Ever think of art, cooking, or crafting as creative self-care? Maybe you should.
31 Days of Seeking Self-Care
👉All month long, on Instagram (@myconcretedove), I’m hosting 31 Days of Seeking Self-Care for family caregivers. Every day, in my feed, stories, or reels, I’ll post about different types of self-care. We don’t get to stop on day 32. Our goal is to explore self-care and discover what works best for you to develop a habit of self-care in the months & years ahead.
👉The home of 31 Days of Seeking Self-Care is on my Instagram feed. Look in the sidebar.
👉Click here to get the 31 Days of Seeking Self-Care Calendar
Think of it like starting a new chapter or, better yet, a new book. If you haven’t opened it yet, it’s time to dive in and discover what self-care practices fit your life, then use this newfound knowledge to establish a habit of self-care yet. You can rewrite the ending by creating a stronger, calmer, healthier you. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you later.
Honestly, I can’t think of a good reason why you wouldn’t start now (more on self-care here). I’m just sayin’…
What do I mean by creative self-care
There are many ways to practice self-care, so be creative. In fact, why not create? On Day 20 of our 31 Days of Seeking Self-Care, we’re exploring the benefits of tapping into your creative side as a form of self-care. Now, don’t poo-poo this one, thinking you’re not a creative person. God created the earth and everything in it, including you. He is creative, and so are we. We just have to discover in what way.
Using your creativity is more about expanding your life and how you live it. Sound good? Great! Yes, we can find ways to be creative and take enjoyment from it, even in a season of caregiving. Maybe you’re feeling like caregiving is all there is for you. I understand. But I assure you, God loves you and has plans for you in this caregiving season and beyond. So be ready – – self-care is important to God’s overall plan for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Be creative with your self-care
Try different things, and you may just discover something hiding inside that brings you joy and blesses others.
- Knit or crochet
- Paint or color (there’s a link below to a free coloring pages download)
- Arrange flowers or plant a garden
- Find interesting recipes and cook or bake them
- Rearrange your wall decor
- Take photos from a magazine and make a beautiful collage
Some of these ideas are the everyday things our mothers and grandmothers did. But guess what? Each one takes creativity, planning, concentration, and eye-hand coordination.
BONUS #1: All great self-care for your mind!
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” – Anais Nin
It’s true that expressing your creativity can bring you joy. Often, it’s about building up courage, the courage to do something new that someone may not like, but you do it anyway. Attempting something creative is for you, not the gallery. There are no mistakes. It’s not about perfection or pleasing anyone else. Although others may be blessed, that’s not always the goal of this activity.
Do not fear mistakes there are none – Miles Davis
The benefits of exercising your creativity
Self-care has many benefits, and pursuing your creative ideas is no different. Whether it’s a coloring page, a new recipe, or a crocheted afghan creativity provides many benefits, such as:
- It is a great stress reliever
- Gives you a break from the overwhelm of caregiving
- Helps focus your thoughts
- Gives you a new perspective on the day
- Provides a sense of satisfaction
- Requires mindful engagement in the activity
- Lifts your mood.
…and so much more.
Success is in the doing, the mindset reset, the moments of whimsy, the momentary escape, and the calm that follows. So, try different things until you find what surprises and delights you. You deserve that experience. Then dive into these regenerative waters.
This diving in part may take practice because you’re not used to taking time for yourself. “Sometimes, we must work at learning to play.” – Julia Cameron, The Artists Way
BONUS #2: Doing something creative is also a way to practice mindfulness because you must pay close attention to your actions (read more on mindfulness).Being present in the act of creating is a reward in itself.
If they are able, consider expanding your creative self-care activity to include your loved one. They can pick colors, create their own piece, contribute to your finished product in some way, or just enjoy watching.
On your own or with your loved one, go and create something today and let us know how it feels in the comments.
Here’s a link to the Spring Blooms Coloring Pages so you can start nurturing your creative side now.
This week, I’m participating in the Inspire Me Monday, Five Minute Fridays and Grace & Truth (Lisa Notes) linkups
Featured image-Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
I’m admittedly confused about how this fits in with the topic chapter. I’m not a big fan of the trend toward self-care. FMF17
Hi Annette. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you will again. This resent set of articles focus on caregiver self-care because many of us don’t do that and become injured and/or suffer from burnout as a result. I do mention “chapter” but, you’re right, my post doesn’t fall into the 5-minute free write “rules” in other ways, too. It was not written in 5 mins, nor is it a free write. But, I do hope family caregivers (past, present, and future) who read it will begin a new chapter of self-care.
“Those who spend 20 or more hours weekly giving care are more likely than others to report loss of sleep, loss of appetite, increased pain, and worsened headaches. Nearly all of these caregivers in decline suffer from depression (91%), including 60% who say their depression is moderate or severe.” (Refer to Caregiver.com to learn more about how a lack of self-care affects caregivers.)
Caregiving is a chapter
that can last for months or years,
replete with love and laughter
and resentful bitter tears
that fall most unexpectedly
and then must be concealed,
not in the name of vanity,
but for the fruit they yield
in the patient’s vineyard,
for most patients are dead certain
that though their lives have gotten hard,
it’s worse to be a burden.
So, caring soul, care for yourself
that tears stay bottled on the shelf.
Thank you for this heartfelt poem. Caregivers must practice self-care but not the frivolous kind because that doesn’t last. The consistent kind is better then, but both the carer and those cared for reap the benefit.
I do find creative pursuits to be soothing–knitting and gardening. During care-giving episodes in my life it was difficult to fined the time. As a grandmother I encourage young woman to prioritize some creative time.
I agree time is sometimes hard to come by when in the throws of caregiving, but prioritizing is important. When we prioritize self-care, the caregiver and the care recipient both benefit. Thanks for commenting.
Such a great post, Suzette. I knew I needed some self-care yesterday, so I finally bought some flowers from Lowe’s and put my hands in the dirt getting them planted in pots. It felt good to do, plus it is rewarding today (and hopefully throughout the summer) to see them grow and bloom.
Absolutely! There’s something to be said for getting your hands dirty. The hard work, concentration, and the ongoing fruits of our labor are all benefits to the mind, body, and soul. Enjoy your garden and thanks for commenting.