I want to reach as many busy business women as I can to share a message of self-love and self-care. This message is often at odds with our actions. (I mean, shouldn’t our children/spouse/family/friends always come first?) The arts are a release and opportunity for self-care.
I’ve asked you in my previous articles to make a choice: to choose burnout or balance. I offered 4 steps for creative release to encourage your life towards that balance. Then, I asked all of us to reframe the way we perceive our use of time: it’s actually selfless to take time for ourselves, not selfish.
Wait no longer. Start your creative play today. Making time for creative expression gives you more energy for your family and work, not to mention more ideas for your business. Some of my best ideas come to me while I’m painting!
Here are 80 different ways to incorporate creative play into your life:
- Carry a wee sketchbook and pencil with you; when you are caught in a line, at a doctors office, etc. take it out. Don’t play more (insert that addictive and useless gaming app on your phone here)… draw.
- Buy an embroidery kit and learn how to cross-stitch.
- Buy a paint-by-numbers kit. Paint with it.
- Take a class via Craftsy.
- Take a class via SkillShare.
- Take a cooking class.
- Supper club share group: make meals with friends, try new recipes, and eat them.
- Buy a puzzle book. Use it.
- Carve designs out of potatoes. Paint on them. Print them on paper.
- Make bracelets out of embroidery thread.
- Carve a figure out of soap.
- Crochet a potholder.
- Hand letter your own cards.
- Learn guitar.
- Have dance parties while you clean.
- Join a local urban sketchers.
- Use your smartphone camera and take photos as you go through your normal day.
- Start a garden.
- Doodle on your to-do lists.
- Draw a still life of objects in your home.
- Buy beads to string your own necklace.
- Learn to weave.
- Learn quilling (the art of paper rolling).
- Create a small quilt.
- Make origami.
- Make a watercolor resist (draw with wax crayons, paint over them with water colors).
- Learn how to whistle.
- Make a cartoon about your day.
- Take voice lessons.
- Salsa classes.
- Make a book club.
- Write a poem.
- Go for art scavenger hunt walks: find little bits and pieces during your walk to incorporate into an artwork.
- Make a collage.
- Go linedancing.
- Draw the animals you see at the zoo.
- Get a set of notecards. Draw one thing on a notecard every day.
- Print designs on fabric.
- Draw a design on cardboard with glue. Let it dry. Use a roller to coat it with paint. Print with it.
- Make a stencil and spray paint it on a surface.
- Decorate a cake.
- Build a sandcastle.
- Make a paper dress.
- Get a blank canvas and paint. Play on it.
- Play with your photographs on GIMP or Skitch (both free).
- Outline the idea for a graphic novel.
- Draw your favorite childhood cartoon character.
- Make a toothpick sculpture.
- In winter weather: build a snowman.
- Make nature art on your next hike: try creating patterns out of leaves, rocks, etc. (Leave them for the next hiker).
- Design fashion: do fashion drawings.
- Make a purse.
- Do a friend’s makeup, or your own.
- Find quotes to illustrate your photographs, use something like Canva to create a visual to share with others.
- Create a how-to book for a skill you possess to share with others.
- Make paper beads from strips of colored magazine. Make a necklace from it.
- Make your own paint from egg white and pigment powder.
- Design a brand logo for your favorite company.
- Decorate a postcard with a secret and mail it to PostSecret.
- Write your memoir.
- Listen to a podcast about the arts while you exercise.
- Create a storyboard for a movie you want to make.
- Film a day in the life of your family.
- Try taking photos from your newborn or toddler’s point of view for an afternoon.
- Tie dye some old sheets or a t-shirt.
- Go to a botanical garden and draw.
- Learn the harmonica.
- Paint models.
- Buy a car kit and build a real car.
- Build a model airplane.
- Design your dream home.
- Build something out of legos.
- Complete a puzzle.
- Learn how to play piano.
- Join a local theatre group.
- Write your own comedy sketch.
- Write a fictional story based on your favorite famous figure in history.
- Handwrite a letter to someone important. Share drawings in it as you write. Mail it in a decorated envelope.
The point of this extensive list is you need a creative outlet to help you separate from your work. Find something that interests you and take that first step forward. Do you want burnout or balance? I know your answer. Be selfless, not selfish: take the time and enjoy your creative expression.
Carrie Brummer is an artist educator nomad. Teaching and leading in school systems for 9 years in the USA and the Middle East helped her see the gap in education that prevents people from accessing interests they love. She has tired of the countless stories from people all over the world saying, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw,” or, “I wish I could write a novel someday.” It’s become her mission to share her passion for the arts and encourage everyone to take creative risks in their lives.
Carrie’s current creative baby is to encourage creative play for adults; everyone can use an opportunity to slow down from their hectic lives. Creative play is not only important for children, it makes adults happier, healthier, and more fulfilled human beings. Say yes to creative play and learn more here. Carrie actively exhibits her artwork worldwide and teaches courses in art history and the arts.
When Carrie isn’t painting, doing yoga or baking chocolate chip cookies, she is playing board games with her husband, looking for new learning opportunities, or planning their next trip. You can read more about her adventures in travel and the arts on Artist Think.