what self care REALLY is…

 

A while back – maybe earlier this year, maybe before that – I started to notice is that there seems to be some confusion about what self care really is.

Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.

It’s as simple as that, which means it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and it doesn’t have to look a certain way.

(The paragraph above that’s in bold is a definition I came across in a pdf put out by the Student Affairs department at the University of Kentucky.)

Self-care will vary from person to person – and for any one person, it will be different at different times.

Self care can mean being mindful of your diet, getting some exercise, getting enough sleep. It can be going to a meet-up on a favorite topic or spending time at a church service.
It can be cuddling with a special person or pet, listening to music, taking a long hot shower, relaxing in a candle-lit room, dancing for a few minutes in your kitchen, going to a spa, painting your nails, getting your hands dirty in the soil.
It can be sitting on a beach, or under a tree, or on the floor of your bedroom as you read a book or color a mandala.

The list is endless. It can be any or all of those things – and so much more.

And some things for self care involve money…

But there are so many self-care practices and activities that do not.

Self-care is caring for YOU. It’s doing something that tends to you and what you need (on any/all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually).

And there’s no shame involved in caring for and tending to yourself.

No one can give from an empty well, no one can run on fumes, no one can be a constant light without burning out.

Self care doesn’t have to be hard.

It doesn’t have to be luxurious.

It doesn’t have to take loads of time.

Self care can be as simple as pausing throughout your day, relaxing your shoulders, and taking a few breaths.

Self care is anything that involves “any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.”

That’s what self care really is.


if you have restless creativity…

 

 

 

Sometimes I just want to create.

I might have an inner itch to write some fiction. Or it might be a nudge to pick up a paintbrush. Or to pull out some crystals and beads and craft something, anything
But I feel stalled.
Not stalled in the sense of feeling inertia.
It feels more like I’m restless.

My creativity feels restless.

The creativity is there (sometimes so close it’s just right-there) but I can’t seem to settle down, I can’t decide which project to work on, I can’t focus.

And then it’s as though I pace restlessly.

This pacing isn’t literally pacing a room, but it’s mental pacing.

My thoughts jump around as I wonder what creative project to do, or I distract myself online or on Netflix, or I tackle the laundry.

Does this ever happen to you?

This creative restless can actually be part of the creative process.

There are times, of course, when the restless feeling itself can become a way to distract yourself from creating. And there are times when the restless feeling is the signal that it’s time to stop mentally (or otherwise) pacing and get to work.
Being aware of exactly what the restlessness means – and when it might signal a shift needs to take place – is important… and the awareness comes the more you look at and understand your own process.

So how do you know the difference? And what can you do when you’re experiencing restless creativity?

 

Here are a few things to try…

Do an internal check-in with yourself. Is the restlessness really procrastination in disguise? Or is it part of your creative process that, in the big picture, moves you closer to creating what’s wanting to be birthed? Is there something that honestly needs to get taken care of (scheduling an appointment, dealing with a problematic situation, etc.) before you get to work on a creative project?

Get grounded. Take some time to ground yourself and ground your energy. Close your eyes and just breathe quietly for a few minutes. Go outside and touch the earth. Hold one or two grounding crystals (black tourmaline, smokey quartz, red jasper, garnet, and snowflake obsidian are a few). Ground and center your energy so that you feel less restless in general. And then see where your creative energy leads you.

Ask your body. If you’re trying to decide between one or more creative projects to work on, pick one of them and see how your body feels. Do you feel constricted inside, does your body feel pulled-in too much, does your heart sink a bit because you really wish you were working on “that other project over there”? If so, that can be a clue to devote your time and energy to one of the other creative ideas calling for your attention at this time. (But it’s also possible that the feeling could be a form of resistance instead of true guidance – so, again, awareness and honesty with yourself is key.)

Just start. Give yourself a mental push or physical shake, pick up your pen or paintbrush (or put fingers to the keyboard or sit down with crafting/creating supplies) and simply start doing something. You can tell yourself that you’ll this for for just 5 minutes – sometimes putting a (short) time limit on the activity can help your mind overcome the restlessness long enough to start… and then if you continue past that time, it’s icing on the cake! Sometimes starting can be the most difficult step when it comes to creating.


These are just a few things to try – the important thing is to find what works for you.


my novel is available and I’m excited!

My middle-grade novel, In New Harmony, is now available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook – and I’m so excited!

Before long, it should be available in paperback too… but for now, I’m thrilled to have this story out in the world. I got derailed from my fiction writing for a really long time but (finally, finally, finally) it feels like I’m really back to it.

There have been times in the past few years when I thought I was back to it (and I was, to a point, but I was still holding back).

This time, though, I didn’t hold back.

And now In New Harmony is finished and available.

Check it out here.  🙂