#HealthyHabits April: Find a Creative Outlet
They say a habit takes 21 days to make and only 3 days to break. We believe that healthy habits can help to create an overall lifestyle that can aid in a long and happy life. We aren't talking about momentous tasks, but simple things you can do to be the healthiest version of yourself. Each month, we will offer a different healthy habit for you to challenge yourself to stick with.
April's Healthy Habit: Find a Creative Outlet
If we were betting people, we would venture to guess that your favorite subject in grade school was Art (because who's wasn't?!), or that some of your best memories growing up were making something, painting something, building something, creating and using your imagination. As we get older, we seem to lose some of that creativity, or maybe we just lose the time to use it. Either way, finding some type of creative outlet and actually taking the time to use that outlet is more important than we think.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, "Chronic diseases are a nationwide burden, with cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death during the past century and the incidence of diabetes continuing to increase, now affecting more than 20 million Americans.3,4 These diseases are associated with psychosocial difficulties such as depression5 and chronic stress, contributing to negative cardiovascular outcomes.6,7 Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.
Over the past decade, health psychologists have cautiously begun looking at how the arts might be used in a variety of ways to heal emotional injuries, increase understanding of oneself and others, develop a capacity for self-reflection, reduce symptoms, and alter behaviors and thinking patterns.8 Given the ubiquity of creative expression, as well as the relative ease of engagement, the extent to which psychological and physiological effects are sustainably health enhancing is an important area for public health investigation."
We weren't kidding when we said finding a creative outlet is good for your health! Everyone needs an escape: a few moments to themselves where they can refocus, relax and center themselves. This outlet looks different for everyone. Creative outlets can include music, visual arts, movement- based creative expression or writing. We would dare to say that there could be many other ways of creative expression as well.
There are other reasons why a creative outlet can be good for your physical, mental and emotional well-being:
- Scheduled time for yourself: If you choose to take a class to get your creative juices flowing, you increase the chances that you’ll actually go as opposed to putting it off. You’ve already signed up and paid in advance, so you’re more likely to take the time for yourself – a great opportunity to reset your focus and mental state.
- A chance to meet new people: Classes and workshops also offer an opportunity to get yourself up from behind a computer screen and meet new people with similar interests, boosting not only your creativity but your circle of friends.
- A healthy outlet: Through art, many people are able to express feelings and experiences that they’re unable to put in to words. This is especially important when dealing with a tragic event or a stressful time in your life.
So, how can you find the creative outlet that works best for you? Here are some of our suggestions:
- Sign up for an art class: Whether it's making candles, working with clay, making art on wood or painting- there are lots of great art class options for adults in Central Ohio.
- Write a Blog: It might be something you share with the internet or something you hand write and keep to yourself- journaling, writing a public blog, writing a poem or writing letters can be a way not only to escape from the day but also express feelings you may otherwise have a hard time letting out.
- Take a singing/song writing class: Along with art classes, there are lots of options for classes whether it's singing or picking up an instrument. Not interested in a class? We think Car Karaoke is also the perfect creative outlet.
- Find a Running Group: Exercise can certainly be a creative outlet and when you find a community of other people with the same outlet, it can be very therapeutic.
- Take an exercise class (you knew we were going to throw that in!): Whether it's a Dance Class, Martial Arts Class or a Cycle Class, there are so many different options to find a class that feeds your soul. The bonus: Group Exercise classes come with a community and support that is second-to-none.
- Color!: Yes, adult coloring is a thing and it's AWESOME.
- Get creative with your kids: Get on the ground and PLAY with your kids. What fun imaginary world are they living in? Get lost and join them in it!