How COVID Sparked My Creativity – And 6 Activities for You to Try, Part 2
In the first part of this article, I shared how the COVID lockdowns - while anxiety-producing in many ways - also gave me a quiet season of life and the solitude I didn't even know I was longing for - providing the opportunity for me to jump back into creative endeavors I used to enjoy.
Creative activities to consider
With research and science providing a plethora of insight into how creative outlets can help us improve our mood, reduce anxiety and even lessen physical pain, now might be the ideal time for you to incorporate a creative activity into your schedule. Perhaps you used to love sketching but haven't picked up a pad in some time, or maybe you enjoyed baking for family and friends. Or, perhaps there is something you have always wanted to attempt but never had the time or push to step out of your comfort zone. I want to encourage you right now to make a commitment to add some creativity to your life and reap the physical and mental health benefits. Here are a few affordable and fun ideas to consider:
Writing and journaling
Writing and journaling offer a variety of benefits, and people partake in this activity for different reasons. Some choose to journal about the day’s events and situations as an act of releasing the day onto a piece of paper, while others journal deeper into tough life situations and experiences as a cathartic activity and to help in the healing process. Another reason to journal is to have a record of your life that you can read and enjoy years down the road. If you enjoy writing on a more extensive level, consider article writing, beginning a novel, short story, or a memoir about your experiences. If you want to share your work, you can post articles on Medium or your novels on websites like WattPad for others to read.
Playing an instrument
Always wanted to learn a new instrument or want to rekindle your love for an instrument you played when you were younger? Today, whether you choose YouTube or a variety of other tutorial platforms, you can find lessons from beginner to expert level for a range of musical instruments – and best of all, you can do them from the comfort of your own home!
Pick up your camera
If you have always been told you “have a good eye” and you love all things photography, now is a great time to try your hand at this creative option. If you are new to photography, there are many tutorials on YouTube and also great courses on photography and digital editing software on platforms like Udemy and Domestika.org. You can also join online forums or private Facebook groups on photography that allow you to ask questions, get advice, and give/receive feedback from others who enjoy time behind the camera.
Adult coloring books
Maybe drawing and painting isn’t your thing, but you have a desire to create something colorful with your hands. With adult coloring books, the pictures are already created for you; you just need to invest in some markers or colored pencils and let your imagination go wild. Many people find that spending some quiet time coloring helps relieve stress, improves mood, and reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.1 Grab some adult coloring books wherever books are sold or on Amazon. You can also do a search online for free adult coloring pages that you can print from home!
Painting offers such free expression and the opportunity to get something onto paper but in another artistic medium that doesn’t involve writing. Between oils, watercolor, and acrylic, there are a variety of options available when it comes to painting, and access to free or low-cost lessons are endless thanks to YouTube, Patreon, Instagram, and more. Plus, with research showing that painting can help release those feel-good chemicals in the body and is an effective form of therapy for those who have experienced traumatic events, perhaps experimenting with paints is an ideal creative option for you.2
There is a reason TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are flooded with dancing videos and tutorials – dancing makes you feel good physically and mentally, plus it offers another form of expression when it comes to creativity. If you have been experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression,3 or just want to improve your mood and add some exercise into your schedule, dancing might be the perfect creative outlet to try!
Other creative outlets for people with lupus
Other creative outlets that can have a beneficial effect on mental health include baking, knitting, cross-stitching, pottery, singing, film & video creation, sewing, cake decorating, or digital art such as graphic design or typography. Find and embrace what creative outlets work best for you, your energy levels, and your personality. And don’t be too hard on yourself when you are just starting out – remember the goal is to have fun and enjoy these endeavors! We want to reap the health benefits of these activities, not create more stress for ourselves.
Have a creative outlet you would love to share with our readers? Comment below and tell us more about it!
Who do you turn to first for emotional support? (choose up to three)