Three Gifts to Give Your Creative Self

I've always looked forward to this time of year. My typical life speed is a bit too fast to be sustainable, so being forced to slow down and embrace the gentle easing into winter actually feels like a treat. I used to get annoyed at how drudgingly slow things seemed to shift in the cold weather here, but now, I see it as a built-in recovery period for myself, so I can tend to some of the things I've been skipping past throughout the year.

Maybe you're with me on that, but if you're not this post might help! With December marking the end of a ridiculously difficult year, I think it's high time we gave ourselves some gifts: tis the season for gift giving, and I'll say it -- I think you should start with yourself! These gifts will not only help your creative self, but they'll lower your stress, ease a bit of your strain, and hopefully bring a smile, too.

Here are three simple but powerful gifts you can give yourself to end the year:

  1. Time. Yep, you saw this one coming! But seriously, if you can't carve out a few minutes for yourself at the end of a year as hard as this, when will you? Exactly how bad does the year have to be to afford yourself a handful of extra minutes? Don't be the person who keeps waiting for things to get even worse before you take care of yourself.

Whether you spend it making art, sleeping, dancing, laughing with your kids, or even just processing the year - you deserve it. Take it!!

  1. A mental and emotional 'get out of jail free' card. I'm fully taking advantage of this one -- this means that when I look back on certain experiences of the year, rather than thinking "ugh, I let that get out of hand", or "I didn't do that exactly as I wanted", I'm going to think "hooray for me, I survived, learned, and I'm still here!"

Try it out. Are there ways you feel like you've sort of...let yourself down this year?

Maybe you didn't complete the work you wanted to. Or you snapped at your partner too much. Or you fell off the exercise wagon. You could feel like crap about this stuff, or you could take the long view and remind yourself that you're a living, breathing soul who is bound to trip up. Particularly in a year where we're all cattywompus.

Give yourself the gift of a free pass. Learn from your stuff (and apologize to your partner if you feel you need to!), but let that stuff go and chalk it up to experience. This is not only a way to forgive yourself, but it's a surefire path forward to a fresh start next year. (Personally, I've been giving myself the gift of more photography time, which resulted in winter pic above!) 

  1. A chance. Here's where we put on our big people pants: I think we all need to give ourselves the gift of hanging onto that big dream. 

Let me explain. This year has done a number on all of us, and the result on my end has been slowly accepting this new way of life. It sucks for everyone, but this is necessary stuff!

And from a work perspective, it means that I've felt like instead of chasing BIG dreams, I've folded them up again and again, so they can fit within the world we're in. 

Here's where we need to remember our bold selves. One of the most important gifts we give to ourselves this year might be to prepare ourselves to open that big dream back up again. We can't do everything we want to do right now, but this too shall pass. We will return to a place where your goals have space again, and you want to make sure that you haven't gotten so downtrodden and constricted in your thinking that it's still possible for you. You want to keep that dream as big as possible.

Do you read me? While it's important to allow yourself the natural transition to 'creative survival mode' we've all been in, I think we all need to remember that we are very powerful creative souls, so the time will come again to make some of that big magic happen. Gift yourself some of that magical brainstorming, big-visioning, dream-building kind of work -- whether it's journalling, pinteresting your goals, staring off into space and imagining yourself someplace delightful.

Above all, remember: you don't need to wait for bad or difficult things to happen to treat yourself to these gifts. But hey, since we're all in it this year, now is really the perfect excuse to start these habits, right?

Let's make it worth it.

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