Now we’re in, arguably, the busiest time of the year. The time when our own needs take a back seat to everything we do in order to celebrate our family, religious, and cultural celebrations. With that, the time that we usually keep for ourself and our creativity is gobbled up by shopping, cooking, visiting, parties, etc. While that’s a nice reconnection to everything we hold dear and a way to celebrate friends, families, and traditions, it’s so important to make sure you protect creative time for yourself. As the saying goes, if you don’t fill your own well, you won’t ever be able to fill anyone else’s.
So, easier said than done, right?
- Set Boundaries:
If you’re not proactive about this and show others that you’re serious – they will never respect your wishes in this. If you don’t protect creative time, no one else will. Set clear boundaries – even if they’re super small at first.
- Schedule the time into your planner:
Don’t skip this. Treat your creative time, as you would lunch with a dear friend, or an important meeting with a client.
- Practice Daily:
Sound impossible? Commit to 5 minutes a day where you disconnect and draw, write, sing, dance, whatever strikes your fancy. Start small and build that muscle. It sounds harder than it actually is, and once you start doing it, you’ll appreciate it more and become more and more protective of it.
- Take extra time on your shopping trips:
Even if it’s just a half hour longer, stop at a park, sit on a bench, even just sit in your car and be silent. But I mean, SILENT, no radio, no phone, no social media. Bring a paper and pencil and jot down thoughts, write a ditty, a poem, whatever. Sketch the bird in the tree. It’s not so much about what you do, but just make sure that it’s disconnected from everyone, everything and no cheating.
- Covered in kids? Color!
Even if they’re not your kids. We sometimes find ourselves in family gatherings. Use the children’s natural tendency to be a little self centered to your advantage. Pull out the paper, crayons, colored pencils and get on the floor with the kids. Buy some coloring books at the dollar store – Walmart has some great coloring books recently. Very mandala/zen -ish.
- Learn something:
I’m constantly learning. I find it so important, and the older I get, the more important it becomes. It doesn’t have to be anything that will further your life, career, self… Just learn. Take a music theory class, learn about a math, sketching the human hand – there are all kinds of free courses out there. (Check out Kahn Academy, Coursera, etc.) and if you have a couple of bucks to spare, Lynda.com is awesome! Right now I’m learning how to create astrological charts and it’s amazing. I’m using online resources, and digital books and it’s blast.
Sing? Go sing at a nursing home. Paint? Volunteer at a community beautification project. There are tons of volunteer opportunities and I’ll bet you can find something that you love to do that will help others and there’s no better feeling than that. You’ll protect creative time while doing good for others.
Ok, meditate, but sometimes I get into bed, turn on the fan and do a relaxation meditation that may or may not culminate in a nap. 😉
New moon rituals, full moon rituals, candle rituals, water rituals. Make up your own, honor your spirit by taking the time to connect to it. (I offer a monthly manifestation kit, if you’re interested).
So, there are nine tips to get you started. Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear from you!