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Three Ways Creativity Brought Healing from COVID

Backstory

I had planned a visit to my niece for her granddaughter’s thirteenth birthday.  She had let me know they had been exposed to COVID but tested negative using an at-home test kit.  We felt assured and went to the birthday dinner.  All was well until she called while we were driving home and said the follow-up results showed positive for COVID.

Two days later, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I slept a LOT! I had absolutely NO energy or stamina.  I look at what saved me and daily creative practices certainly helped although at times I wasn’t sure I could do anything.  Here’s what I did:

1. Journaling

Morning Pages

I continued the practice of writing three pages of stream of consciousness writing each morning.  Several entries capture how I wasn’t sure I could even write.  But I did. I captured my fears and worries, my progress and setbacks.  I let it all out on the page. 

Dream Journal

As I said, I slept a LOT!  I also dreamt a LOT. Vivid, strange dreams.  I couldn’t capture them all, but I did record what I could remember.  Looking at what I wrote, I I’m not sure I see any themes specific to being sick, but they are added to the previous recorded dreams to be reviewed later.

2. Meditating and Prayer

Insight Timer

I still can’t believe this app is free (you can buy a premium version) and has such a variety of meditations available.  I used sleep meditations at night. I used affirmations in the morning.  They even have COVID specific resources and meditations for healing. 

insighttimer.com

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping)

I used the Tapping Solution app, Insight Timer, and YouTube for specific meditations using the EFT tapping meditations.  Tapping simulates the practice of accupuncture or accupressure by stimulating body’s energy pathways. Specific points on these pathways are “tapped” to improve the flow of energy and promote healing. I don’t really understand the science behind it all, but it does bring relief.

http://thetappingsolution.com

Morning Prayer

Each day started with a prayer for the sick, especially those suffering from COVID. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for my niece and her husband.  I prayed for me.  I prayed for all people with COVID. 

Evening Prayer

These were prayers of gratitude.  Thank you for another day still alive and breathing.  Thank you for the progress in healing. Thank you for the beautiful first snow.  Thank you for the sunny day. Thank you for the dear friends and neighbors who came through with food, flowers, medical supplies, and care. 

3. Art

Draw Just One Line

Early on, I sat at my drawing table and stared at a small painting I had started pre-COVID.  I wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t really have the energy to do much of anything. I told myself, try drawing just one line.  I drew one line, the next day I drew another.  Then I progressed to adding just a little paint. 

Keep It Small and Quick

After days of pretty much doing nothing, I grabbed a small sketchbook and started to draw.  I drew a quick pencil portrait. It probably didn’t take more than 20 minutes.  The next day, I decided to draw horses.  Two subjects I gravitated towards in my youth were ladies and horses.  I hadn’t drawn a horse in years.  The next day, I drew another. 

Creativity for Healing – Small (5″ x 7″) pencil sketches

UFOs and WIPs

I finally recovered enough to focus on UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and WIPs (Works in Progress) One was an underpainting for a portrait class I started before COVID hit.  The other was a large train painting I’ve been working on for months. I didn’t have the stamina to complete the underpainting in one sitting, but I felt some satisfaction on taking the portrait to the next level. 

Creativity for Healing – Portrait process from sketch to underpainting(s)

Takeaways

  • I survived with excellent medical care and a focus on self-care
  • Journaling allowed me to capture my worries and fears
  • True friends come through in tough times
  • Art gives hope

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