At the end of September, I joined Get Messy, an online art journaling group hosted by Caylee Gray and 12 days ago I started a 12 week online course with Dr Libby. As I was sitting drinking my cup of peppermint tea this morning it dawned on me that learning is a method of self-care. Especially, when the learning brings you joy.
Normally, I would not be able to commit to making the time for these classes, as in addition to being a mother and carer, I have a part time job working as a salesperson in a women’s fashion store within a mall. Under our current alert levels I am still not able to go out to work as it is a face to face role and I have been stood down. Before the pandemic, going out to work allowed me to step away from the role of being mother and caregiver and it gave me a break from what are the hard parts of parenting a high needs child. Right now, with everyone home all the time, I miss that time out at work, it is difficult to find space at home. It is something I have struggled with each lockdown and it has made me realise that even though I am an extrovert, I also value solitary time. More than I realised. An example, would be I started writing this post on Day 62 – a week later here I am trying to finish.
Anyway, as life changes and the rules of living seem to be changing, so must we. Carving out time to myself remains an important part of keeping well and not slumping into a deep depression. I have to take different actions and create new rituals or self care practices to keep swimming along. Doing a course (or courses) fulfills some of my needs in that it forces me to create space for myself at home and I am able to connect online with a community of like-minded souls through the forums.
LEARNING IS AN ACT OF SELF CARE
The two courses are very different, and fulfill different needs. Get Messy is a little bit like Wanderlust, in that each week there is a new prompt to spark your creativity and this month the topic is renewal. There are guest hosts and lots of prompts to follow, but like Wanderlust it is not about copying a page – rather being inspired by the ideas and making it your own. This is absolutely how I like to build on my creativity, by soaking up all the ideas. I have already shared my first page inspired by Kristy Kensinger in a previous post, but my latest page inspired by Katie Licht and her collage lines idea was really different to what I normally create. It was nice to try something away from my style and more minimalist (although I did struggle with that concept).
Speaking of wanderlust, I haven’t been doing as many of the prompts as usual, but I do like that you can do them at any time. I have done a couple of other pages that were off topic, but what I needed. The gold and yellow one is a page to go opposite the rainbow page I did earlier in the year. I am enjoying using magazine images, for one reason or another.
I was also inspired by this quote in a magazine and this double spread emerged. Adapting to change, takes longer than anyone wants.
For October in my seasonal journal I have continued working on the theme of body, and am using the course with Dr Libby as my cues for journaling this month. My goals for October altered slightly from my original thinking, as once I enrolled in this course, I have become more focused on what I am putting into my body and learning about the how the body works. I am still trying to reach my overall spring goals of creating habits for meals and exercise, getting up to doing 10 k in under 90 minutes and being under 80 kg.
The overall focus of Dr Libby’s course is that you don’t lose weight to get healthy, YOU GET HEALTHY AND THEN YOU LOSE WEIGHT. I am currently two weeks gluten free, and one week caffeine and dairy free. I do feel like I have a little more energy (once I got passed caffeine withdrawal), and these changes are not forever, but a reset to help my body to function properly. Having recently experienced a bout of diverticulitis, I am keen to get my body’s digestive system back to a happy place.
So, I have been doing a lot of journaling, and experimenting with some new Dairy and Gluten Free recipes, which has all been a learning process for me. As for lockdown, we now have to wait until our area is 90% double vaccinated before we start to move about again. I find myself getting more anti social as time goes on, not wanting to be among people I don’t know e.g. at the supermarket and getting agitated about how divisive our society is becoming. I am not reading or listening to as much news as I was, the grapevine lets me know when I need to read deeper. I guess I’m retreating inwards, sticking to my values and taking time to create as much as I can.
Take care and be safe.