We may not know exactly why it feels so good to do something creative, but experience tells us expressing ourselves by writing, painting, drawing, carving, sculpting, knitting, sewing, building, or taking photos is somehow wonderfully therapeutic. It turns out there’s science behind those feel-good emotions. Art therapy is known to be helpful among people dealing with a variety of conditions such as depression, dementia, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.1 It can even help us express experiences that are too difficult for us to put into words, like dealing with a cancer diagnosis.2
August 8 is the Day to Create. Celebrate by getting in touch with your inner painter, writer, fiber artist, carpenter or photographer and tap into your creative side. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re not artistic, or if you’ve been told you can’t draw, or if you haven’t picked up a pencil in decades. Everyone can be creative in their own unique way. In fact, that’s the best part about being creative: your works of art are uniquely your own. They are an expression of your heart and soul and can’t be replicated by any other person.
Remember, being creative can be completely personal and private. You don’t have to share the things you create with anyone unless you want to – the joy can simply be in the creating, not in the revealing.
Make it a family affair
Your whole family can get in on the Day to Create action by working on a group project together. Encouraging the younger members of your family to explore their artistic sides may light a spark that will burn for the rest of their lives.
Consider these family or group-friendly pursuits:
- Paint a mural. Choose a wall in your home, pick a theme and let everyone get to work on a new family masterpiece.
- Create a family coat of arms. A family crest is a fun way for the members of your family to think about your shared history and values. Ask each member to choose something that they feel represents your family unit and make sure to incorporate it into the crest. Check out Pinterest for samples and inspiration.
- Make a family tree. Your family can work together to write stories about family members and ancestors.
- Deck the halls. If your family is really into Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanza, get a jump on the season by making decorations for your home. For DIY tips on making holiday decorations check out DIY & Crafts for non-holiday craft project ideas.
- Spend time in the kitchen. Cooking and baking are definitely creative endeavors. Gather your clan and make a few batches of your family’s favorite cookies, or research a fancy meal and prep a family feast together.
- Teach. If you have a creative passion, share it with a friend or family member by teaching them more about your craft. It might turn out to be a lifelong hobby you’ll enjoy together.
We often think we’re too busy to add one more activity into our over-scheduled day. But being mindful of our need to explore pursuits that bring us joy will help us make time – even if it’s just 15 minutes a day – to do the things we love, and to take care of our own mental health and well being.
Make an appointment with yourself. Write it down in your calendar, set an alarm, put a sticky note on your mirror – whatever it takes to remind yourself that you deserve a few minutes to relax, unwind, and do something that fuels your soul and engages your brain in a completely different way.
417717 CAN/US (08/19)