How to Art When You’re Tired: What to do When You Just Can’t.

Everyone gets tired sometimes. We all have those ‘days’ when we just….can’t. There are some of us that are this tired, maybe more often than most. Some of us that are working with borrowed spoons….or maybe you are still using your allotted spoons but where everyone else has a ladle you have one of those tiny ass hors d’oeuvre spoons. (*I would just like to mention that is NOT an easy word to spell and I DID look it up to make sure that I didn’t spell it wrong. I definitely don’t come from the type of bloodline that actually had those. HAHA Too rich for my taste!) Either way, I know that some people rely on artistic endeavors as a form of therapy and relaxation **yay! Art therapy!**. This is an especially useful hobby for anyone that has some sort of autoimmune disease or any other condition where you find yourself effected by stress.

For many years I have struggled with Lupus and many other comorbidities. I have had times when I was in active treatment mode, inactive treatment mode, remission mode, and “Hell, I just hurt!” mode. Note: those are NOT the only possible modes. I can start out a day with all of the intent in the world of doing some amazing things. Of course…everything starts out fine. Sure enough you are rollin’ along and the OMG COMPLETE EXHAUSTION STRIKES. Literally, every part of your body is all of the sudden non-functional including your brain. There are even different grades of non-functional too. There is every shade of NOT functioning from ‘I can do the minimum, but only if I don’t have to apply much efforts’ to ‘I MUST SLEEP NOW’ to ‘I’m gonna try to power through so I am still doing everything I normally do, just slower’ to ‘Just kill me now, I’m useless’.

So, as a creator how do I make it work when I am totally exhausted…when I can’t even imagine sitting up for however long that would take? I learned to just take the time that I need. Sounds pretty simple, right? Basically, I try to make sure that I have more than one avenue of creative outlets so that I can always have something to occupy me during any of those modes. Some modes allow for me to be pretty involved and others make it to where I really don’t have to be super active. I fill in creative activities as possible depending on the mode that I have at that time. So, on the days that I feel awesome (which I use the term “awesome” pretty loosely) I try to make sure that I get into the studio and tackle some of the larger and more involved projects that I have. Days that I am okay, but not excellent I just make sure that I do a little in the studio or maybe I try to take care of some marketing or blogging. Then the days that I feel like poo I just take it a bit easier and I create some art on my phone or tablet…or I do some of my photo editing.

As you can clearly see, those activities require a different level of action and attention. Most of the time I can make sure that I keep trying to created daily. There will still be times when you simply can’t get up one day and do anything. There may be times when you can sit there and just be so exhausted and can’t keep your eyes open, that is still okay. Creating daily is recommended, not required. All of this still counts whether you have a chronic illness, you are chasing spoons, or even if you are free of serious health conditions. All of us get tired, all of us get stressed and overwhelmed. While I believe that the daily creation helps to make sure that you are inspired more often, there may be some times where you just aren’t. Creating something or working on some art therapy exercises can be super helpful if you are having a shlump…but don’t force it. Try of course, but don’t force yourself. If it is too forced you could find that you are not only exhausted, but also more depressed because you are just creating for the sake of creating and not because it is something that you like or enjoy. Art and other creative endeavors are supposed to make you feel things, but in pain isn’t one of those things.

So, to make a long story a bit shorter…sometimes the painting sits for a month or 3, but you finish 70 digital pieces. Sometimes you don’t post a blog for 2 months (we HOPE that isn’t the case), but you have done lots of other marketing. Other times you just do….enough. That’s okay, sometimes just be ENOUGH. Your creative energy will be better when you are at your best anyway. Forgive yourself and get to work!

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