When I first starting making candles, I never really thought about the self-care side of it, I just loved creating them. It took a few years to realise that the reason I loved making candles, was that I was been creative and that gave me a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
By been creative, I not only found a new hobby but my passion turned into a full time growing small business.
I always thought that being a artistic person was different from being creative. I thought that you had to have a diploma in fine art, producing an intellectual abstract masterpiece to qualify.
How wrong was I. Creativity can be as simple as doing something that makes you feel good.
Studies show that the levels of the stress release hormone cortisol dramatically drops when we spend time being creative. Artistic or not, we all deal with stress in our lives and even more so over the last year. Self care and creativity is linked so strongly, why wouldn't we give it a go!
The Oxford Dictionary defines creativity as 'the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness' which can be interpreted and achieved in many different ways. It can be through planning a social event, a re-take on a favourite recipe, developing a new process in business and so on. We use our imagination all the time but the difference between being imaginative and being creative is the action you take with your ideas.
There is also a difference between purposeless creativity 'I will make this scarf following a pattern‘ and purposeful creativity 'I will make this scarf using this pattern as a guideline, but I may use a different stitch or colour pattern to do it' I love them both as I like following a process/recipe/technique and once I have mastered it, I will start to experiment and use my imagination to repurpose it to something new and this is the most exciting part!
Creativity and self care is strongly linked. Candle making was my outlet and it gives me so much more than beautiful scented candles. So I thought I would share a few simple self-care tips that helped me and hopefully you can achieve through your own creativity.
1. Freedom - No Rules
Creativity gives you an opportunity to take risks, by stripping away any inhabitations we may or may not have built up over the years, you can let your imagination go wild. Because when you create, there is no wrong or right way to do it, you can do it any way you like and that's the best part of being creative. There are no rules.
Creativity in itself allows for self-care, because when you create something, you are growing. The more you create, the more you learn about yourself, and the more you learn, the more you grow. It’s a self prophesying circle of self discovery and one which I have fully embraced and didn’t realise I would have until I started growing my own creative business.
3. Sense of achievement
When you are creating something you have never created before, it really does give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. I would find that after spending hours making and creating something new, I would stare at it for days thinking 'wow I have made that’. It’s a pretty satisfying feeling and made me feel good about myself. This in itself is everything. Truly.
Finding like minded people that share your interests is a great way to be social. We can build connections and relationships with individuals who from a distance become online friends and sometimes lifelong friendships. There are hundreds of groups online, we share customer pictures and stories over on our Facebook page, which is a lovely way to see our creations in action!
5. Spending time with loved ones
Spending time with loved one, friends and colleagues has become more important that ever. Sharing an activity (non-digital) being creativity together is something special. Creating life-long memories for years to come is priceless.
The first ever candles I made was a shared activity with my daughter, we had fun, learning together and those memories are so treasured and will always be special to me!
Doing something creative doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. Writing in a journal, baking a cake, growing new plants are all quick and financially accessible things to do. Recent studies explain the many health and psychological benefits that having a creative outlet can bring; they can enable people to live healther and happier lives. Social prescribing for people with social isolation, loneliness and mental health issues is on the rise, GP's can now prescribe an art club or a writing workshop instead of anti-depressants and for me this has enormous benefits and are such an innovative way forward.
There are so many benefits to being creative, self care, a sense of purpose in the world, and treasured memories, that I will never forget. I continue to explore my own creativity all the time and now that my creative hobby has become my main job, I am currently looking for a new one. Any suggestions, are welcome!
Happy candle making!