It’s a great misunderstanding that creativity is just for artists, children and “other people, not me!” Because almost every single daily activity can be infused with imagination and a creative spark! The result doesn’t matter, it’s all about the process, really. And the benefits? “A creative act such as crafting can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural antidepressant. Creativity reduces anxiety, depression, and stress… And it can also help you process trauma” states a 2018 Forbes article “Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health”. Dance, draw, journal, doodle, sing, sew, carpenter, cook… whatever your spirit is longing for!
Write down your thoughts
According to the Health Encyclopaedia of the University of Rochester Medical Center: “Journaling can help you manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression. Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by helping you prioritise problems, fears, and concerns”. Writing down your thoughts and feelings will support you in understanding them more clearly. This way you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with your inner landscape, so that you can recognise triggers and learn ways to better deal with them, providing an opportunity for positive self-talk, care and acceptance. You might even get published, who knows…?
We’re all familiar with yoga, whether it is a part of your life, or if you see it as a ‘trend’. But putting the physical part aside for a moment, behind it there is a great deal of psychology, philosophy and moral code, all of which aim at mental and emotional wellbeing (and union with the Absolute, but a happy mind and heart are a good enough start). So, it’s worth trying some concentration techniques (like breathing, focusing on a candle flame, visualisations, etc.). Choose anything that resonates with your vibe - a religious practice, a creative act, hiking, service, tai chi, contemplation… Anything that brings you a sense of here and now and might put you in a flow state.
If you have ever flown on a plane, you must have heard that you need to put your own oxygen mask first before helping others. Well, taking care of yourself is like putting on an oxygen mask. That’s why any sense of guilt or shame for enjoying yourself is a big misunderstanding. By investing in yourself you would be able to show up as a better friend, partner, colleague, and parent. Everyone around you would be grateful for that extra hour of self-care you took. If needed, mark it on your calendar. Nothing fancy or expensive is required, just a daily dose of whatever time available. 10-15 or 30 minutes? Enough to self-massage yourself, to take a hot bath or to read that lovely novel you were looking forward to.
No matter how much ‘me-time’ you have or how good you are at taking care of your needs, you’re a social being. We all need that validation, mutual support and empathy, so keep that in mind next time you pick up your smart phone, try to rely on tech as little as possible and remember that face to face is the best and most natural way to connect – of course when it is possible!
Be MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY well!