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12.01.2010

Creatively Cramped- 5 Ways to Cope

It's ironic to me that in the season where I need to get working on little handmade Christmas gifts, my writing, and other creative pursuits, I'm feeling creatively cramped. My brain is on pause. I've had a few minor health problems in the last 3 weeks. Nothing more severe than two head colds and a terribly sore neck, but it makes me wonder how people with much more challenging problems can be so productive.

I'm trying to cope with my lack of creativity and normal energy without becoming vegetative, and I've come up with a list of five ways to cope when you don't have the energy or the brain power to do the larger projects on your to-do list.
  1. Tackle tiny to-do tasks. (Hmm... was that a spark of creativity that came through with the alliteration on that "t"-laden statement? ) I've discovered that when I'm creatively cramped, I can still accomplish something. So I've tackled little cleaning tasks, returning phone calls, and sorting through my files and e-mails.
  2. Rest. I've given myself permission to rest and I've enjoyed reading several books over the past few weeks. I've become more acquainted with my fluffy white robe and we like each other. We part every morning by ten, but I like my robe so much better than my workout sweats.
  3. Let the guilt be gone. I've struggled because I have so much writing I could be doing and I feel guilty about my lack of progress. However, I've banished guilt and accepted this brain fog as a season.
  4. Encourage someone else. I've sent out a few cards and letters in the past few weeks and it feels good to encourage someone else. So often, I'm so busy that I can't find time to send notes to everyone I'd like to. Having a few down days gave me some time to catch up.
  5. Ask for help. I hate asking for help, but when my neck was stiff, I had some days where I could barely move around without pain. I had to ask my boys for help, which brought on a healthy dose of their kidding me about getting old. Sometimes it means reaching out and asking someone to pray. Sometimes it's physical help. Either way, it's important to enlist the help of people who can encourage when we're struggling.
How about you? How do you cope when you're not functioning the way you normally would?

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