When I was younger, all I ever wanted to be was an artist. It didn’t even matter what kind, I just wanted the ability to work with my hands and create. I had a childlike curiosity about everything around me and was never afraid to lean heavily on the right side of my brain and the skills that came most naturally to me.
As I grew older, I felt more pressure to develop the science and math skills that came easy to my left brain acquaintances. Over time, I became more focused on developing these skills because I thought they were more “right” than creativity. I even became accustomed to finding hobbies, internships and other experiences that fit with these more technical qualities. It’s as if the world was saying, “these skills are more useful for the real word, the creative skills just aren’t as important.”
Although I think it’s important to be well-rounded in all areas, I have always felt that since that key time growing up, I’ve neglected and pushed aside my want and need to be creative simply because I thought it was wrong or looked down upon. After a few “adult” years of struggling with this gap, I’ve come to terms with being okay needing to embrace my creative side every once in a while. I feel like now I see the value of being creative and the joy and new point of view that a little left-side thinking can bring to an area in my life.
Since my recent decision to embrace creativity in all aspects of my life, I’ve started small habits to slowly build up my creative muscle again. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to create or be original or solve a problem differently so I’ve compiled a few small things you can start with today.
Adult coloring books are bomb. I still remember the day my mother-in-law gave me my first adult coloring book. Knowing I was in a stressful situation at work, she thought it would be the perfect thing to help clear my mind. Little did she know, she encouraged me to start a new habit. Plus, I really did miss using colored pencils and markers. I feel like a kid again!
Switch it up. This could be as simple as taking a different route to work than you usually do or try substituting your usual breakfast of eggs with a new chia seed pudding you’ve been dying to make. The point is to push yourself out of your normal routine and in doing so getting your brain to think and approach a situation differently.
Get Moving. If you’re feeling very lackluster with no imaginative willpower whatsoever, get up and get moving. Every time I get my body moving, the creative juices start flowing. Don’t feel like you have to do you’re hardest workout, but at least do some yoga, go on a walk outside or perhaps do a little dance to your favorite song (always a sure way to feel inspired).