For those of us stuck at home right now, there is immense pressure to “make the most” of the situation and be even more productive. While I know that finding a new routine can be really helpful, I believe that creativity is far more important. The act of using our imagination to create something has numerous physical and mental health benefits. Plus, it’s fun! Studies have found that tapping into your creativity can increase happiness, reduce anxiety and boost your immune system. We could all use a bit more of that right now, which is why I’ve compiled a list of easy ways to be creative in any situation. Ready to get those creative juices flowing?
One of my favourite, lazy ways to feel a bit more creatively energised is by putting together a new playlist on Spotify. Listening to music allows our mind to wander, leading to inspiration and problem-solving thinking. According to a study conducted in 2017, listening to upbeat, ‘happy’ music facilitates divergent thinking. This is a spontaneous, free-flowing thought process that generates ideas by exploring multiple solutions. Have a particular problem that you need to solve? Take a break and listen to something that makes you feel good. I’ve recently been loving chilled, lofi beats like the ones on this playlist. But feel free to explore any genre that boosts your mood and helps you tap into your more creative side.
How many proud banana bread posts have you seen on the gram this week? Too many to count right, and I don’t blame them. While food is one of the most fundamental needs for survival, the process of cooking or baking can be a mindful practice of self care. Focusing on preparing the ingredients, carefully weighing and measuring quantities and applying the correct technique brings us into the present moment. Engaging fully with each action calms our inner chatter and allows us to enter a flow state. Out of necessity, we are all becoming a bit more creative in the kitchen. I’ve recently discovered Mina Rome’s YouTube channel, filled with simple and comforting vegan recipes and am excited to try my hand at a few. By approaching cooking with a conscious openness, we can create new and delicious dishes out of what we have and enjoy the process.
Here comes the activity most commonly associated with being creative… drawing and painting! While a blank canvas can be daunting, there are plenty of resources online to help you overcome that first hurdle. The most important thing to remember when approaching any creative activity is to suspend your judgement. Enjoy the process of putting paint or ink onto a page, without focusing on the end result. I love XO, Macenna’s simple guide to creating some watercolour and acrylic art for your home. If this still seems too intimidating, why not purchase a colouring book and some pencils online? I received this one as a birthday gift last week and have thoroughly enjoyed filling in the pages.
Now is also the perfect time to try out a new look! Always wanted to try e-girl makeup but worried it might go horribly wrong? With nowhere to be and no one to see you can experiment with your clothes, hair and makeup in peace. Why not also practice getting the perfect selfie to show off the new you? Just please promise me you will watch Brad Mondo’s tutorials before attempting to colour your own hair. You don’t want to cause lasting damage to your beautiful mane.
Reading and writing are often overlooked when it comes to exploring creativity. But both allow you to delve deeper into your imagination. Not only is reading a great exercise for the mind, it is also a form of escapism that allows you to experience multiple lives and perspectives. We might be inside right now, but we can still absorb the sights, smells and sounds of a bustling street in 18th century Paris or a humid Amazonian jungle. Being able to stretch our imagination to write about these places is a magical feat of creativity. Why not open a book and be transported into a fictional world, or pick up a pen and write from the perspective of someone else. I am currently reading The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie and don’t want the adventure to end. The characters all feel so flawed and real, and I cannot for the life of me predict how the story will end.
How are you staying creative right now? Have you started a bullet journal or planted a flower garden? Let me know what hobbies help you to enter a flow state and forget about the rest of the world for a little while.