Almost two years ago, I embarked on a transition from a front line registered nurse to that of a nurse manager. I remember the anxiety I felt knowing that there would be other nurses reporting to me and relying on my leadership skills. This anxiety was an experience I was not familiar with, and I wanted to ensure I could transform these feelings into something positive. I wanted to do well, and I wanted to feel well.
Wellness through creative activities
I’ve enjoyed arts and crafts since I was very young and this has continued into my adult years. I enjoy creating cards and scrapbooks, and documenting my personal accomplishments and memories. I took this passion and partnered with an organization that helps others be creative by ensuring their memories are preserved for generations. This side business has helped me encourage wellness in myself and in others through creative activities!
I hadn’t ever really considered what I was doing with crafting as a wellness activity until one day, it hit me. I came home from work, tired and overwhelmed, and immediately found myself in my craft room. I was putting my hands to work and my mind to rest through creating and relaxing. The worry and anxiety drifted away as I immersed myself in my creative space. In no time at all, I found myself at peace with the day’s events - relaxed and well again.
I often hear people say, “Oh, I’m just not creative.” I firmly believe that it’s not about being creative or not, it’s really about losing yourself in something that makes you feel good. What you create is your own work of art, just for you. There is no right way or wrong way to create; creativity is unique to each person.
Adding creative activities into my day
Once I realized the de-stressing value of leveraging my own creativity, I looked for more ways to incorporate it into my day-to-day routine. One way I’ve started bringing creativity into the workplace is through the simple act of giving thanks. At the end of each work week, I schedule 15 minutes to sit and reflect on the week and all of the successes I’ve seen. I focus on one event or person that changed my week or was particularly helpful. I sit and write them a thank you note which is often one of my homemade created cards!
This process helps me remember that ultimately everyone in the workplace is just trying to do their best, and we all deserve a thank you once in a while. This wellness activity helps build stronger relationships and trust with my peers and direct reports. It’s through these simple acts that I am able to focus on wellness, both in my personal and work life, maintain a positive attitude, and keep balanced each day.
You can also view this article in Northern Health Spring 2018 edition of the Healthier You Magazine, Wellness by Professionals.