When it comes to stress relief, oftentimes I think we picture taking a hot bath, maybe watching a movie, or exercising…
Something else you should consider the next time you’re stressed is a creative outlet! Creative outlets can be anything you enjoy doing that gets your brain working, but that is not stressful. Actually, practicing a creative outlet relieves your stress.
How do creative outlets relieve stress, though?
Well, they get us to take our minds off of whatever is stressing us out – whether that be our jobs, families, money, or other problems (big or small) that occur in our lives. If you’re enjoying an activity and are focused on it, then you are relieving the stress of worrying about other things that are going on in your life.
No, I’m not saying just go paint a picture and avoid all of your problems. What I’m saying is, when you know you’re stressed, mentally drained, and exhausted, try taking a break and enjoying yourself by doing one of these creative activities!
Choose what sounds most interesting or stress-relieving to you, and plan a time to do it. Let’s get into the ideas…
Creative Outlet #1 – Photography
I think we all enjoy looking at photos – we see beautiful pictures every day all over social media. Viewing pictures has always been a wonderful way to communicate, and now-a-days we all have cameras.
Instead of sticking to your usual selfies and pictures of your pets (we’re all guilty and there’s nothing wrong with it), I challenge you to get outside, out of your comfort zone – take some photos of nature, your city’s downtown area, your neighborhood, your friends, your spouse – get creative!
It acts as such a stress relief to enjoy being outside in nature and creating art through photography.
You can get even more imaginative and into this creative outlet by playing with different editing programs on your smart phone or computer. The things you can do are endless!
Creative Outlet #2 – Adult Coloring Books
This is probably the most obvious of any of the ideas in this post, but I felt it was still worth mentioning because coloring books are easy to access, and most people have some markers or colored pencils laying around.
A quick Amazon search for “adult coloring books” should do the trick. You can also find tons of options at your local craft store, Target, or Walmart!
I am always able to find really beautiful, inexpensive floral-themed coloring books on Amazon.
Creative Outlet #3 – Jewelry-Making
Do you guys remember the bright-colored little beads and jewelry-making kits we used to have as kids? They were so fun!
There’s no reason as adults we can’t have as much fun with a little more modern-looking jewelry.
This article from Veguci mentions over 30 different DIY jewelry-making ideas. How cool!
There is a local bead store near me, and I have been able to find some unique jewelry pieces there while supporting a local business. See if there are any near you! If not, you can always check out your local craft store.
Creative Outlet #4 – Thrifting Outfits
There is something so exciting about finding an amazing piece of clothing at the thrift store! It’s affordable, it’s sustainable, it’s unique, and you can usually find really high quality pieces!
My favorite way to do this is to find outfit inspiration on Pinterest, then make a list of things I’d like to find at the thrift store. Heading into my local Goodwill or consignment shop, I know exactly what I’m looking for already!
A year ago, I bought two beautiful, classic wool coats for less than $10 each at Goodwill! They were easy to clean up, and they look brand new.
I find thrifting is one of the best ways to find quality, sustainable basics that never go out of style. Not only are you able to enjoy thrifting as a creative outlet, but you can save resources at the same time.
Creative Outlet #5 – Painting, Drawing
Two of the most classic, obvious art forms are painting and drawing. There’s a freeing feeling when you’re able to let your creative juices flow onto a canvas or piece of paper.
Have you ever tried a “paint & sip” or “wine & design” class? I did once, and it was a lot of fun! Do a quick Google search for ones in your area to find out when one is taking place near you.
Creative Outlet #6 – Writing
My personal favorite creative outlet idea – writing!
Whether you enjoy blogging, poetry, songwriting – whatever it is – get out a pen and paper (or type it!) and start writing down your thoughts.
There’s something so freeing (to me, at least) about taking thoughts from your mind and putting them out in front of you. It also helps you get things organized!
If you enjoy writing stories, start writing and see where it takes you – remember, creative time is you time so it is whatever you make it!
Have you ever heard of a brain dump or tried it? If you don’t know where to start, follow some of the prompts listed below!
- What do you need to get done this week that will help you better prepare for the rest of the month?
- What goals do you need to achieve to be where you want to be a year from now?
- What do you need more of in your life?
- What have you been avoiding lately?
- Who in your life do you admire most and why?
- What can you do today that your future self will thank you for?
Go as in depth with your answers as you want or write down some short answers – brain dumping is its own category of therapy in my opinion.
Creative Outlet #7 – Plant Care
Are you a nature lover like me?
I get so much joy out of caring for my houseplants and I really find pruning and watering my plants to be therapeutic.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb or the time to care for a living plant, you may enjoy putting together a floral arrangement as a home décor piece.
I’ve enjoyed creating wreaths with some simple floral supplies from my local craft store.
Creative Outlet #8 – Cooking
Pinterest is one of the best places to start if you want to make a creative new recipe!
Whether you want to do something new and innovative or you just want to follow instructions, cooking is a great way to be creative.
Creative Outlet #9 – Reading
Okay, maybe you’re thinking – reading isn’t a creative activity; I’m just reading a book – but let’s think about it in a different way. What is more creative than reading words that someone else wrote and creating the world as you understand it using your imagination?
Not to mention, reading is such a stress reliever, which is why we’re focusing on practicing creative outlets in this blog.
Not sure what to read? Try reading about a subject that interested you. I’ve been loving vegan books lately, and you can’t go wrong with a good murder mystery!
Remember, creative outlets are for relieving stress – not adding more stress to your life. So, don’t take your activities too seriously! Just enjoy some downtime and have fun with your artsy, imaginative side. It can take you to some incredible places and greatly improve your mental health.
What are your favorite creative outlets? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @selflovescript!