Are you sometimes stressed? All mamas are, in fact everyone is, at times. Did you know creativity reduces stress? We tend to think that when we’re stressed we should just veg out (or resort to “retail therapy”). Neither are good solutions, and neither really reduces stress. In God’s design, stress is reduced through being creative, not through consuming without productivity.
Many times in our stress though, we think we don’t have time to be creative. We think of creativity as something that drains our time and energy, when in reality it does the opposite. It uses time productively and calms us, without tiring us. I know the times that I’ve quit creative endeavors for a season, usually because I thought I didn’t have enough time for such, I’ve only become more stressed, and gained no more time. I didn’t get any more other things done.
Granted, there is a balance. We can’t just stop doing necessities in our home making and other responsibilities to be free spirited in our creative areas of desires-at-the-moment. But, we can add creativity into just about everything we do. We can make even most mundane chores more fun, with a little creativity. Even if its just a creative way of getting it done more efficiently, so we have more time for our more fun creative projects (where the results will last a little longer than a clean toilet).
What type of creativity de-stresses you will be different for each person. There are creative activities that can add more stress–for us. They aren’t our “outlet”. If you’ve never really released your creativity, it may take some time to find what your creative outlet is (outlets are.) But you can have fun experimenting. Try various things until you find which ones are relaxing (calming/de-stressing) to you. Some people develop one creative passion, and it becomes a lifelong focus. Others prefer a variety of creative activities. At various times, various creative activities may be the one for that moment.
I believe the various home arts can be great creative outlets for many of us. They are much more than a hobby (which could be more consumptive than productive.) They are a way to bless our families, and beautify our homes–while enjoying what we do. We can also use that creative productivity to make gifts to bless others. There is so much variety in the home arts, we don’t have to look elsewhere for our expression, there is probably a place in what is considered “home arts” that fits us.
Women in days of old needed to be fairly proficient in all of the home arts–well many, at least. Today, women have much more “freedom” to not be creative. We can pay someone else (more likely, some company) to do it all for us. Yet, there remains a more true freedom in not only knowing how to do for ourselves, but also in actually doing it. And, we receive that added benefit of stress reduction. We are blessed to be able to pick and choose which home arts we will work at. If we want, we can be a Jill-of-all-trades, like our foremothers were, doing a bit of this and a bit of that. But we don’t have to do a certain amount of “this”, to ensure our families will be clothed (or whatever). We are free-er to focus on the areas we prefer. We may thrive in the fabric arts but only dabble in the paper arts. We may decorate but not produce yarn work. We may love to make creative food arts but not do much needle work. The form of the home art is not as important as the creative aspect and just doing it–using your mind and your hands to express the creativity God has placed in your heart.
One last point, for those who feel they are not creative. Like many things in life, you use it or you lose it. Just start somewhere. Start small. Try different things. You will benefit as you learn many different things on your way to finding the ones that fit you. Some may not be a good fit now, but will be in the future. The more you exercise your creativity, the more creative you will become. As you are just beginning, it may seem like you are wasting time and not really accomplishing much–that’s OK!! You are expressing creativity! But, as you practice/play, you will soon find your stress level decreasing and your creativity level–and productivity–increasing. And yourself, your home, your family will be blessed with the results, and you will have gifts for others, and perhaps things to sell to others. Such a win-win-win situation!
Why don’t you give it a try? Instead of spending your time just browsing Pinterest for cool projects you’ll never actually make (creativity consumption), why don’t you find just one thing (to start) that you’d really like to try, and actually get started on it (creative production)? Looking for inspiration is good (and there is much of it to be found on Pinterest,) but finding a project and getting started doing it is better.
What are your creative outlets in the home arts? What do you enjoy doing creatively to bless yourself, your home, family, and friends? Join us on Pinterest, on our Created to Create board for Home Arts we’re actually creating.