1. A sense of accomplishment - Creating something new makes me feel like I achieved something. Whether its a quick sketch, an organized to-do list, or a full on craft, making something, especially when I don’t have to leave the house or even get out of bed, is a way to make me feel motivated even when motivation is low.
2. A sense of community - The first time I was depressed I knew I needed to find a way to get creative. That day, in the mail, came the local community education guide. I signed up for my first woodworking class and immediately was surrounded by some of the most supportive, creative, and excited people. They checked in on my projects, checked in on me when I was feeling blue, and were supportive about my goals and learning.
3. A renewed purpose - I love my job, but when a client is being particularly pesky, it helps to have a creative project of my own to rely on.
4. A reason to learn - When you’re out of school, you so infrequently get an opportunity for organized learning. When you give yourself a challenge, you’re giving yourself a distraction, a purpose to take time to explore something new.
5. A form of meditation - Getting in the zone lets you distract yourself from whatever might be making you blue, whether you know what it is, or not.
…just getting started?
Here are my tips for you:
1. Start small. When depression is in full swing, sometimes even getting out of bed is a struggle. If you choose too big of a project, you’re more likely to get overwhelmed, give up, or get distracted. Whether it’s writing a quick journal entry, sketching a quick doodle, or working on a Simplekit- choosing something that you can start and finish in one sitting will give you an instant sense of accomplishment.
2. Try something new. Scan your local papers, advertisements, and schools for community Ed programs. These programs tend to be affordable. Learning something new is a great way to kick-start a new passion with some guidance.
3. Start with a kit, book, or tutorial. If not knowing where to begin is holding you back, start with something that has a step by step guide. This will keep you focused and make it much easier to finish the project. I love miniatures, so my go to is the Modern Miniatures here: Miniature Kits
4. Make time for it. Even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes a day, hold yourself accountable, and give yourself the time to create.
5. Remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Iterations are part of the process. Don’t get caught up on details, just let your mind relax and enjoy the moment to create.