We all have goals. We all have things we want to accomplish, but more often than not, we aren’t aware of how we’re going to get there. I started 2020 with the idea that I was going to be intentional about how I tackled my daily stream of productivity to finally achieve the goals that have been hanging over my head for years. I wanted to do more creatively for a long time, and that was one of the reasons I started this website in the first place. Though, throughout January and February, I became overwhelmed by all of the other responsibilities I had to address daily. I fell out of routine, abandoned my blog, barely maintained my online presence at all, and tried to make the most out of my budding freelance career. It wasn’t until the beginning of March that I realized how much time I’ve wasted, and instead of beating myself up for that, I’m taking action to change it.
I found that over the last two months, I’ve been more stressed and overwhelmed than I’ve ever been. I couldn’t pinpoint the problem the way I was usually able to, and that made the entire experience much more challenging. I kept telling myself that if I could just muster up the courage to get out of bed and try to do something, I’d find the clarity I was looking for, but this wasn’t the move I made. I sat on ideas for such a long time that they lost their initial spark, and I spent every day trying to deal with the stress that resurfaced every time I managed to rid myself of it for a little while.
Now, I have a system that allows me to escape that stress as well as refocus my creativity so I can get back to doing the things I love, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Acknowledge the Stress
I woke up every day with a lingering headache, generally feeling unhappy with the progression of my life and how I was handling my daily routine. I would beg my body to cooperate, hoping that if I just managed to get a minute where I didn’t feel like shit, I’d get back to work. I had no idea what was causing this unfortunate funk, and I tried everything I could think of to get rid of it instead of merely acknowledging it was there and try to work past it. Somewhere along the line, I grew tired of dealing with it, and any time I felt the stress begin to resurface, I made sure to be mindful. Acknowledging its presence was easy, and it did help me to separate my stress from the work I was trying to tackle daily.
Find Mental Clarity Your Way
I never thought that meditation would play such a significant role in my creative work, but it’s the only thing that’s helped me set aside feeling overwhelmed and focus on creating content I’m proud of. Whether you’re trying to finish writing your book, work on your website, or launch a podcast, finding mental clarity is a great way to maintain consistency. I don’t think I would’ve been able to bounce back without it. Everyone’s routines differ, and mine consists of a five-ten minute meditation session and journaling before I dive into the work.
Engage With Content That Inspires You
Another way that I find mental clarity is when I take the time to myself to read, enjoy content on the platforms I write on and engage with other writers. It not only helps me to feel inspired, but I notice that it does lower my stress levels and helps me to refocus my creativity when I don’t feel great about the work I’ve been doing. The next time you feel like your content is lacking or you need a bit of a push in the right direction, try reading something that piques your interest. You may be surprised how quickly you start to regain momentum.
Take Care of Yourself
A simple act of self-care can go a long way. When I’m the most stressed, I find that I don’t even bother taking the time to wind down in the evenings, because my mind is so clouded by all of the things I’ll have to do the following day. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first, taking the time to yourself every once in a while because most of the time, you do need it. Finding time for myself during any given workday was a challenge because I was convinced that I needed to be using up every ounce of energy I had every day to stay on top of things. Now that I have my routine down, I can relax a lot more, but I also find that I create better content as a result.
Finally, Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
There is nothing that gets my creative juices flowing more than trying to tackle a challenge. Whether it’s getting through my entire to-do list, finishing the piece I’ve been neglecting, or simply getting ahead of the work, it’s what I do when the stress has begun to get to me. Facing the problem head-on is an excellent way of getting back on your feet when you’ve fallen out of routine, and it’s something I’ve made sure to do whenever my routine starts to dwindle.
I hope that these tips help you to escape the stress and refocus your creativity so that you can go on to create the content that you love.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.