Time is so limited nowadays.
I don’t know what happened, but somewhere over the past few years time has suddenly evaporated from under me, especially as a creative. Maybe it’s the digital age we’re in, all the things I have to do now, or maybe it’s just that I have a different perspective than I used to. But time really flies by.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the cycle of eat→school→work→sleep→repeat that we forget to take care of ourselves… which can be described as a one-way ticket to Burnout Avenue. Yuck.
ENTER THIS POST. Since we need a little break every so often but rarely ever seem to ‘have the time,’ I went looking for day-long things to do to give that creative energy a leg-up. And so this handy-dandy list was born! Here are ten activities that’ll nurture your creative soul while giving you a much-needed break.
Are you an adult? NOT TODAY! Take a day to literally play like a child again. Take out the old memories and relive your childhood. Here are some ideas:
- make a pillow fort (for extra points, take a nap in it!)
- pull out some play-dough
- play an old board game
- have a Nerf gun fight
- build a Lego set <- i especially like this one
- color with crayons
Try to do what you do for work… but for fun. You started doing what you’re doing for a reason, didn’t you? Because you genuinely loved your art? Because you wanted the world to appreciate it like you do? Find your reason to keep pushing.
Then, dive into it. Paint something new. Write a short story. Sing songs from your favorite musicals. Don’t worry about being revolutionary or impressive or even good. Draw a bunch of stick people and a sun with sunglasses if that’s what you feel like! Remember that this art isn’t for anyone else.
My favorite thing to do during off days is to write nonsensical fanfiction because I can just write and not worry about anyone else understanding. It can be the most stupid cluster of words I’ve ever assembled, but it’s still a great time.
Here’s the one us girls are all secretly rooting for: take a spa day! I didn’t think home spa things were my jam, but it turns out that even the most low-maintenance girl can use a bit of pampering.
A ‘spa day’ is pretty much anything involving relaxation and treatments so you can go all out here. Warm baths, manicures, face masks… you could even try a massage or spa service place if that floats your boat! If you’re more of a DIYer, try making a recipe or two from this list.
Do something that maybe you’ve taken for granted or haven’t done in a while. I can think of a lot — baking, DIY-ing, drawing with crayons, walking in nature, rollerskating.. the possibilities are virtually endless.
For me, something I savor is… don’t laugh… petting cats. I’d forgotten the simple joy of a purring kitty in my lap. It’s a special treat when I can hold a cat, but the rare times that I have that opportunity, I try to hold onto it. As long as humanly possible. *sheepishly grips squirming cat in her arms*
Plus, you never know, there might be an interesting time when you might happen to witness the brutal murder of a chipmunk committed by a three-pound pile of fur. Fun stuff.
Here’s my personal favorite — go out for coffee with a good friend. It’s aesthetic!! And also yummy!!
More than that, it’s a great time for release. There’s a lot of clarity that comes from conversations with friends. You always leave with a new list of priorities and the big picture in mind.
Listen to your friends too, dudes. Hearing that someone else struggles is comforting in a way. Everybody struggles and everybody needs a break sometimes. We often forget that when all we ever see is the cropped and filtered parts of someone’s life.
So GO. Get that latte or tea or slushie with your friend! and take pictures because seriously that aesthetic 👌
TAKE A HIKE. Uh.. not like the ‘get out of here’ kind of take a hike. Explore someplace new! It doesn’t necessarily have to be a grand Indiana-Jones adventure in the middle of the jungle or forest or anything. Visit downtown, play in the local park, or just walk through your neighborhood.
pst, here’s an extra #6½: Take pictures and document the experience. I didn’t know how much beauty I missed until I started taking pictures of all my adventures. AND IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m learning little by little about how ordinary, everyday items can be magical.
7. be still
For once in my whole life I’m being serious so listen up! Shut down your computer and shred the to-do list. Throw them in a volcano for all I care, they’re not important. Take a day to simply be.
Psalm 37:7 says to ‘be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.’ What if you took a day to wait for His words? No distractions. Just you, God, and a day of meditating in His presence. It sounds like a big undertaking (and I’ve yet to try it), but honestly? I think a day engrossed in the Bible is the most important thing you could do on this list.
Okay, this isn’t the most common of ‘day-off’ ideas, but organizing and cleaning are very relaxing to a lot of people. It’s refreshing to see a room go from messy to orderly. Throwing out the old stuff and cleaning up what’s left… *deep calming breath* What’s not to love about it? Plus, you get to be productive at the same time so it’s a win-win.
Like organizing, this is sort of unconventional. But, for
control freaks planning fanatics like me, planning out a week or even a day is a relaxing break. The process of figuring out steps is stress-reducing because you get to see your weeks in a step-by-step format (read: LISTS). And the workload looks so much smaller from a week-long perspective!
Try! Try ALL THE THINGS! Not even new things, dude! Just! Do! Stuff!
Just sitting at home hoping that your inspiration will come back does NOTHING to help restore creativity. That’s like running out of gas in a car and waiting for it to refill itself. HOW DUMB IS THAT?! You’ve got to find a pump and refuel. That’s what this is all about.*
Burnout stinks. It’s stupid and has killed a lot of dreams in its time. But don’t let it get you down. Your dreams? They’re so much bigger than doubt, because God has instilled dreams in order for you will chase them.
*the hokey pokey was a lie
10 ½. self-care ‘hacks’
In any self-care day idea you pick, there’re a few
rules hacks that’ll help you embrace the day with open arms.
Huh? Using the word ‘hack’ as a noun hasn’t been cool since 2016? Oh well. We’re still gonna call them hacks.
- no technology! zero! zilch! nada!
- break away from your normal schedule and try new things
- ..but implement the things you already love into your day
- look on the bright side of things!
- ask yourself at the end of the day: what are you grateful for?
- journal your thoughts. if you’re not a journal person, just meditate on what you’ve done during the day.
Yayyy!! I’VE WANTED TO POST THIS FOR SO LONG. I have a passion for breaking people out of creative breakdowns because they’re just so underrated but so damaging. But, thankfully, I’m learning how to kick breakdown in the butt, and hopefully, these posts will help you out of any creative off-days you might have.
Penny for your thoughts? What self-care day ideas would you like to try? I’m going out of town this week and I’d love to explore the resort a little bit and maaaybe go take over a playground 😉 What activities have you tried to promote self-care that I haven’t listed? I’d love to hear your ideas!