The holiday season is well and truly upon us; a time to catch up with friends and family, go to the beach, soak up the outdoors and eat Christmas leftovers for daaaaaays. But in this time of busyness and festivities, don’t forget to take some time for yourself to relax, regroup and refresh for the new year. And what better way to do this than by getting creative!
Creative activities can relieve stress, increase brain function and improve your mood – it’s pretty much therapy for your mind. Plus, it’s fun! You don’t have to be a talented artist to reap the benefits either; simply listening to music, looking at art or reading a book can work wonders on your mind. So choose whatever feels right for you and give yourself a break from the stresses and worries of life.
Here are a few different ways you can unwind this holiday season:
Draw, sketch, paint
The American Art Therapy Association suggests that the process of making and creating artwork helps to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.” The end product doesn’t have to be perfect, the important part is the process – so just enjoy it! Check out our page What is Art Therapy? to learn more.
Indulge in a colouring book
Newsflash: colouring in is not just for kids! Colouring books have become very popular with adults and teens as away of switching off your thoughts and relieving stress. It’s an accessible form of meditation, not to mention you end up with some pretty rad patterns and pictures. You can check out some colouring books for sale here.
Learn an instrument
Believe me it’s easier than you think! Now with the wonderful world of the internet you can access thousands of youtube videos to help you learn both the basics and how to play specific songs. Or if instruments aren’t your thing, I find that singing in the shower is also a great stress reliever 😉
Sewing, knitting, embroidery
I know summer’s not the best time to be knitting scarves and beanies, but remember it’s all about the process not the product. Or if knitting’s not your things why not grab some rad material from your local op shop or craft store and get sewin’! I’m also a huge fan of the feminist embroidery trend happening atm – check out pinterest for inspo!
Make something delicious
Whoever ever said cooking was purely practical? You can get real crafty with your meals this summer, and enjoy both the aesthetics and scrumptiousness of your food. Cupcakes, homemade icy-poles, pastries, fruit salads, mocktails – the possibilities are endless! You can check out some yummy recipes in our Healthy Living section.
Take your creativity outdoors
Ever tried gardening? Now’s the time! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and discover the thrill of being out in nature this summer. You could build a veggie patch project or just start with a few small pot plants. Gardening has tremendous mental health benefits, not to mention the physical health benefits of getting plenty of outdoor time. (Just remember to slip, slop, slap!)
Write it all down
One of the best way to make sense of your thoughts and feelings is to write it all down. It doesn’t have to be a novel or even or a beautiful poem, it just helps to get it down on paper. Putting your own experiences into poems, short stories or essays can be really therapeutic, but if prefer to just keep a diary for yourself that’s cool too!
Listen, watch, explore
If the thought of arts & crafts and creating something is a bit overwhelming, you can always enjoy the world of creativity around you. Check out your nearest gallery, enjoy some summer reads, listen to some new music, go to a live concert – whatever you like! Enjoying some of these creative activities will help clear your head and get you ready to take on 2018!
Happy holidays Rosie readers! ❤️
Maddy regularly writes for Rosie, and is passionate about music, history, art and gender equality.