The Importance of Practicing Creativity As an Adult

 
Photo by Catherine Bousquet for Distill Creative at our  macramé workshop.

Photo by Catherine Bousquet for Distill Creative at our macramé workshop.

 

Developing tools to manage the stresses of life is something that many of us need to manage, particularly for those of us with demanding jobs, home lives, or other time consuming commitments. Flexing your creativity is one key way many of us can manage stress. After childhood, prioritizing creativity is often something we forget to celebrate or nurture. But it’s important to maintain balance with your endeavors outside of your professional life in some way. 

A creative act such as crafting can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural antidepressant (source). Crafting alone has become a large, profitable business with $36 billion market size

So what creative tools and endeavors can you utilize to invigorate your creative side? Here are some ideas:



 
Shibori indigo dyed tea towel made by  student in creative aging class .

Shibori indigo dyed tea towel made by student in creative aging class.

1 | Make something to adorn your home

Head to Pinterest and actually create one of those DIYs you’ve bookmarked to make something to adorn your home like a throw pillow, curtains, artwork, shelves, etc. With some time and the ability to follow instructions, you can make something for your home that would be worthy of selling on Etsy should you choose to. 

2 | Try your hand at writing fan-fic based on a favorite book or movie

If you’re still going through Game of Thrones pangs or just finished reading a favorite book for the 3rd time, try your hand at writing fiction with your favorite characters. Create plotlines that satisfy you if the way a film, book or tv show evolved or ended doesn’t sit well with you. Even if you don’t intend to actually show your writing to anyone, it could be a fulfilling way to express your creativity. 



Photo by Ben Bunker for Distill Creative at our  Block Printing Workshop

Photo by Ben Bunker for Distill Creative at our Block Printing Workshop

3 | Take a creative workshop

Taking a workshop or creative class to learn something new is one way to dabble with creativity without taking on a long term commitment like a series or course. You can be exposed to a creative practice or activity on a one-time basis. If one activity in particular really resonates, you can invest more time/money/effort into it. For example, if you take a candle making workshop in your area and absolutely love it, you can definitely invest in candle making supplies and start making them for friends and family. There are creative workshop options in most major cities through creative companies (like Distill Creative), organizations (like your local library or community center), universities/schools, etc. You can also try taking an online craft course, browse Skillshare, or joining groups on a website like Meet-up.com to see what types of creative workshops/events may be taking place in your area. If you are DC, Northern VA, NYC, or LA based, you can check out the monthly craft workshops held by Distill Creative -- I lead the monthly workshops in Washington, DC!

Urban Sketching workshop  for company party in NYC.

Urban Sketching workshop for company party in NYC.

Urban Sketching workshop  for company party in NYC.

Urban Sketching workshop for company party in NYC.

4 | Plan a themed party

If you’re looking to express your creativity AND gather friends and family together during this season! Get really into event planning and plan a fun themed party and create everything from scratch from your theme, to invitations, to menu choices, party games + activities, and more! You use one of Distill Creative’s craft workshop party guides to plan your party or hire us to create a custom creative project for your group. 

5 | Start a blog, IG account, or newsletter around a topic that you’re passionate about

If you want a more long term project, start a blog, social media account or newsletter about a topic you’re passionate about. That way you can flex creative muscles like content creation + writing, photography, creative direction, etc. If you love gardening or raising awareness about sustainable living, create a blog or account you want to dive in to and use a site like Squarespace or an email platform like Mailchimp to get started with no knowledge. You can alternately start an IG featuring your original poetry or photos of your pet in various detailed settings while they nap. 

 There are endless ways you can explore your creativity, the biggest step is to commit to it and incorporate it into your life.

Shenneth Dove-Morse is our Washington, DC Distill Creative Chapter Leader and hosts monthly creative workshops in Washington, DC. Check out her blog here, find her on instagram here and sign up for her upcoming workshops in DC here