You’re goal-driven. You’ve got the ladder to climb, corporate or otherwise. You’re running a marathon in three months. You may even have big plans of tackling clutter and meditating more for your mental health. Basically, you’re a superhero and we’re on the sidelines cheering you on!
We know you’ve got a lot going on in your life, because we do too! But when was the last time you took some time to play? To create for the sake of creating? To exercise that right part of your brain in a world that is constantly demanding your left? If you’re anything like us, it’s not often enough.
You might say “I don’t have time to be creative, I have a schedule to stick to!”
Same, girl. Same.
But the benefits of having a creative outlet are numerous, such as improving mental health (e.g. reducing anxiety), and may even aid in delaying cognitive decline in old age. Getting those juices flowing can even make you more productive and efficient at working towards your goals. Why? Because you’re relaxed (hellooo, stress management!) and your brain is in problem-solving mode. We could wax-poetic all day about the benefits of practicing creativity regularly, but instead, we’re going to give you 5 activities you could try ASAP so you can jump right in and get started.
1. Pottery class
Remember the days of elementary art class when the teacher would pull out the block of clay and you knew the next few weeks were going to be muddy bliss? There’s no reason you can’t recreate that feeling two, three, or even eight decades later. Get thee to a pottery class and watch as the wheel spins your blob of clay into a beautiful vase.
Really, taking a class is a great way to try any new creative hobby, but it’s particularly smart when you’re trying out activities that involve pricey equipment, such as a pottery wheel or a sewing machine. Better to make sure you like it before diving in and investing in your own kiln.
2. Cross stitch
Ugh, cross stitch — isn’t that for old ladies? Not anymore! Ever see those embroidery hoops with mildly vulgar sayings? Those could be your creations. Or you could work your way up to making funny kitchen towels for friends. Heck, you could start embroidering cats onto every piece of fabric you find. The world is your embroidery oyster, girl.
Cross stitch requires enough focus that you can’t do it mindlessly — and who doesn’t want to exercise their focusing powers, amirite? Maybe those old ladies are on to something!
3. Cake decorating
Cake decorating really is its own art form. Whether you work entirely with frosting and icing, or you venture into the world of fondant, decorative candies, or even sculpting, cake decorating requires you to slow down, get focused, and work with precision. In this hectic, 21st century world, an activity that slows down our minds (and bodies, for that matter) is one to consider. An added bonus? Few things make friends and family happy like an impressive, funny and/or gorgeous dessert.
4. Learn to draw
Many of us have said on numerous occasions that we have no drawing talent. What’s more likely is that we’ve never taken the time to learn. And an easy way to get started is to head on over to your local craft store and find a book that looks interesting to you, be it portraits, animals, or something more abstract. Grab some pencils, a pad of decent paper, a good eraser, and you’ve got everything you need to start drawing. Yes, it can be that simple.
There is a whole world of miniature projects out there for you to dive into. Some people love crafting tiny food out of clay while others find themselves neck deep in constructing an entire dollhouse from scratch. So what does a newbie do? Find a few furniture pieces, already constructed, for you to decorate however you please. You could stain a dollhouse sized grandfather clock in a gorgeous mahogany brown or spend time finding the right fabric for a tiny bed’s tiny quilt. There is something very soothing about the world of miniatures and your inner child is going to freak.
Need More Ideas?
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. These are just a few ideas to get you started — if none of them speak to you, you might consider heading to your local craft store and browsing the aisles until the muse strikes.
In the hectic busyness of our everyday lives, finding an enjoyable hobby that can slow us down, get our brains working creatively, and really just be in the moment is vital. And even if your schedule really is dominating your life these days, it’s key to make your creative outlet part of the schedule.
Written By: Rachel Curit