This post forms part of the A-Z of Self-Care for Busy Parents series. If you missed the introductory post you can read it here.

The whole purpose of self-care is making time to take better care of you, but when we have so many plates to juggle, even if you do manage to set aside some time, it can be hard to switch off. That’s where creativity comes in.

When you’re engaged in a creative activity it has a way of consuming your attention and silencing all that constant chatter going on inside your mind.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

Making time for creative activities has so many benefits and is great for helping with self-care. No matter what 'talents' you have, or time constraints, there will be something creative you can do. Read on for some ideas to get you started ...

When I was younger I used to suffer from a lot of stress related illnesses and my doctor at the time recommended I start drawing or write in a journal whenever I started to feel anxious or stressed and it really did help. Through the years though I got caught up in life and it’s advice I forgot all about. It’s only now, as I look back, that I realise how many times in my life I have turned to something creative to help me through, without even realising.

Creating this blog is one such example. I was at an all time low without really knowing why. I had everything I could possibly ask for and yet I felt a part of me was missing, that I needed to do something that was for me and separate from my role as wife and mother. Once I started, the transformation in how I felt about myself was remarkable and I will be forever grateful that I found this crazy thing that I love.

Another example is crochet. I started when I was pregnant with my son because I wanted to create a blanket for him the same way my mother-in-law did for both her children. I’d never crocheted before but I discovered I actually loved it. Once you get absorbed into a project it can be therapeutic in a way. You can get completely lost in it. It’s almost like a form of meditation for me now and I return to it whenever I need to switch my brain off for a while.

Benefits of Engaging In A Creative Activity

Aside from being fun, there a number of great benefits to making extra time to pursue something creative:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves your mood
  • Creates new connections in your brain and improves brain function
  • Can bring new social connections
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Brings a sense of accomplishment
  • Can improve your focus

Creative Activities You Could Try Today

Many people associate creativity with art and drawing and think they need to have a particular talent for it. But that’s simply not the case. There are loads of different things you can do without any previous experience or talent. Creativity isn’t about producing something amazing, its about the act of doing it, rather than the outcome. It’s about self-expression and just letting go and having fun with it.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Writing – this could be in the form of keeping a daily journal or trying your hand a creative writing. There are a wealth of websites that will give you writing prompts to try out. Maybe you could write a story together with your child.
  • Dancing – turn on your favourite music and just dance. You don’t need to be any good at it, just have fun. Whether you do it alone or have a dance party with the kids, not only is it a great mood enhancer, its good exercise too. Read Words to Live By #12: Dance and 10 Feel Good Songs To Get You Dancing.
  • Music – If you play an instrument, great, get it out. If you don’t, improvise. Maybe your child has a few instruments? You could spend 10 minutes with them making as much noise as possible; use wooden spoons on pots and pans, put rice in a plastic tub and shake.
  • Drawing/painting – if you can’t ‘draw’, doodle. Even taking some of your child’s crayons and scribbling over a pice of paper counts. A couple of years ago I discovered Zentangle doodles and became slightly obsessed. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them which you can check out here. They look complicated but most of the pins have detailed instructions on how to create the pictures. A word of caution though, once you start with entangles they can be quite addictive!
  • Colouring – there’s a reason that adult colouring books have become such a big thing. If you don’t want to go out and buy one, steal the kids – my mum used to do this all the time when I was younger! There are also loads of free collaring pages you can print off the internet too.
  • Knitting/crochet – this one actually requires you to go out and buy a few supplies but you really don’t need much to get started. There are loads of great tutorials online which will teach you all the stitches you need and I have another Pinterest board loaded with great Crochet patterns. Start small with something like a scarf or a baby blanket and see how you go.
  • Sewing – I haven’t tried any myself (maybe one day) but there are so many great projects you can make, from quilted blankets and cushion covers, to clothes and purses.
  • Baking/Cooking – I’m not very creative in the kitchen generally, but Keith is and his creations are very much appreciated by the whole family. I do enjoy baking when I’m in the right mood and getting to eat it afterwards is always a bonus. This is another great one to get the kids involved in too.
  • Crafting – this one can take so many forms. You could upcycle a few old bits and pieces to create something nice for the home. Sit down with the kids and create a masterpiece with toilet rolls and stickers and glitter. I used to love making (and occasionally selling) cards.
  • Singing – while you may need a bit of talent for this one if you’re planning on doing it in public, there’s nothing stopping you belting out a few songs in the car or at home. Like dancing, it’s a great mood booster.
  • Play – get down on the floor and play with the kids, whether it’s role-playing with kitchens, cars, dolls or building with lego, it all flees those creative muscles.
  • Scrapbooking – make the most of all those photographs and create scrapbooks for special events or memories.

Whatever activity you choose, try and spend 10 minutes today doing something creative and see how it makes you feel, you may just discover a whole new hobby.

Need more tips for self-care? Don’t want to miss the rest of the series? Enter your details in the box below to receive it in your inbox every week. I also have a post with 23 Awesome Creativity Quotes with FREE printable versions of every quote.

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36 thoughts on “Get Creative

  1. Great ideas for getting creative, may steal a few hehe #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 8:04 am
  2. I really think having an outlet is a great stress reliever. For me it’s going to the gym which is always a good way to focus on something else and boost my mood. I can imagine colouring and things are really calming though! Thanks for hosting #familyfun x
    Fran Back With A Bump recently posted…Poppy Turns TwoMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 8:13 am
  3. I’m so with you on creativity helping your mind and soul #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 9:05 am
  4. Great tips! I’m not an overly crafty person, but I do enjoy cooking and baking and that’s definitely my creative time plus I find it really relaxing! #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 9:25 am
  5. Creativity isn’t my strong point, I have a good imagination but struggle to express it in anything other than words. That is one of the things that prompted me to start my blog. Thanks for sharing and for showing that you don’t need to be a great artist to be creative. #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 9:32 am
  6. I truly believe that having a creative outlet is so important for good mental health. I’ve always been a singer, and I know I’m happier when I’m singing regularly – it really boosts the endorphins! I think for me, it’s a combination of singing, photography, and writing – I find it really gives me the release and balance I need. #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 9:57 am
  7. I love writing and doodling and find that can help make me feel calm X #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 10:12 am
  8. These are all such great ideas! I also kept a diary throughout my life growing up then forgot all about it once I got married. My blog certainly helps me deal with my emotions and I’d forgotten how much I love writing until I started! I definitely need to give crocheting a go! thanks for the tip #familyfun

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 10:28 am
  9. So true, I always feel better after a little creativity, it’s my release from the days stresses. I love your ideas for getting creative too. I’ve stumbled you.

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 12:00 pm
  10. We find getting creative and crafting very therapeutic and could spend hours pottering away. Just wish we made more time to do it! #FamilyFunLinky x
    Dawn and Bella recently posted…Post from Panda ReviewMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 12:05 pm
  11. I love colouring. When the Little Man asks me to do some with him I actually get inwardly annoyed when he won’t let me finish a picture. This is a great list, and they are all really do-able which makes a difference. #FamilyFun

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 12:40 pm
  12. Crochet! I’ll probably die with a hook in my hand, heh. #MondayStumble

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 1:20 pm
  13. I agree with you! I love doing crafty projects and I fell that is does help with mood and relieves stress.

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 1:47 pm
  14. I’m really not remotely creative, never have been. But, I completely agree, it’s so good for stress. When I was pregnant and my husband worked lots of evenings, I bought a colouring book and it was fantastic! Now, I suppose I’m creative with my cooking and baking. It’s a good outlet! #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 1:49 pm
  15. I love this. I spend a lot of time writing (obvs!) but the thing I enjoy most for relaxation is drawing and colouring. I’m currently working on a few Disney inspired pictures and am really enjoying it.
    Morgan Prince recently posted…7 things you could throw away to make yourself feel betterMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 1:54 pm
  16. I’m a definite advocate of being creative! I get really moody if I haven’t made anything for a few days recently.
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…The Letter D #FamilyFunLinky #ABC123ChallengeMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 1:56 pm
  17. One year I just randomly bought myself a sewing machine. It’s been so amazing teaching myself to sew and I often make skirts for my nieces in pretty fabric. Like you say, it’s being in the moment doing your creative thing that makes it so rewarding. It’s the same for me with gardening. X #familyfun

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 2:35 pm
  18. You are so right and this is definitely an aspect of self-care I neglect as I don’t see myself as a very ‘creative’ person. However, I think I’m going to do some colouring and dancing with the kids this afternoon after reading this post! It will help all of us. The post really does combine well with Karen’s 2018 post… you are a creative lot on the #familyfunlinky xx

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 2:59 pm
  19. Those are fantastic ideas. Must give them a go soon with the two little ones x #mondaystumble

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 3:57 pm
  20. Oh I agree! Having a creative outlet is so very important. It reduces stress, eases anxiety, and leads to a feeling of accomplishment. Plus it’s jusy time well spent! And feels like play, which is so important!
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Three benefits of keeping a gratitude journalMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 5:08 pm
  21. I love how you have considered how they can be weaved in to getting the kids involved as well. I was advised not to go down the Art and Design route by my Art teacher as in his words “I had no ability” – got to love his honesty. When I started blogging I also took up photography, I absolutely love it and found out that I can be creative after all. I just need to find a way now to weave it in to something H and I can do together…… #FamilyFun
    Mel recently posted…World Book Day – 15 Nostalgic Childhood ReadsMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 6:53 pm
  22. I promised myself I would be more creative this idea and get back to crochet and knitting which I don’t even remember how to do. I particularly love your idea of just promising yourself 10 minutes and seeing where those creative juices take us #FamilyFun
    Kate recently posted…Taking things for granted – Best Boot Forward 8My Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 8:06 pm
  23. Sewing is my stress reliever, sometimes I couldn’t manage without it! #familyfunlinky
    Rhi recently posted…5 Things Smyths Toys Taught Me About Car SeatsMy Profile

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 8:45 pm
  24. I totally agree with this post, I too have experienced low mood and depression/anxiety, and I can definitely say that some of the tips here have helped me to come through that, like baking, dancing and singing. Thanks for sharing #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 8:48 pm
  25. I love all these ideas. I truly think that there’s a creative past time for everyone. I blog, but I’ve written fiction in the past. I also crochet and knit. I used to sketch. At different times things have worked better for me. Now play is probably the primary thing for me. It is so liberating and forces me to be truly present. #FamilyFunLinky.

    Posted on 26 February, 2018 at 9:06 pm
  26. I love this post! It is easy to neglect your own creativity, especially when you are a parent of young children. Thanks for this; you have inspired me to crack on with my creative projects again! #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 27 February, 2018 at 11:57 am
  27. I love these ideas! I’ve shared them with my customers as I think they’ll like them too. I run a craft and party box business for children, so spend a lot of time testing new art and sensory ideas. I don’t spend enough time creating for myself though. I find it relaxing so I really should!

    I also like cooking for others and always have great intentions of inviting friends over for dinner. You’ve inspired me to put some dinner dates in the diary right now! #FamilyFunLinky
    Deborah Denyer recently posted…Party decorationsMy Profile

    Posted on 27 February, 2018 at 8:06 pm
  28. Great list of creative ideas. Must get my adult colouring-in books out again soon. #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 27 February, 2018 at 9:54 pm
  29. Getting creative can really help you let go of stress. I take a dance class once a week, and I used to crochet though I don’t make much time for that anymore. Instead I spend time on my blog which actually takes a ton of creativity: writing, designing images, creative layout – it’s really a great place to let my creativity loose! But I also love a good colouring session (though those adult colouring books are WAY too finicky for me…)
    Jessica – A Modern Mom’s Life recently posted…Our Experience With Early School LunchesMy Profile

    Posted on 27 February, 2018 at 11:10 pm
  30. Great post! I agree self care is important for my well being and I never realised how much I’ve missed listening to music and singing until recently. I’m now making sure that I get my daily fix. Thank you for hosting # familyfun

    Posted on 27 February, 2018 at 11:29 pm
  31. Totally agree with this post. It doesn’t matter whether you think you can or being perfect it’s about having a go. #FamilyFunLinky

    Posted on 2 March, 2018 at 8:02 pm
  32. I turn to blogging or baking when I feel the urge to be creative #familyfun
    Amy – The Rolling Baby recently posted…A Blogging Hiatus While I Go Self HostedMy Profile

    Posted on 3 March, 2018 at 9:01 am
  33. Is gardening creative? That’s my chicken soup for the soul & I love it! #familyfunlinky
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…#MySundayPhotoMy Profile

    Posted on 4 March, 2018 at 8:23 pm
  34. What a great list of creative things to do! I used to be an illustrator, and I would just love to draw again! And, I must say, I get a great deal of joy from writing this blog. xoxo #familyfunlinky
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…How to set each other up for success!My Profile

    Posted on 7 March, 2018 at 3:21 pm
  35. Some great ideas here. I must admit I don’t do this as much as I should so I will have to steal a few of your ideas! #blogcrush

    Posted on 9 March, 2018 at 9:29 am
  36. This is really great advice. Looking down your list, I see that I too turn to creative activities when I need to have a break. I always say to people “I’m not creative” because I panic at the thought of doing anything crafty or art-related, but I guess I’m creative in different ways – I write music and I blog. I never thought of it like that before.

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…I Used To Self-Harm And It Is NOT Selfish!My Profile

    Posted on 13 March, 2018 at 10:31 am