When the COVID-19 virus sent us all into isolation, one of my first thoughts was, "Yay! I have all this extra time, I'm so gonna get stuff done!"
I imagined immense productivity and quickly made lists. Spring clean my house. Write two books. Craft a series of articles. Launch two products. Do my taxes. Organize every drawer and closet. Because ... you know... I "should".
Hearing myself say “I should” could have been my first clue that I was putting undue pressure on myself. But it took me until week two to realize just how unrealistic my productivity expectations were.
Every day, news reports counted the increase of the virus spread. More closures. More restrictions on activity. More deaths. More people hit hard at the beginning of what will become a nationwide, worldwide economic crisis. Then there’s the worry for your own health and finances, and the loneliness from being cut off from the world we once knew. From hugging. From working. From being among humans.
Tough as we are, we can’t help but be emotionally impacted by a worldwide pandemic. We just can’t. We’ll feel sorrow, grief, shock, anxiety, fear, worry, stress. The thing is, emotions require more energy and head space than we think. The emotions sure caught me by surprise.
More than that, all this stress can all sap our motivation, weaken our focus, and cripple creativity.
And guess what.
It's okay to not be super-crazy-productive right now.
It's okay to not DO all the things.
Now is not the time to build and grow and develop.
Now is the time to hang in, hang on, and survive.
By the way, being in that place of waiting, of hunkering down in a storm, is not evidence of weakness or failure. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.
It means there’s a storm.
It means there are things you and I don’t control.
And that’s a healthy realization to have.
Maybe your creativity is flowing right now – it can be an excellent and healthy way to process!
But if you’re sitting in front of that blank page, frustrated and disillusioned that nothing is coming, give yourself grace for that.
I just wanted to share that, from my heart to yours, in case you could use some grace and maybe some permission or affirmation right now. I know I have to give myself a lot of both.
Where are you at right now, emotionally or with your creativity?
Are you hitting a wave of inspiration, processing through art, or are you settling into a quiet smallness?
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