Have you been accused of being like a butterfly? Told that you seem to flit from thing to thing? Yeah, me too. It took me a long time to realize that that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being a neophile (someone who loves the novelty of trying new things) actually can be a good thing. It can even be a healthy way to use creative exploration as self-care.
We’ve all heard the saying, “A Jack of all trades is a master of none”. What was once meant as a compliment has become a disparaging remark. And I think that’s why those of us who flit from one creative outlet to another get a bad rap. Well, I believe it’s time we embrace our butterflyness (Yes, I just made that up!). And utilize our creative exploration as a powerful force for self-betterment.
Embrace Your Creative Curiosity
I have a hunger for exploration of new things that could rival a two-year-old’s curiosity. I’ll admit that I used to have problems finishing things because of this very trait. I have since learned to finish something before I move on to anything new. I learned to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after achieving a goal or successfully learning something new. And in turn, my family and friends began to cheer me on.
Creative Exploration as a Type of Self-Care
In order to understand how to utilize your inner butterfly, we have to define what self-care is and what it is not.
- Time taken to recharge your mental batteries
- Activities devoted to refreshing and restoring your mind and soul during stressful periods in your life
- Knowing you have a limit to how much you can give to others before you need to take care of yourself
- Knowing when to say, “No”.
- Nurturing yourself so you can be a better wife, mother, daughter, etc…
- Exploring your untapped potential
- A way to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
Self-Care is Not:
- Always putting yourself before others
- A selfish act or being selfish
- Neglecting your responsibilities
- Doing something for yourself even though it may put you or others in a bad spot financially, emotionally, physically, or mentally
- A bad thing
Exploring new crafts, hobbies, or art forms can be an amazing tool for self-care because it facilitates quiet reflection. Studies have also shown that participating in these activities is great for stress-reduction and improving cognitive function.
Ways to Use Creativity as Self Care
And so many of them can be used as a way to relax and recharge the mind. A word of advice though, don’t worry about being good at whatever you choose to explore. Just enjoy the process. If you find it is causing you stress learning whatever craft, art, or hobby you are trying; move on to something different. We all can’t be good at the same things. Trust me, I gave drawing a good go before I said, “yeah this isn’t for me”.
Activities for Self Care
- Coloring: There is a reason this was hugely popular recently. It is very relaxing and doesn’t require a huge amount of talent.
- Pottery: I actually took a course in college for pottery. And even though I wasn’t that good at it I still enjoyed the whole process. It was extremely fun and a great way to calm the mind.
- Jewelry Making: This is another craft you don’t have to be super talented to do. Pick a simple project like a necklace or bracelet and let your creativity flow. And once you’re done you have a beautiful keepsake.
- Herbalism: It may seem like a weird one to include on this list. But herbalism can be very relaxing and can help you create natural products for your home and family. I like to make my own lip balms and lotion bars from herbs I collect from my garden.
- Soap/Candle Making: This kind of goes with herbalism in that you can make wonderful natural soaps or candles. If you’re not comfortable with lye you can start out with melt and pour soap making.
- Journaling: My mother journaled throughout my life. I lost count of how many she has at this point. (I think it’s more than 60) I’m pretty sure it’s the only way she stayed sane through my teen years. Needless to say, journaling is a wonderful self-care activity. Because writing out your feelings and thoughts helps you work through them and find peace with the things that might trouble you.
- Bible Studies: This is one of my new favorite activities after becoming a Christian. I love starting a new Bible study and having a feeling of accomplishment once I complete it. It helps me focus on the things that really matter. And has helped me learn the Bible and develop my relationship with God.
Some of the things I have explored myself. I could literally go on forever with different opportunities to use creative exploration as self-care.
Why Self Care is Important
We hear so much about this term lately. And honestly, I have been a little disturbed by how the phrase has been used and abused. But putting that aside and getting down to the root of what it means can really do nothing but benefit us as women. As with anything that becomes a cultural trend we should be using discernment to determine how it can be used as a force for good.
Living in our modern world can take its toll on even the most level headed of people. We are always so busy. Constantly on the go. Surrounded by so much background noise. And as women, we have a tendency to take the weight of the world on our shoulders. It is vital that we take a moment to reset every now and then. Because burn-out is a real thing and it ain’t pretty! Taking care of ourselves is ultimately a benefit to not only us but to those around us.
Never Be Ashamed of Your Need to Explore
For many years I felt shame when I would try something new. I know it seems strange. But many people chalked it up to me having a short attention span. Sometimes, yes I would move on to something else before I had finished the first exploration. But it is truly what helped me grow as a person. It helped me discover who I was and how I fit into this crazy world. I have always had a passion for knowledge and learning new things. And that’s why I stopped apologizing for my butterfly tendencies and so should you.
The next time you feel bad for being a creative explorer think of all the good it can do for you.
- You can develop tons of useful skills for work or home
- It is a great way to express yourself creatively
- You can create physical objects that can be very useful in your life.
- You can have beautiful handmade gifts for family and friends around the holidays.
- It helps decrease anxiety, stress, and depression.
- It can help bring a broader perspective to your life
- Knowledge is always powerful
Having an open mind to new ideas, skills, and knowledge can only be a benefit to your life. And using creative exploration as self-care is really just utilizing your gift of flitting for good. Many of the world’s greatest discoveries were made by people who by today’s standards would be considered to have short attention spans. So, we are most definitely in good company.