Let me say it here, loud and proud.
I cannot draw.
I don’t have the eye for it, or the patience to get better at it. But I definitely have an artistic soul, and I know first-hand how much participating in arts activities can be good for your mental health. Here are 5 ways you can enjoy some of the benefits of being creative (divergent thinking, relaxation, self expression) without the pressure to create a masterpiece.
1. Paint & Wine Events. These little galleries/businesses are popping up all over. You come in with a group, are given a canvas and a palette with pre-selected paint, and a very patient guide leads you step-by-step into creating your own sunset, or bowl of grapes, or whatever the image of the day might be. The instructions are very easy to follow, and let’s be honest, the wine is relaxing and helps you care a lot less about the result! Give it a try!
2. Beginning Craft Classes. Maybe something more hands-on, particularly at the beginning level, might be just the thing to awaken your creative self, and might also give your mood a boost. For example, I took a mosaics class, and I got pretty darn good at placing little glass tiles in a pattern that was pleasing. Pottery might be another fun option—who doesn’t need a slightly lumpy bowl or vase?
3. Gallery Walks. No one says you have to be the one making the art or craft; maybe you’d rather see works created by someone else. Not a problem—there are positive benefits to be gained from viewing art, whether you made it or not. You can get a dopamine rush—just like romance—from viewing art that you find pleasing. Another great thing about going to an art gallery? You can enjoy it alone, with another person, or even in a multi-age group. Great art is for everyone!
4. Try Knitting. Okay, so this one might be a bit self-serving. I LOVE to knit. It’s wonderfully relaxing, and the feel of the yarn slipping through your fingers is tactile heaven. There are all sorts of health benefits associated with knitting, not the least of which is that you can’t 1) smoke, 2) snack, or 3) play on your phone while you’ve got knitting needles in your hands.
And BONUS: Scarves and gloves for everyone this winter!
5. Take a Cooking Class. If you don’t think cooking is a creative form, I don’t want to eat your cooking! Yes, I know that the daily grind can be a bit much, but taking a cooking class can be a fun way to reconnect with the part of cooking that is fun and artistic. And think of all of the mad skills you can gain: Learn to make bread or pasta! Take a grilling class! Learn food from a new culture!
This list only touches on the many options out there for you to tap into your creative self (we didn’t even talk about adult coloring books or music lessons!). I hope you feel inspired to explore ways that you can create, grow, and feel good.
Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach. She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart. Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com