how being tired and overwhelmed affects my creativity.

It’s funny how the very things that can help us are the things we avoid when we need them most.

Over the past month, life has gotten hectic. The fall sports schedule for the kids has been all-consuming on the weekends. During the week there has been Halloween, Safe Halloween, Halloween parades, booing, and costume parties. The kids have been back-to-back students of the week: which means posters to make, parent visits to school and show and tell projects to share. There’s religion to teach, dinners to cook and, well, you get the gist, right? So no sewing has been going on. There’s been no time to get it all done, let alone take the time to think about creating.

And yet, it is the best self-care I could give myself in this crazy time of year. For me, quilting is meditation. It is my way of feeling connected to my self, my community and the universe. So why am I letting it feel like another chore on the list instead of the gift that it is?

Kim Soper/Leland Ave StudiosSometimes I’m just too tired. Whether it’s a crazy schedule, hormones, or a lack of sleep, sometimes I just don’t do what’s best for me. I do what’s in front of me. What feels easy. But then I start to feel disconnected. And I know what I need to do.

Today, I will be stepping back into the studio. I will let some of my other responsibilities slide. I will make me and my creativity a priority. I will nurture my spirit with each stitch.

Kim Soper/Leland Ave StudiosI am thinking that I will ease my way into things with some hand stitching and work on my Gypsy Wife quilt. Sometimes starting with projects that have a defined outcome help get me back in the groove of reclaiming my sewjo.

How do you handle creative time when life’s busy-ness gets in the way? I’d love to hear!



  1. Carving out some time, even if it is only 5-10 minutes to do something with fabric helps me. Even if it’s just pulling out some fabric and making a fabric pull for something I may never use. The act of giving myself that time and space to be in that zone helps me continue to reintegrate the time. I hope you had a good time this afternoon.

  2. Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine

    Great reflection, life does get busy and it’s important to have balance and do things that help you feel good. Loving your Gypsy Wife!

  3. Sarah

    Often I find following someone else’s pattern, or prepping binding to be all my tired brain is capable of, but it’s still worth it! I work hard to remember that not everything has to be amazing and perfect. Sometimes, a quick sandwich is okay for dinner, or pizza. And I’ve been known to just stop at Walmart and buy new socks then tackle the laundry pile. 🙂 Relaxing the self-imposed standards is a very good idea, and generally leads to more sewing time. 😀

  4. Ah, I remember those times when I had younger children and their needs were all-encompassing. I actually rarely sewed back then. The occasional costume, mending and the rare outfit made for a child was the limit for me. It is so difficult to fit it all in. However, take note – the time with your young-school age children is fleeting. You have heard the phrase that parenting is the “longest shortest time”. It is so true. Be kind to yourself, lower your standards for the things that must be done – can you skip a bit of housecleaning and sew instead? Prioritize – self & spouse, children, necessary life stuffs, and self-nurturing. You won’t regret it. Hoping you found some relaxation this weekend. 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks, Bernie. I definitely include sewing in my list of self-care. While I might enjoy getting a manicure or pedicure, often if I have a choice between that or sewing, it is sewing that wins out! I appreciate hearing your thoughts!

  5. Bernie is so right! The season of children is short, but intense. Prioritize sleep, good food, and just being available. I would look for those little bites of time between activities as cherished moments. Sometimes it felt good to talk with other moms, but often I separated myself to enjoy being all alone. That was so rare to get with 5 little ones. There was no time eaten up with surfing my smartphone then as none existed, but I always had a book or drawing pad stuck in my purse. How about a slow stitching project compact enough to stick in yours? It’s truly remarkable what even 15 minutes of stitching will do to my heart rate. Maybe to yours, too.

    1. Author

      Yes! Julie, I so agree. I have started keeping an embroidery project in my car to keep me feeling connected and productive even when I am waiting. It is true sometimes it is easier to scroll on instagram rather than picking up the needle and thread, but once I get started I am always glad that I did.

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