I am sure that all of you have been receiving an enormous amount of pandemic-related information lately. Facts, false news, statistics, survival guides, speculations, opinions – all of these can be somewhat overwhelming – to such an extent that you sometimes just want to ignore all incoming information from whatever platform you may be linked to. I feel the same, but, sadly, I also suffer from fear of missing out. I try to at least scan most of the messages to see whether there is some fresh news. Earlier this week when a colleague sent me an email starting with “I don’t usually forward these, but this is a good read”, I did not want to miss out. In the article, Brooke Anderson suggested six daily questions to ask during a time of isolation. The last question really made me think: What beauty are you creating, cultivating or inviting in today?
Most of us think that creativity is reserved only for talented artists, but according to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of many popular books, if you are alive, you are a creative person. Creativity has many benefits in times when things are tough. Creating something has a calming effect on our brain and body. It reduces anxiety and stress and can improve our overall health.
If we are absorbed in an activity, it boosts our moods, and slows our heart rate – which of course helps us to relax more, but also focus. Being involved in a creative activity also takes our minds away from negative catastrophic thoughts that so easily can cloud our rational thinking in difficult times. I have read somewhere that repetitive creative motions such as knitting, drawing, or writing get us more absorbed in the activity. More dopamine, the so-called feel-good hormone, is created, and it increases happiness and motivation, which in return, increases creativity.
Write something, bake something, or plant something. Compose a new song or design a new process to make the functioning of your department at work more efficient. By scanning your environment for opportunities to be creative, you may just be surprised by how much beauty you can invite into your life daily.
Reference: Anderson, B. (2020). Six daily questions to ask yourself in quarantine. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/six_daily_questions_to_ask_yourself_in_quarantine?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&u.