It has been about two weeks since the last podcast as I was forced to take a break.
Everyone has a different process and experience with creating art. The more stressed I am, the more my process disintegrates until I am unable to create anything of quality.
My favorite motto has always been that inspiration comes from a sufficient amount of laziness. I say this with tongue firmly in cheek, but I indeed need to have rest and happiness in my life to write. My process for poetry does not follow this rule. When my life hits the absolutely deepest pit it can possibly descend to, I write poetry.
However, if I want to write words that do not reek of despair, retain some form of logic, and do not rhyme – rest and happiness are mandatory.
So, I asked myself a question:
How do I enter a state that is conducive to creation and art?
During this week of enforced recovery I utilized five techniques:
- Enough sleep and rest: After the week of enforced relaxation ended, I realized some critical things. Rest is crucial. No one can function on an empty tank. You are not a robot. If you do not put fuel in, you will sputter out.
- Exercise: Moderate stress with external means. Exercise utilizes the fight or flight response and rids the body of hormones that cause anxiety. Exercise is especially necessary during this quarantine. No one can stay shut in forever without losing their mind. Get fresh air and sunlight. Our bodies are not designed to be stuck inside enclosed spaces for weeks or months at a time. I made sure to go outside often, even if it was just to take my kid to the park.
- Herbal teas: I did some research, then put myself on a regimen of herbal teas ( sleepytime tea with chamomile and valerian). The combined herbs of chamomile and valerian are natural remedies that assist in regulating stress.
- Me Time: Doing things that add joy to your life is important. If you are not, is it any wonder you are stressed? This is part of refilling your tank. I love reading books, watching Chinese dramas, and listening to music and motivational speeches. When I neglect to do things that make me happy, staying strong becomes extremely difficult. Me time is a must.
- Creating a happy space: Creating an environment where you can thrive is also critical. Do you hate your surroundings? Do you have at least one place that you can let down your guard and relax? If you do not, create one. Whether that place is your room or a closet, you must have a space you call your own. You need to be able to enter that space and feel a sense of peace. If every place you enter feels like a warzone, it is no wonder you are stressed! Prioritize creating a safe space for your peace of mind.
Life can feel as though it is smothering you. Self-care is mandatory during these times. Make sure to do something for yourself, even if it is something small. Doing this is essential for your peace of mind.