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State of Mind

How creative activities can be beneficial for adults

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Rediscover your creative mind

When did you last pursue a creative activity? Creativity is something that’s so natural to us as children, but as we grow older, it’s all too easy to become side-tracked by daily life and forget to take time out to satisfy our creative desires. Creativity in adults is just as important as creativity at any other age though. Creative activities can inspire joy, passion, inspiration and they encourage us as adults to forget our age, as no matter how old we are, it’s never too late to rediscover your creative mind. As editor and leading creativity researcher Ruth Richards once said, “Everyday creativity is . . . fundamental to our very survival. With our everyday creativity, we adapt flexibly, we improvise, we try different options . . .”1

Quite simply, creativity is part of what it means to be human2

How creativity and age are connected

Do you feel as if you have suffered a loss of creativity as you have gotten older? If so, you’re probably right, as new research by UC Berkeley psychologists suggests that losing creativity with age does tend to happen. Through a series of experiments, it was discovered that adults resorted to less creative thought processes than children.3 Nevertheless, there are plenty of new ways to find and embrace creativity, tap back into the part of your brain responsible for creative thinking and foster a new way or approaching creativeness. If you feel nervous, lost or unsure of where to begin, don’t worry as we’re here to inspire you.

Eight easy yet creative activities for adults

You are never too old to rediscover old hobbies or challenge yourself to learn new things! Whatever your hobbies, interests and current lifestyle, there’s a perfect activity just waiting for you. It doesn’t matter if you are mainly interested in creative activities for adults at home alone, or if you would like ideas for new things to experience with family or friends. People in all circumstances can tap into their creative minds, embrace change and try something new indoors, outdoors, in public and at home. Creativity is available to all of us!

Take a look at the following table to see just how easy it is to inject some creativity into your life.

Creative activities for adults
1. Listen to music or sing along your favourite songs
2. Dance as if no one is watching or join a dance class
3. Grab a pen and try creative writing
4. Drawing, painting or sketching – discover the arts
5. Devote your creativity to craftsmanship
6. Take time for creative DIY projects
7. Combine creativity and sustainability with upcycling
8. Let your home become greener with gardening

Find your own rhythm

Music can positively influence our mood, as shown in two recent US Studies from the Department of Psychology at Knox College, Galesburg, IL and the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Findings from these studies demonstrate that listening to positive music may be an effective way to improve happiness. When combined with an intention to become happier, the results are even greater.4

Music and singing is accessible to all of us. A few minutes singing in the shower or car can fill you with passion and joy – it doesn’t matter if you think you are any good or not. No one can hear you unless you choose to let them!

Why not go further and start learning a musical instrument? Again, it doesn’t matter how good you perceive yourself to be as it’s less about talent and more about enjoying creativity in adulthood and learning to enjoy your creative nature. If you’ve never picked an instrument up before don’t worry, you’re never too old!

Dance it out

A study conducted at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw, Poland5 concluded that dance can bring about changes in mood and is one of the easiest creative expression activities for adults to encourage us to feel joy.

Too shy to dance in public? That’s ok, just turn up the music and dance around your living room where no one can see you! If you would prefer to enjoy dance as a group activity, or guidance, check out local dance classes and go along for a taster session.

Discover the power of imagination with creative writing

If you are less about movement and more about thought, then creative writing and creative thinking activities for adults might be more for you. Reading a book is a great way to enjoy some me time and also good for tapping into your creative mind as you picture the visual worlds being described for you.

But why just read other people’s stories? Why not tap into your own imagination and creative thinking by writing your own fictional stories? Take some time, even just a few minutes a day, for creative and positive thinking and you’re sure to add value to your life.

Embrace different kinds of arts

Are you an art lover? Why not visit an art gallery or join an art class with friends? Get together to share in the fun of drawing, painting and creative design as you create your own artwork. If you’d rather not commit to a regular class, there are plenty of art-based creative activities for adults at home too – why not start a mosaic project, or start completing an adult colouring book?

Creative crafts projects for adults

Pottery, knitting, sewing and embroidery are all great creative projects for adults. If you need some inspiration, take a look online at the main craft tutorials available and see if you can find one that takes your fancy. YouTube and Pinterest are great places to start.

Foster creativity with DIY projects

YouTube is also a fabulous resource for a number of DIY projects, with ideas suitable from beginners right though to experienced professionals. You could start with something simple like soap or candle making and start to create your own resources rather than buying them from shops.

Get creative and sustainable with upcycling

Upcycling is a perfect project to combine creativity and sustainability. By taking resources that already exist and thinking of ways to revamp them or tweak their design, you are being creative while also looking out for the environment.

Gardening as a creative activity

Gardening is not just a chore, it can be a source of creative tasks for adults to explore. Eco-therapy – a form of therapy based on interacting with nature, is great for reducing stress. If you don’t have an outside space, you can still benefit from activities such as filling your house with plants or repotting them to give them a new lease of life.

Get creative as a family – activities for kids, adults and older adults

Children, adults and older adults alike should make creativity a focus in their lives. Take time to enjoy creative family activities together. Spend time with your kids and with the older members of your family and find some common ground by blending creative activities for young adults with creative activities for older adults. Lots of the ideas here are fun, free and are designed to create memories as you tap into your creativity at any age.

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2007-09305-000 []
  2. https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/how-creativity-works-in-the-brain-report.pdf []
  3. https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/114/30/7892.full.pdf []
  4. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2012.747000 []
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17461391.2014.969324 []