*originally published January 11, 2023
New here? Glad to have you!
Let's start at the beginning.
There is a reason that I talk about creativity and share this passion with anyone and everyone that will listen. It’s part of my story.
If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you know that I took a major leap of faith and quit my day job of 15 years to go all in on my own creative arts studio, Ply Studio, in early 2021.
It was a mind-numbingly hard decision for me to make to leave my day job.
I actually loved what I did as a senior manager and learning specialist for a great organization that was like a home away from home for me.
I was well paid and well regarded. But my gut was telling me that I just had to try - to get going and really pursue my passion. And stop being grumpy with those that I would read about or listen to for being brave in their own ventures.
Did I know what my passion was? You bet I did!
I wanted to devote more time to the act of making things by hand, to being creative because every time I did, I would feel better. I wanted to share this passion with others in the hopes they would feel better too. I wanted to teach them what it was like to drop their screens and get off their laptops and pick up something tactile.
The thing is, years ago I didn't know exactly what to call all of this. In fact, I wasn't sure that all of THIS was even a THING. I had a hard time even differentiating it from a hobby. Often when I spoke about my creative outlets, people were interested but also dismissive.
Now, years later, I am increasingly laser focused on this topic that I am still so passionate about.
So, what is it?
Basically, I define creative wellness as that feeling we get when we put down our screens and pick up something tactile, creative, and artsy. These things actually slow us down, lower our heart rates, temper our worries and anxieties and might even make us feel happy.
An impressive body of research has been emerging for a bunch of years now that suggest it’s true, getting creative through music, paint, drawing, textiles, creative writing and more is good for us. If you’re interested in this research, I have linked it up in a few of my blog posts in the last few years. You can just search for the term ‘creative wellness’ on this blog and you’ll find it.
Some people talk about art therapy. Engaging in creative activities can be used as a form of therapy to help individuals cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
There are other definitions, too:
Creative wellness = using creative activities as a form of self-care and personal growth.
Creative wellness = tapping into our inner selves, expressing ourselves, and finding a sense of fulfillment and well-being.
Creative wellness = creativity as an outlet to improved physical well-being and can even address chronic health conditions.
Why is creative wellness so important to me?
One of the ways that I grounded myself in order to stay well (before outright quitting my job) was to keep creating stuff by hand.
Whenever I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I would reach for my knitting.
Eventually I needed more than a 10 minute break to knit. I sought permission to take breaks or sabbaticals from work to try to recover the creativity that was often being sucked out of me in corporate culture.
I would pick up my fibre art during these breaks to centre myself. It made me happy and kept me well.
Ply Studio is built on this premise. To put down our screens and pick up our craft. To connect, create and be happy.
And now I’m creating a bunch of other products premised on the theme of creative wellness. Oooh, curious? Soon.
But, you want to know what the concept of creative wellness can do for you TODAY, right?
First, Grab my creative wellness workbook if you don’t yet have a copy.
Let's look at page 4. Use the prompts on that page to reflect back and gaze forward. Journal your insights. Don't be scared. I'm not asking you to become a journalling master. I AM prompting you to consider the act of writing some things down in order to tap into some creative reservoir you likely have burbling below the surface.
Next, consider walking. Can you take a brisk morning walk every day for the next week? Even if it’s -20? It’s amazing what a little bit of outdoor, fresh air will do for us. For me, it gets me in the right frame of mind for the whole rest of the day. It helps to start tapping into my creativity for the day. It makes me feel lighter and more capable of taking on everything that is waiting for me when I get back to my desk or studio.
Third and final idea for today ... make something. You don’t have to have an easel and a set of paints handy. Try:
I’ll send you off with those for now. If you want to know more, grab the workbook, peruse the rest of this website, read other blog posts, send me an email to let me know if you tried any of these things.
Yours in creativity,
- Carmen xo
p.s. Sign up for one of my FREE live virtual masterclasses in February HERE (and I'll give you 5 strategies to help you find your creative spark TODAY).
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