By Andrea Watson April 4, 2021
Here we are at the beginning of a second year of covid. Most of us are feral by now, life is completely turned upside down. Political turmoil rules the land. There are new rules, new norms. Some of us have been so immobilized by our depression that we can no longer see any light. Others are just bored. But most of us are going stir crazy. It is important now, more than ever, for us to find and utilize new diverse creative outlets. This helps keep our wits sharp and our mental health afloat.
Being creative in any form is a great way to distract ourselves from everything that’s going on on the outside. Distraction is not a bad thing, we are not just hiding from our problems. When we produce creative content, we are expressing our emotions onto some medium that is non-judgmental, safe, and open to us. For each individual, the type of creative outlet needed varies. But that is not to say that you should define your creativity by one single outlet. For example, I paint, write, create beaded jewelry, make videos on tiktok, and sing in the shower. That is what I do for now, but it’s not all that I’m interested in.
Diversifying your creative outlets allows you to explore deeper into yourself. It is a great way to find out new things you are good at, sharpen skills you already have, and bring you happiness. When you try more than one thing at once, chances are you won’t be as bored or as depressed. Your heart will be lightened and your mind will be busy, and you won’t be bogged down with the goings on in the world while you are engaged in your creative endeavors.
So how do you go about diversifying? First, sit down and make a list of everything you would like to try. If you don’t have the supplies for any of it, identify the things that you would like to try that you could get the supplies for for fairly cheap. Hobbies can be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Even if it takes you awhile to build up a store of supplies for your chosen activity, it will be worth it in the end. One thing that I found is kind of less expensive than the other things is watercolor painting. All you really need is a watercolor pad, the paints themselves, and a small pack of brushes. These can be done pretty cheaply at places like Walmart.
Once you have gotten your supplies, you can start adding sessions of creative expression into your regular schedule. If you have to, start small in the beginning. You can build up to more and more time as you go. Once you’ve got going on that hobby, look through your list again and see what else you can start working towards.
One great hobby which is free is singing along to music. I do this all the time, and although I am not a great singer, it still relaxes me and helps me to get through my daily chores. Singing is great because it activates the vagal nerve, which I go over in several of my other posts. But basically, when this nerve is activated, you are able to return to a state of calm after a stressful situation much faster than you would otherwise.
Another great and cheap creative outlet is writing. You don’t have to write about anything specific, you can really just write about your thoughts or how your day is going. If you’re more ambitious, you should start a blog! It can be about anything, it could even be about you. It doesn’t matter how many people read, what matters is your experience and whether or not it brings you happiness. I started my blog not knowing what I was doing. I decided at first to have a lifestyle blog because that can really be about anything. Then I gravitated more towards Mental health and wellness. And that’s fine, I like writing about that. Occasionally, I write about some other things like goals, holidays, astrology, or other stuff. It’s just about what speaks to you.
I want to talk about one more outlet here. This one’s a little bit riskier because there are negative people on the internet. But if you have the fortitude to put yourself out there and not care about other people’s opinions, then TikTok may be just the thing for you. I joined tick tock a couple months ago and quickly learned that no, it is not just for 13 year olds. There are lots of people my age on tiktok, and although I don’t have a whole bunch of followers, I have a lot of fun making my videos and sharing them with everyone. I get to be expressive to any extent that I want to be. I can be funny, witty, serious, or uplifting. And I do all of these things.
TikTok is great because there are so many communities of every kind. It’s neat because the algorithm will take you to your own communities, the ones that will accept you and the ones that are full of people just like you. You can make friends, you can interact with people, and you will definitely get some laughing in. Now, some people can be mean. I have not experienced this yet, but I know it happens. Luckily, I’m the kind of person who is not easily offended. All the flaws that other people see in me are likely things that I’ve already identified in myself and have come to terms with. So I feel like I would respond well to the negativity if it should ever come my way.
Changing up your creative routine can be a great way to improve your outlook on life. It can help expand your skill set, sharpen the skills you already have, and introduce you to things that you may love that you never thought about before. It can bring you happiness and peace and this time of turmoil and unpredictability. Accessing your creative outlets is a great way to practice self-care, which we all need. The more we care for ourselves, the more capable we are of navigating this world. So go ahead, explore. Dive deep into yourself, and find new aspects of yourself to love and develop. Until next time,