When life gets to be “too much” and you’re exhausted and your brain is on overload, it can be very hard to create. This happens to all of us from time to time. In fact, I’m there in the “too much” zone right now!
So, what does one do when one is too overloaded for new thoughts and too physically tired to create?
Find something that you can create that doesn’t tax your mind and body. Something that will help you calm and even release some of the overload and stress.
In these times of exhaustion and mental overload, I turn to crochet, knitting and collage.
Crochet (and knitting) is rhythmic and soothing. It’s the same movement over and over again. And because it’s rhythmic, it calms the body and the mind. At least it calms my ever thinking mind and ever rocking feet! Yup, I’m one of those folks that doesn’t sit still very well, so I am always shaking a foot! But put some yarn (or needle and thread or pen and paper) in my hands and all calms down : )
I particularly enjoy making granny squares. Round and round, row after colorful row and in the end you have a perfectly beautiful square. Oh how happy that makes me! And while I’m stitching round and round, I can think and pray and let go of the things that are overwhelming my mind. I can listen for that still small voice of God to whisper sweet and loving and calm words into my heart and mind. I can stitch away the worries and create a square of beautiful calm.
And the same goes for collage yet, I must be more deliberate about this one. Deliberate in the sense that I cannot let myself overthink the process or worry about the end product. I keep a small stash of collage ephemera and travel size art supplies that I take with me when I travel. This is what I turn to when I need some calming collage time. I work with whatever is there and I keep the pieces small. I sit and make one after the other ’til I feel relaxed and calm.
It’s like taking all the broken and messy pieces of life and putting them together to create something new and beautiful. After all, isn’t this what God does with us? He takes our messy lives and creates beauty from our broken bits and pieces!
This is how I’ve been passing the past two overwhelming “too much” months. With a growing stack of granny squares (that will become a beautiful blanket or two) and little colorful calming collages.
What’s your go-to creative practice when life overwhelms your body and mind? And if you don’t have one, I encourage you to find one. And try mixing with it a little chatsy with God, cause that’s the best part of it all : )
Peace and clam creating to you.