Lock in some kindness for yourself in lockdown
Whilst this is a great time to throw yourself into a new skill or work on a project that’s been waiting for your attention for some time, I also feel that we should be kind to ourselves. If you simply can’t find the time or the motivation, or you’re fed up with not living up to other people’s fantastic creations online, don’t force yourself!
There seem to be two distinct groups of lockdowners – those who are juggling the working from home, home-schooling, meal preparation and family diplomacy, and those who find they have endless time at their disposal to binge-watch Netflix, learn a new language and cross-stitch a wall hanging.
Of course, both groups have their challenges but if you’re in the first camp of ‘just managing’ (I put myself in this category), let’s be kind to ourselves and not pile on the pressure to be like the second, seemingly luckier group. Our feelings of stress and anxiety are magnified during lockdown and feeling guilty about not achieving X, Y or Z easily adds to that pressure.
I’m trying not to set myself unrealistic goals as this leads to disappointment. If I’ve helped my kids with their school work and fed everyone three times a day, that’s an achievement to be proud of!
I’m also trying hard not to compare myself to those apparently ‘perfect’ lives on social media (although we know that’s never a true reflection of life). What we show on social media is the best aspects of our life – that we’ve run five miles or baked an amazing cake. Our feelings of inadequacy increase when we think that we should be doing more with our lives than we are.
However, with all that said, if I can sneak a few moments to myself in the studio or even work on a craft project with my children, I still get a great sense of wellbeing from it. I’m just trying not to pressurise myself to be spending hours creating new sculptures and ideas for workshops.
With my son I recently made a simple red, white and blue wreath made from fabric scraps, to commemorate VE Day. It was easy to make and looked really effective – I think that’s the key, keep it simple and incorporate what you have at home.
I am really missing the human interaction of teaching people a new skill and I realise how much pleasure I get from seeing someone else creating a new piece of artwork with new materials. I have given some tuition online to people in their own homes which has worked well and I’d love to do more of this, so if you have a project in mind, but would like a bit of guidance then please contact me & I'll be happy to arrange a video call 1:1 session.
And, of course, I still have lots of lovely Powertex & art supplies in stock for you to refill or add to your craft stash – just visit www.artisticretreats.co.uk