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Some of the most memorable conversations of our lives take place with people we don't really know, whose names we can't remember and whose faces we may forget. The words, however, resonate for years to come.
One day about seven or eight years ago, I was feeling the weight of life. It was one of those seasons. You know the times when your car is acting funny, your washing machine is in the fritz, your baby is teething and not sleeping again, somebody at work had one more time to talk to you crazy, family is off the chain as usual, and everything feels like it's falling apart? Insert your own set of dramatics and that's what was taking place in my life at that moment.
I was at a work event and I remember lamenting to a random lady about all that was going on and I asked her: "Does it ever stop?" I was just so tired and stressed that I resorted to seeking a real answer for what should be an obvious reality in life. I remember the lady's face. Her expression exuded immediate contemplation about her own circumstances. She replied: "No... I guess it never really stops. You just have to pray for it to be a while before it's your turn again."
I felt so relieved in that moment. I wasn't alone. Misery loves company.
I developed a level of comfort in the cyclical nature of my life. Whenever a barrage of craziness would come my way, I accepted that is was simply my turn.
However, one recent "down" season seemed to have no end. I didn't see an escape from the toll that external pressures were exerting despite the fact that I was obviously being crushed by the weight. I went from expecting ups and downs to resigning myself to the emotional low. The longer I spent in the pit of depression -- almost accepting that the prolonged season of feeling taken for granted, unappreciated and discarded could last for another ten years. My immediate life path looked so mundane and stale. I became bitter. Angry, even. I didn't feel like my old self. Something was missing.
Once I snapped back and came to from my emotional coma, I realized that a lot of healthy habits were missing from my life. One thing that was lacking was creativity. Putting my finger on this truth was easy. I was stagnant. I didn't have a hobby. I wasn't physically active. I was just going through the boring, draining motions.
In my healing, I decided I was going to say "no" to anything that was hindering my spirit. Following this, I became extremely selective about what could fill my time. If you've read Mahogany Manifesto's story, then you know that I chose to honor my progress in self-care by designing a tool (The Daily Manifesto) that would enable me to stay focused on my goal of never losing myself again.
In addition, I picked up books that had been half-read for years. I started baking with my son. I created new playlists. I started to enjoy life again in little ways.
Honoring and pouring into Creative Wellness gave me my spark back. Now, whenever I am feeling down or on the verge thereof, I reserve a little energy to do something I love or to try something new.
It may seem silly, but in the fall of this year, I started a subscription with Home Chef in large measure because I wanted to make tasty, creative meals without a ton of thought and effort in planning. Cooking is a way to channel one's artistic side. This grocery and meal delivery service made it easier to spice up my menus with healthy meal combinations that I wouldn't normally think of.
Think about it: What do you do to lift yourself out of the cyclical lows of life?
Is Creative Wellness in your self-care toolbox?
Keep two or three activities in your bag of wellness boosting tricks to shake off the blues. Even on good days, keep yourself intrigued with creativity.
Here is a short list of five ideas for Creative Wellness. Pick one and let us know on Instagram!
Speaking of journals...
Order one of our notebooks from the Aligned Collections today to capture your thoughts.