In my hibernation + healing era
Re-learning my relationship to productivity, creativity and self-actualisation + why I took a blog hiatus
Hey, It-Girls, how is 2023 treating you so far? It's April, Spring has officially begun and you may or may not have noticed a distinct lack of the usual 'new year, new me' content that I tend to do at the start of each year. In fact, you may have realised that I haven't actually blogged at all this year! Why, you may ask? Well, I've been in my 'healing' era.
If you're signed up as part of the It-Girls Club, you would have seen me talk about this back in January's newsletter but at the start of the year, I felt completely lost. Like most of you, I spent the start of January making a vision board, designing my 2023 Notion Planner and throwing myself head-first into setting goals for the new year. Yet when I really paused to think about what I wanted for the next 12 months, nothing was resonating. I felt myself growing fatigued with seeing the same repetitive productivity and wellness content and couldn't even remember what had sparked me to create this blog in the first place. So subconsciously, I took a break from producing and decided to start my new year officially in the Spring. What better time is there for new beginnings than when nature starts to bloom again? In the meantime, I set myself a challenge to re-define my relationship to productivity, re-discover my inspiration and find my authentic creative voice again.
In this blog I want to share some of the tactics I've been using to reconnect with myself these past 3 months but first, let's set the mood with a new playlist!
Set the mood: flowers blooming, sunlight leaking through the window, slow afternoons spent lounging, watering your plants
Reading more books
Whenever I feel like I've lost my way, I find myself again between the pages of a thought-provoking book. If you're currently in your 20s like I am, you'll probably be familiar with that internal battle between wanting to embrace your 'reckless youth' and also trying to set yourself up for future success. I'm constantly telling myself I have all the time in the world to worry about the future, yet the moment I see someone else reach another of those 'adult' milestones (promotions, marriage, kids etc), the panic sets in and I feel painfully 'behind'. Not to mention the paralysing feeling that comes from having so many different potential pathways yet having no idea which to pursue first or how to even begin.
After seeing a video on TikTok which talked about the importance of gaining 'identity capital' in your 20s, I picked up a book called The Defining Decade by Meg Jay which is all about navigating this pivotal time in our lives. I'm barely a few chapters in but already I'm feeling the spur of motivation I've so desperately been seeking these past few months.
I also re-started my Audible membership and bought The Creative Act by Mark Rubin which I've been listening to every morning before I start my work day. It's all about living, breathing and embracing the way of life that is, being a creative. It inspired me to start my very first art journal which has been intimidating but also the perfect outlet for trying to find that creative spark again!
There's a book out there for pretty much every stage of our lives and I feel like there's no better way to reset your mind than with a good read that challenges the way you've become accustomed to thinking.
Trying new mediums
Something else I've been doing to find new inspiration and tap into my creativity is trying out new mediums and getting comfortable being a beginner again. Often when we start creative pursuits, we label ourselves according to the mediums we feel most comfortable or confident with. We call ourselves 'painters' or 'writers', 'bloggers' or 'actors' but something I've realised recently is that setting all these labels can actually be pretty stifling. By labelling ourselves we end up creating all these invisible boundaries, rules and limiting beliefs for what we can produce and who we can become. Then we wonder why we feel creatively blocked and lacking ideas. So this year I've been really challenging myself to try new ways of creating that I previously told myself I couldn't/wouldn't do. I've always been into sketching and illustration, so I've recently been teaching myself to paint which is actually so much harder than I thought. Also while I've taken a break from writing, I've been dabbling with the idea of voice memos to record my thoughts in the moment and to get more comfortable with the sound of my own voice. There's something freeing about starting out as a beginner and not having the pressure to be perfect and nail it all the first time around. It just frees you up to truly experiment and learn something new about yourself.
Switch up your routine
Finally, I've been really trying to switch up my routine lately and making time to get out of the house and socialise! This time of year is usually when I'm the least active. I honestly feel like I spend half the year hibernating and waiting for summer, but there's definitely something to be said about life's ability to inspire art. If you're trying to create something new or interesting but you're living life on autopilot, it's safe to say you'll probably have a hard time producing something great. Whether it's going to a gig to discover a new music artist or trying a new restaurant with someone you've just met, it's the new life experiences that usually end up sparking that idea you've been waiting for.