Call it the effects of austerity or the rise of Etsy, everyone around you seems to have a hobby these days.  Hobbycraft is no longer for the kids and boutique yarn shops seem to be popping up all around.  Yet all you can wonder is how the hell other people have the time for it.
Sure, your granny knitted you cardigans as a kid but she didn’t have nearly as much on her plate as you do.  Our generation has more struggles and stress than ever before (thanks to all our mums who said we could have it all.  You didn’t tell us exactly what all meant…)

Between work, home, trying to see friends and family and get to the gym more than once a month, how are you supposed to fit in another thing on the to do list and why are you putting this pressure on me Leah, I hear you cry.

Well, darling, this isn’t about pressure, this is about fun.

Brene Brown considers creativity one of her pillars for wholehearted living and her pillars are designed from years of interviews and studies of people who appear to have it all and live wholeheartedly

Whilst stress is a well-known creativity killer (see every tortured poet and novelist, ever) the inverse is all true.  Creativity kills stress.

 

when people are feeling most deeply and happily engaged in their work, they’re more likely to be productive

 

Professor Teresa Amabile of Harvard university examined the state of mind of people involved in large creative products and found ‘when people are feeling most deeply and happily engaged in their work, they’re more likely to be productive’.

When was the last time you became to consumed in a task that the entire world fell away – incuding the nagging headache at the base of your skull and the ever-present mental to do list?

Think about it for a moment.

Art therapy is used to help cancer patients relax and let go of the ever present focus of their illness.  Dramatherapy is a key tool in the rehabilitation of individuals following a stroke or other injury to the brain.

This isn’t your GCSE art class and you don’t have to believe you are a creative or (whisper) even be very good at it.

I saw this in practice when, during the height of my burnout, I would lock myself away for hours in my study.  For the longest time I was ashamed to tell people that, as well as being a lawyer, I was a jewellery designer.

 

Everyone and their dog was jumping on the Etsy and Kirstie’s Homemade Homes bandwagon and I thought it made me sound such a flake to say that I had a passion outside of my work (see, why your job doesn’t define you).

Yet focusing on the lights glimmering off tiny upcycled clock pieces as I set them in a high shine finish and the joy wearing my own jewellery brought, outweighed the embarrassment.  Now I a design one of a kind pieces that are bought all over the world (thank god for the internet, right?).

My first attempts at jewellery were hideous.  Awful.  A complete embarrassment.  I loved them. 

Those first beaded pieces are still with me, as a reminder that I am more than a simple suit and that I can learn anything if I spend enough time (and occasionally money) on it. 

Now, if you’re sat there thinking ‘well that’s all well and good for her but I’m not creative and don’t have time’ I’m not suggesting you become a jewellery designer.

But what about those pictures you wanted to hang in the hallway and haven’t gotten round to?

What about that piece of furniture that is a bit shabby and could do with a bit more chic?

What about that fanfiction story that keeps going round your head?  If it’s good enough for EL James…

Take a chance.  No one is going to laugh at you and you have exactly nothing to lose except an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon.

You can be anything you choose to be and picking up the colouring book and pencils might just be your gateway to a whole new perspective on life.

Join us on the facebook group to share your creative adventures!

 Are you ready to beat your burnout for good?  Join me in a 12 week programme designed to boost your energy, develop support systems to manage stress long term and kickstart your enthusiasm for your career.

Are you ready to beat your burnout for good?  Join me in a 12 week programme designed to boost your energy, develop support systems to manage stress long term and kickstart your enthusiasm for your career.

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