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  • Writer's pictureAlex Rathbun

Creativity in quarantine

I've stopped counting the weeks, but we have all been stuck at home due to COVID-19 for some time now. My previous blog post was released at the beginning of all of this, and to be totally honest, I haven't had much creative juice flowing since then.

I've gotten to thinking... why is this?

Usually when I stop expressing myself creatively, it's because I'm in a busy season and don't have a lot of excess time. But that's not the case right now. In theory I have a LOT of time on my hands, so why have I neglected my creative outlets over the past month?

Some theories:

1. Social distancing and thinking about a worldwide pandemic is stressful. Even though I don't feel outright stressed all the time in this season, I know that my mind and body are working hard to compensate for all of the unknown and scariness of this.

2. With long periods of unstructured alone time, it's easy to mindlessly fill my days with cleaning, scrolling through social media, and doing busy work to avoid pausing to think.

3. I see that others have more time than me (ie. don't have a baby to take care of, etc.) and are doing amazing creative projects that then make me feel intimidated to even begin anything. I can easily question what is the point of even trying.

4. I get a lot of ideas from being around others. I think my mind is usually filled up by gleaning from the good energy of those around me, but that's pretty tricky to do when I'm never around other people.

5. Being home all day makes me see all the things in my apartment that need improving: the never-ending to dos like laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. The slightly less frequent to dos like cleaning the bathroom and clearing out the fridge and buying groceries. And all the things I say I'll do when I have time like mop the floors and get rid of old clothes and organize our storage closet. I then tend to fill my day up with this stuff and push blogging/painting/taking photos to the end of my to do list every day.

But today* I've decided I'm not going to fall into any of these traps! I did a light pick up of the apartment, fed the baby and handed him over to my husband, got me a drink and am now locked up with my laptop, refusing to let the false busyness of this season totally take over my mind!

I thought for a while about what I could write about today, and I realized that most likely a lot of you are in the same boat as me when it comes to doing anything creative. Everything about this time is difficult, so it feels nearly impossible to do something extra on top of just getting through each day. If even just one person can connect with this and relate to the way I'm feeling, then it's worth it to share this!

But let me encourage you today to say no to the hundred distractions, may they be physical or mental, and do that creative thing that sounds fun. I think you'll be happy about it! And maybe, just maybe, you can share it.

*"today" meaning an afternoon last week and I am just now finding the time to finish this post. Whoops.

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