What Will You Create? How to Use Self-Care & Creativity to Survive

I don’t know what the last few months have been like for you, but if you’re like me, I’m guessing that it has been a whirlwind of emotions and feelings! One minute I feel one way and moments later it’s like I feel the exact opposite. I’m feeling good, I’m feeling bad. I’m energized, I’m tired. I’m brave, I’m fearful.

Taking on new challenges comes with a new set of circumstances. So much has changed and there is so much newness to deal with and navigate.

Through the ups and the downs, I have felt an innate desire to serve people and help myself and others rise to get through this crazy time. Sometimes it has been easier and other times it has been harder.

But tonight, on a walk I took by myself, I was able to let my mind wander… I think I found an answer for me, and I wanted to share it with you (as I imagine we all may be facing some of the same roadblocks even though our particular circumstances may be totally different.)

The answer that came to me was being CREATIVE.  To CREATE a new way.

According to Merriam-Webster here is the definition of creative & create:

 

Definition of creative

1: marked by the ability or power to create : given to creating

2: having the quality of something created rather than imitated

3: managed so as to get around legal or conventional limits

 

Definition of create

1: to bring into existence

2a: to invest with a new form, office, or rank

b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior

3: CAUSE, OCCASION

4a: to produce through imaginative skill

b: DESIGN

1: to make or bring into existence something new

 

Yes, my responsibilities and roles have been altered. Yes, I am now a TK & 2nd Grade Teacher. I am a housecleaner. A chef. Yes, I am home ALL THE TIME. Yes, I did most of this stuff before, but no I did not do it alone and I did not do it ALL THE TIME!

I’m sure you can relate. Maybe you are trying to balance having two parents working from home trying to homeschool at the same time. Maybe you are trying to balance the different school workloads of your three kids, all different ages and levels. Maybe you are trying to balance caring for your elderly family members who you may or may not even be able to see right now.

Life is complicated. And it is complicated beyond complicated now as we face unprecedented times.

But let’s get back to being CREATIVE.

YES, things are hard, and things look different. But what the heck can we actually DO about it?!?!?!?! How can we make the best of it?

We can CREATE.

The idea just popped in my head and even though it didn’t make my headache go away, it did seem to offer me some much-needed SPACE and possibly a taste of potential freedom.

Then when I was listening to a podcast interview and it brought the idea home even further. They were talking about the importance of self-care right now, how the people doing well right now are the ones who are making their own self-care a priority; vs. the people who are barely holding on, they are getting swamped in the gravity of it all, neglecting their needs, and struggling.

But what really got me was when he said the people in prison war camps who survived were the ones who thought that this was going to last awhile. Those who thought it would be temporary didn’t survive.

So clearly this isn’t war camp. We are not POWs, but if we act in ways that say this is how it’s going to be for a while, then we can adapt our lives to our current situation. We can be CREATIVE and find ways to make at least some of the things we need and want to work!

Let’s create from scratch. Let’s be creative and find ways to make space for some PLAY in our day-to-day lives.

PLAY is essential and now more than ever we need to create moments of joy, love and flow in our lives. We need to show our kids that we can do that. We need to play with our partners. We need to leave the heaviness behind from time to time so we can hang out in the world of LOVE AND POSSIBILITY, even if just for a few moments.

So, I can’t wait to see what you are going to CREATE for yourself and your family! Let’s take on our self-care and sneak in some PLAY! Game On!

 

PS- I also want to take a minute to thank amazing my boys and all the wonderful people who partnered with us in our #WeWriteTheStory2020 challenge so far! They inspired me to find creativity and blew me away with all the fresh and fun ideas they came up with. Playing and sending out over 50 games so far has shown me how we all have the innate ability to be creative, we just need to allow the time and space for it. You can learn more about our challenge here and you can stay up to date on my daily posts including games, sanity hacks and more on my instagram. Thanks all!

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creative

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creating

Spreading Community & Connection- Not Coronavirus #wewritethestory2020

There’s a lot going on in the world today. Things look totally different today even than they did yesterday. We are being inundated with information on coronavirus, how it spreads, how to distance ourselves, what’s happening here and around the world. And now our kids will be home for at least three weeks. We’re not quite sure what to do, where we can go, will Coronavirus come to our neighborhood? How will it affect our life today, tomorrow, next month, forever?

Stories are swirling. Group text chats are blowing up. My thoughts go wild. But in chaos and troubled times we have an opportunity to come together. Even in social distancing we can reach out and do our part to spread the feeling of love, support and connection.

Enter my new game.

#WeWriteTheStory2020

(Follow me on Instagram for free daily games & sanity hacks @chasinghavers)

When I heard that schools were getting cancelled for 3 weeks I thought of all the parents out there and how overwhelming it is to think of 3 weeks home with the kids. All activities cancelled. All sports cancelled. Parks/beaches closed. Social distancing suggested. I wanted to figure out a way to help so I came up with this idea.

For at least 20 minutes a day, we invite you to sit with your family and find a way to reach out to your community. Draw a picture to mail to grandma. Write a thank you card to volunteers in your community. Send a funny video to your friends near or far. Help send love to people around you as everyone desperately needs it right now.

We challenge you and your family to do 20 minutes a day and send 20 messages a week. Some might be a quick note or text message, others might be a more involved art project like tracing your outstretched arms and literally sending your hugs to your family members. Use your imagination. Get your kids involved. Remember, we write the story and here is our chance to show them the sky is limit when it comes to their ideas. You can share by mail, email, video, Skype, Facetime, you name it!

Let’s teach our kids to come together, to be grateful for what we have, and to send love and support to others. Let’s take time out to sit together, to color, to draw, to paint, to write a story, to put on a play.

Be creative. And let us know what is inspiring you and your family!

Post a picture or message and join us in #WeWriteTheStory2020.

Sending health and love.

PS- I want to thank Ginny from @1000hoursoutside. I love how she created a simple challenge that promotes a healthy activity and being together; it helped me come up with this. I also want to thank Abbey Gibb for prompting me & her peeps to look for ways to be compassionate leaders amidst the collective sinking energy. I also want to thank my husband, family and friends for helping me brainstorm this idea yesterday and today! You can find a new daily game posted on my Instagram so follow me there @chasinghavers. And check out my friend @liferedefinedwithjudi for more on our #WeWriteTheStory2020. Can’t wait to play together and help our community write our own stories!

Back to School Madness!?

I thought that this year’s back to school transition would be easier than last year’s. It seems logical to think that since my son would be starting 1st grade and we had already gotten used going to elementary school the year before, that this year would be pretty straightforward. Wrong!

I guess that is exactly what it is like to be a parent though. You think one thing, and then boom, you are proven wrong yet again. But I guess in this instance I am referring more to myself and my transition from summer to school, than for my son.

Thank God he LOVES school! In fact, even just this morning he was upset with us for telling him we are taking him out of school a little early to go to Legoland and stay overnight in the Legoland Hotel. The kid would rather be in school than hang in a theme park and hotel designed solely for kids’ pleasure and entertainment! After showing him pictures of the Adventure-themed-room we are staying in and explaining how this hotel is different from others and that this is most likely the only time we will be staying there, I was able to win him over. Fingers crossed, he will be happy when we all roll up to his school early this afternoon to whisk him away.

Legoland aside, I suppose it is a new routine this year at our school. They have closed the campus so adults have to check in at the front office (which is located at the other entrance, significantly further from our house) and we have a new system for drop offs and pick ups.

But that isn’t the point, the point is with this back to school season I have felt overwhelmed and a bit bummed- and I consider myself an organized and happy person. I didn’t turn in all the papers to the teacher, I couldn’t figure out how to login to the online system for a couple days, I feel behind and wonder how other moms out there are feeling? What do you do to stay on top of back to school?

The night before school started I secretly cried before going to sleep. I didn’t want my oldest to start back in school full days. I wished he could still be on a half day preschool schedule like my younger son. I wanted to keep our beach adventure days, lazy mornings and utter flexibility going strong! Now that they are back in school it feels like I am just doing, doing, doing and I guess I miss the playing…

Two days ago, my son came home from school and said he doesn’t have enough time for playing anymore now that he’s in first grade. Hmm, guess we are having the same experience! Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our kids are going through big transitions, especially when they are good kids who seem to be able to easily adapt. (And I guess it’s good timing to be heading to Legoland- lots of time to play.)

What is it about being human and having routine?

So we will push on and get used to this new routine. Now that my youngest has finally started preschool (a few weeks after my oldest), I will have some time in the mornings to get sorted and stay on top of things. In the mean time I have to offer myself GRACE just like I would to my children. We can only do the best we can do and it’s ok to make mistakes and forget things once in awhile.

In a few months we will be a well-oiled school routine machine and fingers crossed I can actually get some projects done that I have been putting off for ages (like baby books, toy sorting, closet cleaning, photo organizing, etc.)

As a mom the list of things we are responsible for is endless, but we have to make time for our own joy, fun and relaxation- easier said than done. So if you have a funny back to school story or a helpful strategy you’ve learned about making the back to school transition go smoothly, I’d love to hear it!

PS- I hope you like my silly 1st day of school pic! LOL