Skin Care and Art: How One Habit Can Generate Change
I know what you're probably thinking--skin care and art?! What?! But, just hang in there with me for a sec...
If you've been following me on social media these last few months (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?!), then you know that I haven't exactly kept it a secret that I've been a little burned out and in a creative funk (gasp). To be honest, my funky ways have made themselves known in almost all aspects of my life, which is kind of a bummer--but I'm not here to bum you out!
You see, one weekend I was pondering why I felt so icky and couldn't shake this lack of motivation. Something in me just whispered, "Start with one thing. One little, tiny thing that you could do to feel better." I thought about it and decided that it would be really refreshing to incorporate a small skincare routine in the morning. It seems so simple, but I thought what better way to start my day after a meditation sesh (which I was already doing) than adding a basic skincare routine.
After perusing the interwebs, I picked out my new cleanser and moisturizer, and started to use them. Then the magic started to happen--fast.
Very quickly I was adding a hair care routine--you know, more than just throwing my hair up into a pony tail. Then I was looking longingly at more items in my wardrobe than just leggings a T-shirt. Soon, I noticed I was excited to start each day because I had a basic routine to kick things off. I felt good and confident about myself, alleviating me of some of my funk.
As the days transpired, I noticed that I slowly got more interested in perusing my art studio. I began to paint off and on, which was better than the long-term "off" mode. Now, after doing this for about a month and a half, I feel stronger and more refreshed. I also feel more accepting that perhaps my creative block was less about being burned out and more about growing out of what I had been creating. My art has changed. What I'm interested in creating has changed. I don't find that to be a coincidence.
So, why do I bring all of this up?
I know so many people that enter these types of blocks--creative or not. They feel depressed or anxious. I sometimes refer to it as a lens or a filter through which we view our everyday lives. It can feel frustrating and suffocating. Through this experience, I offer that perhaps by changing or doing one thing for yourself that would make you happy--it can be suuuuuper small--, that you could soon see other changes in your life. It doesn't happen overnight (I'm still working through my creative blocks, but I feel more energy to do so), but it's worth the effort. It's worth the try.
Think of something (again, it can be really small) you could do that you think would just make you feel better. It doesn't matter if it's something that you've done before or not, this is all about you and it's a completely judgment free zone.
Some options could be:
- showering in the morning instead of at night (or vice versa)
- styling your hair differently
- drinking a glass of water when you wake up
- laying tomorrow's outfit out the night before
- making your bed in the morning
Really, anything that's a basic, low-effort change for you that would improve your life, even nominally. I stress this because I know from experience how drained you can feel when you are in these types of funks and the last thing you want is one more thing to do.
It's also very important that when you are choosing your new habit, it isn't a "should". If you catch yourself saying, "Well, I should be meditating, so I guess I'll pick that," run away. Should implies judgment and again, this is meant to be a judge-free activity. You want to want to do the thing you choose. It'll feel different in your body vs. a "should" activity. It'll feel more easeful. If you catch yourself saying, "I've always really wanted to try journalling," and you feel a little excitement, that's the ticket.
Once you've picked your activity, start as soon as you can! If you need materials, order them or purchase them. Once you have them, set them out and use them how you envision. As you do your new activity, check in with yourself.
Does this activity feel good? Note: it doesn't matter if it is or is not giving you any anticipated health benefits at this point. It just matters if you feel better than you did before you did the activity. If you felt drained after, drop it and pick something else. If you felt more energized and better, keep it up! As you continue this habit, follow any urgings to add other habits or activities. This is a small gateway to a new you. Take advantage of it!
This has been such a powerful exercise for me and I hope this is beneficial for you as well. Let me know in the comments--have you ever done something like this before? How did it go?