4 Creative Outlets for People Living With Lupus

According to Brene Brown (author, social scientist, and researcher), "Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame." I have found these words to be true in my own life. During months in which I’ve been too sick with lupus to be as creative as I’d like, I’ve felt listless, depressed, and anxious. Fortunately, there are many ways to be creative, even when you live with joint pain and fatigue. Here are some of ways to get in touch with your inner creativity, along with an estimation of how much energy each activity requires:

Decorating your home

Energy level: moderately high

When I bought a house and moved from my small condo earlier this year, I was fortunate to discover I had a wonderful problem: I had to decorate my very own space. The walls of my bedroom, dining room, and living room were all giant blank canvases waiting for me to leave my mark. A few hours after tumbling into an internet wormhole of interior design trends, my house has finally started to feel like a home. While many decor items can be purchased online, you do sometimes have to visit brick and mortar stores, especially if you are looking for a precise color or texture. Many online furniture purchases also have to be assembled, which requires some energy.

Decorating your home doesn't have to be expensive – which is fortunate since most of us are broke after that hefty down payment. I bought 90 percent of my home decor either at thrift stores like Goodwill or off of the Facebook marketplace.

Writing with lupus

Energy Level: low

If you ever feel like your emotions are bottled up inside you, writing can be the vent that releases your inner tension. When I first began writing, I was stuck in a severe flare, bedridden, and unable even to sit for long periods of time. I propped my laptop up on some pillows I placed on my stomach and wrote lying down. You can write just for yourself, or you can post your thoughts online in the form of a blog. Writing costs nothing, although you can also choose to hone your skills and become a better writer by taking writing classes online or at your local community writing center. You never know who might read your words and feel inspired.

Writing can also be an escape from lupus. You can write fan fiction, post stories on Wattpad, or even write a novel that has absolutely nothing to do with lupus.

Creating collages for goals

Energy level: low

Creating a collage, or a collection of images isn’t just a creative outlet. It can help you understand your goals and desires better. By cutting images that appear to you out of magazines or newspapers, you can look at an overall picture of who you are as a person – literally and figuratively.

Using Pinterest to organize ideas

Energy level: low

Pinterest is basically an online collage that you can share with your friends. You can pin everything from cupcake recipes to interior design ideas to Harry Potter-themed party ideas. I don’t know if the human race ever discovers more fun and creative way to organize your ideas than Pinterest.

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