Monday, February 22, 2021

Writing, Faith, and the Daily Grind: What I've Learned to Live a Self-Started, Creative Life


As a writer, as a small business owner, and as a Christian, I have every reason to wake up with a smile, but there are days when the day seems to yawn open with a mountain of to-do lists and no end in sight for lengthy projects.

It can feel daunting to do the dailies. I feel the need to hurry through my lists, to cram in more "should-do-this-too." This all stresses me, and I find myself getting less done.

I discovered I need to change my attitude and my daily practice of work, writing, and faith.

There's one method that's been working.

I start my day slower, with prayer, and a plan for self-care and re-energizing moments.

I schedule in self-care moments throughout my day's schedule, in-between writing, work, and life events. 

Examples of self-care: journal writing, prayer, essential oils, massaging my feet and Achilles tendon (actually physical therapy), physical therapy exercises, dance breaks, singing breaks, getting outside for five minutes with my dog, petting my cat and my dog, drinking water, checking my planner and using stars instead of checkmarks to highlight my progress (this is tiny, but it makes a difference to me), creating affirmation lists and "finished" lists, photography, idea generation/dreaming up new ideas (I know I don't need more, but this fills me with joy), conversations with friends, conversations with my daughters, date night with hubs (even though this mainly includes playing cribbage or watching a movie at home, it is good to have it on the schedule), stretching, chair yoga, regular yoga, time on the exercise bike in 5-10 minute spurts, doing the dishes while dancing to music (I know this doesn't sound like self-care, but it is), and creating healthy meals also while dancing to music, writing down 1-5 things I am thankful for, taking a drum break on the ancient drum set in our garage, sending a "thinking of you" text/email to a friend, creating a collage for a vision board, and listening to music. (Did I mention music enough times?) 

I end my day with more self-care by writing prayers in my journal.

Somehow, when I take the time to practice self-care, I actually expand my horizons. I still have the same amount of time, but when I am more relaxed and more hope-filled, I can actually achieve my goals. Self-care helps me regain the energy and attitude I need for a self-started, creative life.

Maybe this seems obvious, but I had to learn it. Heck, I am still learning it. 

How do you handle the daily grind - especially if you are working from home and everyone in your household is?

Highlights from February for me:

  • Zoom celebration for Creative Colloquy, Volume 7.
  • Writing poetry and song lyrics.
  • Podcasts from One Hope Church - Listening daily M-F has boosted my Bible study, and I created two entries of the ongoing series so far.
  • Words on the page. 
  • Labyrinth revision progress.
  • Physical therapy for my Achilles is going well again. (I had a bad plateau moment and had to have a cortisone shot that really hurt a few weeks ago.)
  • Conversations with my daughters.
  • Idea generation in my journal has motivated my "regular" writing.
  • Editing the novel of a new author - his enthusiasm is contagious!
  • #365gratitude - I don't always post my entries, but I have been writing them down. When I do post, it's fun to read everyone else's posts. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wish I could work from home.
You have God's peace down perfect.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that you add some moments of self care and prayer into your day.

CWMartin said...

Our pastor shared a list of disciplines we should focus on this year. The first is "Bible before phone".

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - you're doing well ... taking care as life progresses. All the best - Hilary

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, Tyrean! And thanks for the reminder. I'm working on doing more meditation. When I did it more consistently in the past, I did feel a little calmer, more centered. For me, anyway. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - it's a blessing, but it's also full of distractions. I could be...vacuuming, folding laundry, walking my dog, etc. All of those could fit in self-care, but they could also end up distracting me from getting work done.

Natalie - yep!

CW - that makes a huge difference!

Hilary- thanks!

Madeline - you're welcome for the reminder!

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I think we'd all be better off if we took the time for self-care. I know I'm always more productive when I ensure I take care of myself.