is belly dance. Yes, you read that right. I practice belly dancing. I take a class weekly and I rent dance studio space to have an hour of self-guided dance practice. And, you know what’s funny? That time that I have carved out just for myself helps me stay grounded, have patience for my family, and have creative energy to put even more out on weekend mornings.
I think it is wrong trying to put balance into a triangle. I think it should be a circle. And in the middle of that circle is HEALTH. Mental, spiritual and physical.
Then, it’s the filter that everything in our lives goes through. What goes in, goes out. What we watch, what we eat, who we listen to, who we follow, and who is in our immediate circle influences both our Trinity of Health and what we do in the world.
The outer circle may look different for you. You may need more or fewer sections, but do make sure self-care takes up a third of them. Why? – it’s only to make sure you don’t give more than you have. Draining yourself dry only does one thing. It damages our Trinity of Health and then our bodies can’t be productive and/or creative.
So yes, look at your daily life. Look for pockets of time that you can give to yourself unapologetically and regularly. Help the juices flow, check and clean your filters regularly. Man! We take better care of our coffee makers than ourselves, sometimes!
Once you start this consistent flow, you will start to notice creativity to shine through your day. I know it because this is how I do it.
Thanks for reading this article! I have a new pocket of time in my schedule and hope to write more in my blog now. Yay to drop-off children’s activities! What would you ask me if we sat down for a coffee one day?