It is easy to find yourself in a rut, focusing only on work or outside obligations. Lives can become over-scheduled and feel less personally determined. One of the best ways to break out of these patterns is to incorporate one or two new creative hobbies into your week. Creative outlets have been known to relieve stress, improve mood and even keep the brain sharp as you learn new skills. Taking the time to add creative hobbies into your day may even produce a productive ripple into other aspects of your life.
What are some of the most creative hobbies you should try?
Drawing and Painting
Whether you have always wanted to learn how to draw, or you abandoned the hobby years ago, think about setting aside time to draw. It’s an inexpensive hobby – you don’t need specialty equipment to get started. Begin by trying to express a feeling in an abstract piece or try to do a rough sketch of some of your favorite photographs. Don’t be overly critical. Just let the pencil, charcoal or pen take you wherever your eye takes you. If you love it, consider taking classes.
Likewise, painting could be your newfound passion. An inexpensive watercolor set and an art pad can give you new opportunities to express yourself every day. As Martha Stewart Living points out, “[t]he world is your canvas — or at least, your craft room is a start.” You can do this alone, join a class or, if you are a wine lover, take a paint-and-sip class with friends.
Journaling and Writing
Bullet journaling and long-form journaling are great ways to get organized and release your inner creativity. You can include tasks and notes for the upcoming day/month, incorporate drawings and creative writing projects or even add photographs. Do you find yourself stressed or scattered because there is so much to do every day? Consider the process introduced in Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” Get up a little earlier and write every thought that comes into your head on your three “morning pages.” You will be surprised at how quickly the words flow out of you, and you may even find yourself wanting to write more.
Write a Song or Poetry
You may not think of yourself as a lyricist or poet now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tap into those creative forms. Begin with simple descriptions of your mood, feelings or the scenery in front of you – whatever you want to explore. Again, don’t be critical of yourself. Just let the thoughts flow and see where they go.
With the vast improvement in cell phone cameras, people are finding themselves taking more photographs than ever. If you love doing this but want to learn more, you can enroll in a community center class or take online tutorials. With so many free apps available, even editing your photos has become easier.
Speaking of cameras, the cell phone cameras are already useful for recording your favorite moments. If you have been tempted to start filming YouTube videos, this could be a good time to start. Whether you are interested in giving fashion tutorials, offering luxury travel destination tips or want to start writing and filming short films, you can!
In much the same way journaling can be therapeutic, blogging can also be a way of communicating your thoughts and feelings. Whether you are working on an online journal, or want to offer specific advice on how to bake, sew, knit or travel, blogs are a great way to share your thoughts. You can even incorporate the poems, videos or photographs you may have already created into it.
Did you take piano or clarinet lessons as a child? If you regret not continuing with lessons (or regret not practicing when you did), you can always start again. Rent instruments if you are afraid of making an expensive commitment too quickly, but if your soul is touched by music, this creative hobby is sure to re-energize you.
Learn to Dance
Just as music may have been in your life as a child, dance classes may have been a part of your early upbringing. Or maybe you were in the chorus in a school musical and always wanted to get better, but then moved on to other things. Dance is not only a brilliant form of creative expression, but it has been known to improve mood, as well as overall health.
Home Brewing and Wine Blending
If you love craft beer and want to try your hand at home brewing, it takes relatively little equipment to get started. It’s more about your passion, and your willingness to experiment. Similarly, wine blending allows you to mix your favorite varietals and create something uniquely you. If you don’t want to risk your favorite vintages at home, check your local area for blending labs and schedule a session with friends.
Baking, Cooking and BBQ Mastery
If you already enjoy baking goodies for the family, trying classic recipes or ruling over the barbecue grill, consider allowing yourself a little extra time for experimentation. Think about adding your creative take on your favorite dishes or adding new ingredients to pastries. And, of course, creating a new blend of spicy barbecue sauce will be time well spent.
Knitting has always been a terrific outlet for people who love to create unique and useful gifts, particularly if you live in an area with serious winter weather. Lately, knitting has been in the news as the latest stress relieving tool, and as Martha Stewart Living points out, “everyone is picking up a pair of knitting needles and yarn.” Even Finnish athletes during the Olympic games were knitting before their events as a way to relax. So, if you want a creative way to relieve stress and produce something warm and cozy that you will love using down the road, consider knitting.
Much like knitting, quilting can be a great hobby to focus the mind on the present activity. It’s also becoming a new tool in the quest for better textile recycling. If you have old event t-shirts that you don’t wear, but can’t summon the will to get rid of, incorporate them into a super soft and unique quilt. There can be pieces from multiple sources in many different fabrics or colors – the rules are your own when you are working alone. And if you are in need of some socializing, check your local craft stores for quilting groups seeking new members.
Build a Kite
Building a kite seems like such a simple idea. It was probably something you did as a child. You can buy a ready-to-build kit, or get the individual pieces and design your own. It’s a fun project to work on with kids or to do on your own for an eventual flight in your backyard or nearby beach. As a side benefit, flying a kite you built with your own hands is a terrific conversation starter.
Your initial reaction might be, “oh, that seems to difficult.” While it is challenging when you are just starting to learn the folds, there are numerous online videos and books that can set you off on a path of creating truly unique art pieces for your home. Plus, as many creative hobbies do, it focuses your mind on the present and away from your day-to-day stressors.
You may think of gardening as more of a task or skill than a creative hobby, but there is enormous creativity in developing a garden. Whether you are focused on introducing a specific kind of flower, or you want to create patterns of flowers, shrubs and trees, you’ll find yourself designing something that is uniquely you. Plus, numerous studies have shown that spending time in the garden lifts the mood and provides genuine feelings of accomplishment.
Imagine finding an old, damaged furniture piece with “good bones” at a thrift shop and making it into something special again. There is a lot of elbow grease that goes into furniture restoration, but you may surprise yourself at home much fun you had stripping off layers of paint or varnish to reveal a hidden treasure. Plus, you may be ready to incorporate some artistic touches of your own to the design of the piece. If you love the idea of upcycling, this creative hobby could be for you.
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