Creatives, we are in a weird space right now.
We all have the friend that learned six languages, started a blog, read a book, wrote a book,and fostered a baby penguin at the local zoo in the time the we binged Tiger King on Netflix.
We also have the friend who seems to be more zen than ever before. Since quarantine began she has taken home gold in every category of the Self-Care Olympics. And to add insult to injury, her skin is glowing, her wifi is uninterrupted and her kids do their homework without complaining.
When it comes to the Corona Virus lockdown it seems almost impossible not to think,
Am I doing this all wrong?
Have I forsaken the blessing of this “extra time” I’ve been given?
So many creatives feel under extreme pressure to produce right now. Whereas others of us are hyper creative one day and completely blocked the next.
I want to encourage you that this ebb and flow is (and always has been) the creative process. Even outside of times of crisis we experience peaks and valleys in our spark, our motivation and our levels of productivity. It’s not an obstacle, it’s the way.
So here are five tips to help you make it through the Corona Crisis as a Creative with your dignity and sense of self-worth still intact:
1. Follow your intuition
If you are feeling the flow— the spark of inspiration— go after it even if it’s a strange time of day for you to create. Trauma induces disruptions in schedule. So rather than trying to stuff your creativity into a box, go with the proverbial flow and create if and when you feel called to.
You cannot do this wrong.
If your body is signaling to you that you need a period of rest and recharge post haste—- respond accordingly. You’re not wrong. If seeking out every new project or form of expression right now lights your soul on fire — you are also not wrong. In fact, you may enjoy my recent article called 5 Ways to Make the Corona Pandemic Your Most Creative Time Yet and if the very idea of it all feels overwhelming-– you are not wrong. And you are certainly not alone.
2. Do you, boo
Do not allow the Internet to bully you into feeling like you have to rest more or create more than you intuitively feel necessary.
Somehow we have successfully grasped the concept of a “highlight reel” outside of times of world crisis. But perhaps since we have even more time available to judge and criticize ourselves these days we forget that we are all going through a wildly uncertain time.
Some of us are coping by doing home-improvement projects daily. Others of us are coping by checking in on those we love. Some of us are coping by sharing beautiful and motivating content on the inter-webs. Some of us are taking it minute by minute.
And while all this is true, all of us are having moments during this crisis where we don’t feel like we’re coping well at all. But these moments do not define us.
We are all going better than we realize.
None of this works unless you are listening to your own voice more intensively than all of the influences around you.
Disengage momentarily. Step back. Check in with you… if only once a day for five minutes.
Allow this mini time-out to help you navigate the moments ahead, be they restful or productive, knowing that whatever you decide, it ok.
4. Redefine success
At every phase of life it’s important to define success clearly for yourself. It is the most accurate way of measuring if you are on track toward growing into the person that you want to be.
If you are constantly fighting the feeling that you are failing in this period perhaps it is time to redefine success for this particular phase of your life.
This phase where so many unexpected things occurred.
This phase where your best laid plans went awry.
This phase where we’ve never been more aware of the people around the planet are both struggling and valiantly fighting against his crisis.
A successful day looks different today than it did six weeks ago. I invite you to accept this truth and discover for yourself what a successful day looks like right now.
Is it speaking more words of kindness to yourself then you did the day before? Is it journaling about creative ideas? Is it stepping outside to breathe some fresh air? Is it slowly deleting the “guilt” out of your guilty pleasures?
What is success right now? You get to decide.
5. Celebrate your wins
Once you redefine success for yourself, you create more reasons to feel great about how you’re handling this crisis and fewer reasons to be crippled with guilt.
Celebrating doesn’t necessarily have to do a throwing a party, going to a restaurant or making a large purchase (although I suppose the latter Is technically a quarantine approved activity.)
What I’m truly getting at, though, is allowing yourself to feel better about yourself. Consciously thinking: Great job, Sid, that was a really great post you just shared. Or
“Well done, Sid, for simply enjoying your time watching style hauls on YouTube rather than chastising yourself for “wasting time.””
Celebration in this sense is simply allowing yourself the space— the right — to feel good about yourself, your choices and your actions.
You are allowed to feel good about how you have decided to spend your time during this crisis.
Looking Forward. Looking Back.
I think when we look back at this weird time we will see it with much more clarity than we can right now.
Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.
But I hope that April 2020 will be a time that we can look back at knowing that what we created and what we produced, regardless of the quantity, was enough.
Because I assure you, friend. You are enough.
Did this resonate with you? If so, drop a quick comment below and let me know!