Self-Care Sunday: The Artist Date
I don't know about you, but I've needed a lot of self-care this week. I'm sleep-deprived and exhausted from the inauguration, and my anxiety is on high alert as executive order after executive order invaded our collective consciousness. When my anxiety is particularly bad, I usually surround myself with people, as they provide a welcome distraction and source of support. This week, however, I found myself craving time alone. Perhaps that's because most conversations landed on our sorry state of national affairs at some point, or because I've done nothing but be around people for the past two months. Regardless of the reason, I decided to honor my instincts and schedule in some alone time.
Deliberately scheduling time to be alone is uncommon, even disparaged, in the frenzied lifestyle of city-dwellers. That fact, and my fear of succumbing to my anxiety when I'm alone, often make me avoid time by myself. I've known for a couple months now that I need more of this time, though, and one of my intentions for 2017 is to honor that need.
In order to make my time alone more fun - especially as I get accustomed to my initial discomfort - I have decided to adopt what The Artist's Way creator Julia Cameron calls "Artist Dates." An artist date is 1) solo (hence the singular artist - not "artist plus significant other/mom/friend") and 2) scheduled (hence an actual date that you put on the books). An artist date is assigned time for you to play and be creative. Not only is an artist date fun, the time to play is vital to adults' growth and wellbeing. My first artist date was yesterday, when I went to my favorite local hangout for a couple hours and worked on the February spread for my bullet journal. Coffee, a vegan chocolate chip cookie, and my own company were all I needed. The cozy atmosphere and crowd of strangers also helped ease me into my first artist date without feeling isolated.
I plan to have an artist date every week in order to fulfill my need for alone time and to fuel my creative growth. I'm not sure what my next one will be, but I've got plenty of ideas. Follow me @sarahdoyel on Instagram to see where this artist ends up!