The past six months have been some of the most stressful that I can remember. Between quitting my job, launching Work It, Mom!, moving to a new city, and getting my daughter ready for her new routine (daycare starts Monday!), I’ve had very little time for sleep, not to mention time to do anything you might call relaxing. And I recently realized that I cut out of my life the one thing that has always helped to invigorate me, regardless of how little sleep I was working on: doing something creative.

I grew up making up art projects. My family had a tradition of always making gifts for each other — and I think this stemmed only partly from the fact that we usually had little or no money to buy gifts. Over the years I’ve done everything from making simple cards to custom board games and crossword puzzles as presents (yes, I had a lot more time back then.) I also pretend to know how to paint and over the years have tried everything from Japanese Sumi-e painting to abstract painting using funky gels and textures. I love the process and in a funny way, the perfectionist in me takes a vacation when I am doing something creative.

I think being creative, building or drawing or making something with your hands, is one of the most powerful ways to de-stress and get energized. I recently had a conversation with another very busy working mom who said to me that she feels this way about cooking. She stays up late making up new dishes not because of any type of guilt or obligation, but because she finds this creative process restorative.

So here’s a call out to all of your extremely busy professional moms: Find some time in your life to do something creative. Here are some sources of inspiration, if you need them:

Keri Smith has a great list called 100 ideas. It's a comilation of small creative projects you can do in just a few minutes a day. Pick one and do it this week.

Kathy Murillo, over at Crafty Chica, has some great ideas for creative art projects. Her latest one is a painted backpack. This could be a fun creative project to do together as a family.

Art Junk Girl has some really fun ideas for creative projects using stuff you already have lying around the house. Check it out.

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