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  • Writer's picturewhatpennymade

Creative Self Care

Hey there, friends.

I hope you're well. Staying healthy. Keeping sane.

The World, amiright?

Sometimes this crazy ride around the sun makes you wanna hurl- but there’s no stopping it to get off.

So what do we do when the world gets to be too much? Lots of people will try to tell you what you should be doing;

“Buy stock! Sell stocks! Stockpile supplies! Don’t hoard toilet paper! Wear a mask! Stay inside! Get some fresh air!”

Lots of people will tell you how you should be feeling. “Chill out! Don’t take this lightly! Have faith in humanity! Everyone for themselves!”

It can get a little much, to be honest.

I‘m here to tell you that however you’re feeling right now, is ok. And so long as you’re not endangering yourselves or others, whatever you’re doing to get yourself through this is also ok.

There are lots of different ways people cope, and we all require different kinds of self care at different times. Here are a few approaches we can take to coping with the state of the world. Take what you like, if it resonates with your own experience.

We Can Rage

There’s a lot to be upset about. You have permission to be upset. You have permission to be angry. And I hereby grant you license to get those angry feelings out in the open. Bombard your representatives with all the angry emails you can muster. Write that letter to the editor. Pull out that journal and list your grievance until you’re out of pages. Assemble your art supplies and allow your rage to take shape with paint and paste and googley eyes.

This is a perfectly healthy coping strategy.

We Can Run

The world is a lot to handle right now. It is perfectly acceptable to indulge in a little -or a lot if- escapism. Disappear into a novel and don’t return until dinner. Binge-watch that television series. All of it. In one sitting. Stick your nose in your laptop and write a about a time and a place where you’d rather be. Let your artwork be a happy place, where you don’t have to think about how the work’s a shambles, for a few hours at least. The world will be here when you get back.

This is a perfectly healthy coping strategy.

We Can Rest

There’s a lot of rhetoric around how we should be using this imposed downtime to be extra productive. That we should take advantage of this weird Limbo period to write our Magnum Opus, to turn out our Next Great Work. If you wanna ramp up your hustle to crank out work, then awesome. Go for it. Write your King Lear.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself paralyzed by the general anxiety that seems to permeate the air nowadays, I want you to know that this is also the perfect opportunity to rest. The universe has literally forced you to stop your normal life. Maybe slowing down is exactly what you need to do to get through this. Go ahead and stay in your pajamas. Binge-watch that tv show. Leave that pile of laundry. Sit in your comfy chair and nap. All day long. And don’t even feel bad about it. This is a perfectly healthy coping strategy.

We Can Reach Out

Some of us have a difficult time asking for help. And it can be easy to see our problems as small compared to the struggles of others right now. Neither of these are good excuses to not reach out. You need toilet paper? Ask. You need someone to pick up medicine for you? Ask. You just need to cry and whine about how hard things are? Call your mom. We never need to carry the craziness of the world alone.

Maybe you’re doing just fine. Great! This is also not a good excuse to not reach out. Check in with your friends and family. Maybe they’re the ones out of toilet paper. Maybe you can come to the rescue with a grocery delivery, or a shoulder to cry on.

Accepting and offering to help are perfectly healthy coping strategies.

We'll get through this. Hang in there.

How are you coping at home? Have you taken up new hobbies? Started nightly virtual dinner parties? Found the perfect napping spot?

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