#mumlife,  Crafty Extras,  Mental Health

Creativity is my self-care

Creativity helped me get through my last few months of my second pregnancy as I had severe hip and back pain which restricted my walking. In particular crochet, whenever I felt frustrated, anxious or depressed I would sit and crochet. My mind would slow, and my thoughts would only be on what my hands were making. The pattern, the stitches and when it got a bit repetitive, the TV as I stitched.
It has to be said though, I am not artistic. I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and I’m so average at colouring in it’s embarrassing! But I am creative. I can crochet, I can knit (a little), I can do cross stitch and I am always willing to try a different way of making things.
Doing something creative is so good for the soul. It’s good for those moments when you feel like nothing is in your control and in particular your brain. You can pick up a pencil and colour in a beautiful picture, you can pick up a hook and crochet a blanket. You can control what you are making and that eases the mind. For me it eased my anxiety as it let me feel I was in control of something again.
Creativity is certainly something that comes with practice overtime. Creativity does take patience and practice. But the benefits of creativity are huge! It’s been proven that spending time being creative can decrease anxiety, improve mood, decrease depression, boost self-confidence, help prevent Alzheimer’s, improve brain function and is a form of stress relief.

Don’t let the fear win if the idea of getting creative is a bit daunting to you and gives you more anxiety than it should cure, there are plenty of different crafts that you can try.

Start small. Get a blank piece of paper and start doodling, start writing your name in different styles, and colour them in. Try and let go of the idea of perfection. Colour outside the lines, mess up and cross it out. Download a free colouring-in printable, there are tonnes available online.
If the thought of a blank piece of paper is a bit scary then grab some magazines, start cutting and put together a little vision board, or inspiration board.
I’ve written up a little list of some and by no means all of the creative ventures you can explore as a way to give yourself some self-care time.
– Painting your nails – remember it’s ok to start small!
– Colouring in
– Scrapbooking
– Crochet
– Knitting
– Cross Stitch
– Sewing
– Quilting
– Weaving
– Felting
– Painting
– Drawing
– Puzzles
– Doodling
– Finger knitting
– Loom knitting
– Cooking or Baking
– Dancing
– Singing
– Playing an instrument
– Pottery
– Jewellery making
– Writing

Give yourself a gift today and MAKE 15 minutes for yourself to practice some self-care. Whether it’s creative or not. Put yourself first for once.
Making self-care a priority is not selfish, it’s a basic habit for wellbeing. Listen to yourself and your body and do what it tells you. Trial and error is the way of finding your self-care habit that serves you best. You might hate crochet, find it too fiddly and not relaxing at all, but you might excel at painting or colouring in.
Just give it a go. You deserve it.
Once you find the activity that calms your inner critic, you will enjoy carving out time for yourself.

Talk to your partner about your need for self-care time because chances are they need it too. Take turns! I know 2016 was hard on me, but it was just as hard, if not harder on Jezz as he bore the brunt of my moods, my anger, my worry and my depression.
He filled in the gaps I just couldn’t fill, he brought home the bacon and supported my need to start my own business & everything I needed to do for that.
I have no doubt he is well overdue for some self-care time.  Creativity isn’t his way of finding calm in his mind or soul though. I once tried to show him how knitting works and he just didn’t get it. But he does have a fantasy basketball league that he escapes to & that is his way of clearing out his mind and calming his soul.

Everyone needs an outlet! GO AND FIND YOURS.

I am the coffee-loving, crocheting Mum of Kate Made It. I am a stay at home Mum to 4 mini-humans, and I crochet every day to save my sanity and give me purpose outside of being a Mum. If I can spend all my days fondling yarn, then I will be happy! I hope you find something here to treat yourself with, either yarn, an accessory, or a pattern. Happy Hooking and Yarn Fondling!

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