Creating when you’re stressed?

Creating when you’re stressed?

We still have one more week of school, but the exams are over. So, I finally have some time to be more creative!

To be clear, we never stop being creative, even when we are studying or working. We are always gifted with some level of creativity. However, depending on the environment, that creativity finds more or fewer ways of expression. One friend recently wished me time to “be creative again”, and I almost teared up: I realized just how much I missed the time to create. So, now that I have time, what is the result?

At first, nothing. I was so tired that I just needed a few days to stop. This is ok. If you have been stressed, the first step is to take a real break. For me, it was lonely walks by the fields and long naps, without my phone or any other distraction. Whatever that is for you, it has to be real rest: no browsing YouTube (which I do too often!) or Netflix. Sure, watching videos or listening to music is nice. But if you really want to recharge, you need real quiet. It may feel uncomfortable at first (it sometimes does for me) but it’s totally worth it!

Next, allow yourself to play. Doodle random shapes on a notebook page. Stack toilet paper rolls and boxes on top of each other to create towers. Take a walk and look for small details, like the bees on a flower or the colors of the candy wrappers on the floor. Play with the things around you. It doesn’t matter what the result looks like. The point is to give your mind the room to find new patterns. If you had 10 bad ideas, you will be more relaxed to find 10 more ideas. And who knows, maybe some will turn out to be brilliant!

I took these simple steps this weekend. In the end, I had a few pages of scribbles, noticed the wildflowers, and several lines of random word pairings. Was most of that stuff anything special? No. But from it may come more ideas, which in turn may lead to a new project. You never know where the road takes you. But if you don’t step on it, you will never move anywhere.

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