MAKE TIME FOR YOU
Finding my way in a world where "sensitivity" isn't always seen as a positive trait has had its challenges. At times it has been lumped together with my depression. It's been named as the source of the blue moods I battle. I know different now. But, as a teenager I could not distinguish the difference, nor did I have the tools to cope with either taxing inner trait.
Lucky for me, I had loving parents, who were aware of their inability to deal with and help me. They did their best to lead me to professionals that could help me gain important coping tools for depression. Intime, I realized the two ARE separate, they do feed each other, but require alternate prescriptions. I do not have the luxury of letting myself go. I can't just quit the meds because my moods are regulated and I am feeling great these days. Nor, can I neglect my inner introvert, who has a sensory (sensitivity) overload at least once a day. Over the past 30 years, I have discovered that finding time for myself, alone, in the silence, is critical to properly caring for my spirit. The part of me, that makes me tick. Sensitivity is my greatest strength and most challenging weakness.
FIND A SPACE
What do I do then for the tender hearted part of me? For me it's finding some time to escape to the fresh mountain air (or the salty sea, but that for another time). I live 20 minutes from Aspen trees and ponderosa pines. For real. Mountains or outdoors are the best medicines for clearing my mind and tending to my sensitive soul. That and a hammock with a war blanket.
YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A PRO
I don't really believe that I'm a professional artist. No way do I rank up there with Monet and Van Gogh (my heroes). I heard in the past year that selling your art qualifies you as a professional. Up until that point, I just thought of my art as a way to release my tensions. They made me happy. So, the way I see it, I am no better at doodling than your average student sitting in class. It is my strong opinion that given the right tools and time for practice, we are all artists. We were all creatives, without fear of judgement, when we were toddlers. We just forget with the weight of time told responsibilities. I can Also say with a surety that one valuable thing I have learned, tools do matter.
TAKE THE RIGHT TOOLS
I wish someone would have shared their secret tool of mass creation with me when I started. I would buy the cheapest tools I could find. Cheaper is never better. Unfortunately. If you really want to get the most out of alone moments you will need 1 bag full of colored pencils from Prisma because they blend. Did you know colored pencils can blend? I didn't until about 3 years ago! No lie! You don't really need more than the basic 12 - 24. You can also find them on Amazon.
You will need art pens by Sakura called Micron pens. I prefer size 3 or 5. They do not bleed through the page and are waterproof if you choose to apply watercolor to your page. (On occasion, during me time, water just finds it way from my face to the page so these pens come in handy).
Please do not neglect the value of a dot journals from Michaels crafts either. I choose Michaels for my journals because the price is right, the size is perfect for any bag, and they have colors to choose from. (They are also perfect for decorating with your favorite vinyl stickers too.) Wow! I am not normally that kind of blogger, but I believe in sharing secrets for the benefit of others, and these are mine. There are studies that show having an attitude of gratitude and journaling are GREAT for your mental health. Don’t be afraid to try it.
TAKE THE TIME YOU NEED
If you can't get away for a couple of hours, because realistically how close are we really to the mountains or the ocean, find a time-out spot. There have been periods in my life where I needed seclusion on a daily basis. I remember as a young mother, I would hide in my walk-in closet, sit on the floor and just breath. That moment of stillness was enough to quiet my mind and the minute to minute demands of motherhood. I remember my 3 year old calling my name through the house until he knocked on the closet door and asked, "Mommy?" To which I replied, "Mommy is having a time-out." This totally made sense to his 3 year old mind.
Even now I have been known to take a minute at the end of my work day, lay on my bed and catch up with the world via social media. That 5-15 minutes helps me to sweep away the busy noises of my classroom, before I begin fulfilling my home duties.
The importance of finding ways to unplug for your mental health is crucial. It is one of the top 10 ten tools to care for yourself, according to Mental Health America. They call this taking care of your spirit. I can testify to the value of a good time-out. I am twice the woman I am and can be when I create space for me amidst all the madness. Afterall, I'm important too. I urge you, make time for you friends. You will never regret it!
I've included links today to make your search for tools, and articles for reference easier. You can fact check me so that you know I am not just making this all up. I don't have the degree. Just the experiences to share.