When a person has anxiety, there is usually a lack of control that person has in their life. I believe as humans, we have this desire to seek more control over our day-to-day, especially with how we spend our time. Creative exercise in projects outside of professional life is a powerful practice I've found. Having ownership of the whole creation process without an "outside force" motivating or "forcing" you to do something has encouraged personal expression and a sense of control over certain aspects of my life.
If you haven't found what your creative practice is, there is room for experimentation and exploration! What do you want to be doing in your free time that stimulates your mind and sparks energy and joy?
For me, it's been making stickers. I'm pretty sure the mechanism of how I got into them is because of my childhood. I grew up collecting them and keeping them a shoebox I still have to this day! Maybe finding your creative practice is rooted in a childhood joy that might have gotten lost while you've gotten older.
I love how when you "sticker bomb" something, all the stickers usually represent the person somehow. It's an emblem or mark that makes a statement to show who you are. I'm not the strongest drawer/illustrator, but stickers are fabulous! And at the end of the day, creativity isn't reserved only for the most artistically inclined people.
I've started making my own stickers. From design to print and all the way to shipping, I enjoy sending them as little delights to friends and family. My inspiration has been creating stickers as mementos that remind me of experiences or as personal representations. Not all the stickers I make necessarily mean something. Sometimes they do, and other times they don't. But that's creativity. Inspiration of life where meaning is apparent, but other times not so much.
What do you want?
I began selling my stickers in hopes of sharing them with the world. I still sell them, but I took a step back because I realized the expectation I started to put on myself.
In the last few years, the rise of the creator economy has opened the gates for people to take back their time to do the things they want to do. There are so many resources creators can use to create, share, and eventually monetize their craft. On one side, it's beautiful because (again) it's about taking back your time to do what you want. On the other side of it, though, especially if you begin monetizing, the external forces to "create for others" start to seep in. Instead of creating for yourself, you're doing because of what the audience wants.
It's a balancing act overall. It's about not taking anything to the extreme and checking in with yourself. When you begin to create because of expectations, then you begin to lose the magic of creativity and what drew you to the craft in the first place. Create to share because you want to build relationships. Don't put the expectation of creating because of what the external world makes you think. This is your creative practice, and don't let others take that away from you.