We all want to find ways to better ourselves and live a happier, healthier life. It’s why every year, we think about the goals and resolutions we intend to keep. While losing weight, exercising more, and eating healthier typically top the list, picking up new healthy hobbies and self-improvement are right up there, too.
The good news is that finding new hobbies that improve your health and boost creativity is easier than you might think. You don’t need to spend lots of money going back to school or scheduling classes to find something you’re passionate about. There are plenty of inexpensive but healthy hobbies to pick up that can make a huge difference in your life.
Here are just a few of our suggestions to kickstart your creativity and help you develop healthy habits:
Write It Out
Holding your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in your head can stifle your creativity. Picking up a journal to write down what’s going on in your head can help you think more clearly and work through your creative thoughts. Medical studies have even shown that writing these things down offers lots of mental benefits like reduced stress and also helps to manage anxiety levels.
You don’t need to write out traditional diary entries to do this if that’s not your style. Journaling can look however you want it: you can write out lists, sketch drawings, work out poetry or lyrics. Just find a way that you can get your thoughts down to paper. This will help unlock creativity!
Find a Hobby that Sparks Joy
As we get older, many of us stop taking the time to do the things we love. Work, school, and other responsibilities get in the way – but healthy hobbies are super important for our physical and mental wellbeing.
If you don’t have any hobbies that you enjoy, take the time to try out new things until you find one that truly makes you feel happy and creative. Sign up for a beginner’s pottery class, cook some new healthy recipes, try out DIY projects, or sign up for a workout class you’ve never done before. Follow your bliss and see what makes you feel the most excited and creative.
Look into Local Fun Events
Getting more involved with your community is another way to unlock creativity. Many towns offer local events throughout the year where you can learn new things, meet new people, and have a lot of fun.
For instance, the public library branch here in Indianapolis offers lots of community events like book clubs, creative writing classes, and even tai chi flows! The Garfield Park Arts Center also has art-focused events, movie nights, and craft nights that cater to the whole family.
Find Ways to Help Others
Helping other people can help you express unlock your own creativity in unique ways. This helps you get out of your head and focus on others – something that can make us feel a whole lot better about ourselves.
There are all kinds of ways to help. Offer to help out friends, family, or neighbors by cooking a meal or babysitting. Or you can sign up for volunteering opportunities. SIDE by SIDE can help you find organizations that help those affected by HIV, such as testing sites and support groups for HIV.
Learn Something New
Dive into a subject you don’t know much about but have always found interesting. There are so many free resources available online and through public libraries, you don’t even need to spend money to become an expert!
Look up YouTube videos, check out books from your local library, or see if there are any interesting podcasts about it. Even just putting aside a few minutes a day to learn something new can help you discover new interests!
Clean Up Your Creative Space
They say that a cluttered environment is a reflection of a cluttered mind. Well, according to scientific research, this is completely true! Our brains actually prefer order and have a hard time concentrating and processing if the area around them is unorganized.
Lots of clutter and disorganization can cause stress and prevent you from working through creative processes. So, if you’re feeling stuck creatively or overly stressed, take a few minutes to clean up the space around you. Simply stacking up piles of papers or putting away clothes and trash on the floor can help you clear your thoughts.
Perhaps one of the healthiest hobbies to pick up is incorporating some form of physical exercise into your daily routine. Apart from improving your overall health and strengthening your muscles, studies show that exercise also helps our brain process better, store long-term memories, and even reduce overall stress.
Now, you don’t need to become a bodybuilder or marathon runner to experience these benefits – unless that’s your thing! Going for a quick walk every day can help you work through your thoughts. Many people also find inspiration while they work out, especially if they go for a run outdoors or hike in nature.
Switch Up Your Routine
It can be easy to go into autopilot mode when you do the same thing every day. This stifles our creativity and it can even contribute to feeling depressed and unmotivated. Switch things up by trying a different route on your way to work, switching up your normal coffee order, or setting a new morning/evening routine for yourself. Little changes can make a huge difference!
Meditate or Daydream
Creativity doesn’t always come naturally – sometimes, you need a little spark to get the juices flowing. Give yourself time to just be quiet and explore your thoughts. This can be done through meditation by focusing on silence or by letting your mind wander and daydream a bit!
Changing your environment by going outdoors is a great way to boost creativity. The natural beauty around us is very inspiring and it can help you calm your thoughts, see new things, and disconnect from the stress of things happening around you.
Take some time to get outside by going for a hike, checking out a local park or garden, or taking a stroll in a new neighborhood you’ve never explored.
Over to You
There are so many different ways to be creative – the key is to find something that works for you. Developing healthy hobbies to improve your mental clarity and creativity is vital for our overall well-being.
As mentioned, sometimes the best way to improve your creativity is by helping others through volunteer work. SIDE by SIDE offers resources and community support with the goal to end HIV together through testing, prevention education, and resources. If you’d like to learn how to get involved, please reach out to SIDE by SIDE today!