Self Care Series - Get Creative

August 04, 2021

Getting creative can improve your brain function, physical health and mental wellbeing. The theory of cognition strongly suggests that being creative is actually a basis for human life. Basically, being creative is pretty important! Getting creative can range from doodling on some paper, to painting on canvas, writing a story, cutting and pasting a collage, to building a sculpture or any of the 1000 other ways. It also reduces dementia, feelings of depression and (this is pretty important right now) isolation.

When you start something creative and get into the ‘flow’, your attention is totally absorbed in what you are doing, your brainwaves slow down and your original thoughts are better able to form. While this is happening your prefrontal cortex temporarily powers down, which makes us less critical of our ideas and more confident. Then your brain releases huge amounts of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine - all of the pleasure and happiness chemicals.

Now before you tell me “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, just hear me out. Doing something creative isn’t just about art, it could be planning a party, or planting a garden, rearranging your furniture or experimenting with makeup. These are some of my favourite, easy, cheap and satisfying ways I am creative without leaving the house.

Anyone who knows me knows I am ceramics mad, I am currently studying my diploma in Ceramics at art school, and always have clay under my fingernails. For me it’s the best way to get into a flow state - make something with my hands, creating shapes and vessels then smoothing it down. Buying a clay kit like these from bakedearthco.com is a great way to start your ceramist life!

 

Watercolours! Another fun thing I love to do when I can’t sleep is watercolour painting. I bought a $10 mindful colouring book and a $4 little tray of watercolours and I just paint in the lines. It really takes me to a zen place doing the repetitive patterns especially.

Journaling! You don’t need any fancy books, just a pencil and paper or your notes app in your phone or a basic word document. Just get it out, try and form sentences, or don’t. There is something so real about getting your feelings out of your head where you can see them.

 

Knitting or crocheting! Another good one that once you start, you get into that flow and your brain just goes clear. There are hundreds of thousands of YouTube instruction vids (that’s how I learnt to cast off and purl) and needles and wool can be very cheap from Big W or the Reject Shop.

 

Here are some more great ideas from PsychCentral.com


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