In all honestly 2017 wasn’t my favorite of years. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t exactly great either.
Yes big and exciting things happened- I got a new job doing what I’ve wanted to do, Bill and I celebrated one year of marriage and living together, I got to see one of my best friends marry the love of her life, two other besties got engaged, Bill and I welcomed another nephew (and our godson!) into the world, we travelled to really amazing places, and created memories that will last a lifetime with friends and family.
But 2017 was also the year that my anxiety came to an all time high. I’m not really sure what triggered it to get so bad, but I realized in the fall that I just couldn’t live like that anymore. This was also around the time that I stopped posting to the blog and only very rarely posted to Instagram. I just needed time to be and to focus on feeling better.
I also felt like I had lost my desire to be creative. My mind needed a reset and some time to clear in order for me to start craving being creative again.
So how did I finally get back my creative flow again?
I started reading again.
I absolutely LOVE reading and come from a big family of readers. However,I stopped because I felt like I just didn’t have enough time. This is a laugh because I had enough time to watch endless seasons of shows on Netflix. Once I started reading again I haven’t been able to put down my books since. There is just something so therapeutic about getting lost in a good book.
I stopped feeling guilty for doing things I enjoy.
This might seem like an obvious, but how many times have you been reading or bingeing Netflix, while sitting there thinking I really should be doing ___ (insert any errand or chore) instead? Well I stopped having those thoughts and just enjoyed whatever I was doing. Taking these moments to really relax helped to also relax my brain, which was seriously needed.
I stopped making as many plans.
For almost 4 years straight Bill and I made weekend plans, many of which included traveling. We were exhausted, and rightfully so. These past few months we tried to only travel/have set plans 2 of the 4 weekends a month. It was amazing! Not only did we feel more rested but we were also excited for the plans we did make. Once again, we just allowed ourselves to enjoy what we were doing. Which leads us to the next thing.
We were more spontaneous.
How can you possibly be creative when everything is always planned? We were finally just going to random restaurants, walking around and exploring, going to exhibits, and just getting out. However, we finally weren’t being forced to leave the apartment if we didn’t want to.
I researched courses to take to help me grow as a creative.
Even just looking up the different possibilities got me excited! I ended up signing up for a digital photography course at the International Center of Photography that starts at the end of January and I cannot wait!
I got organized.
Boy was that a hard one! For as long as I can remember I was that person who was okay stepping over clothes on the floor and described myself as an “organized mess”. In reality though, I was just a mess. I have to say this was the best thing I could have done for my anxiety. We’re currently at the one month point of our apartment being clean, including making the bed everyday. I spent so much time over the years stressing about needing to clean, but now that wasted energy is used to actually be creative.
I started supporting other bloggers again.
Back when I was feeling down on myself, I could only read posts or Instagrams and compare where I was to where they were. But that was SO silly! I realized I just felt that way because I wasn’t confident in my work.I started my blog because I used to love reading other peoples blogs and seeing all of the cool things they were doing and wearing. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m appreciating others blogs for what they are, amazing works of art that took a lot of time and creativity. Plus, seeing others create and thrive gave me that final push to want to create and thrive myself again.
If you read all the way to the bottom of this lengthy post, THANK YOU! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments on this subject and different tips you use to help control your anxiety or get your creative flow again! Do you use these same methods or have you found others that work better for you?