Tip #52: Find some creative hobbies.
The Why: To have something to do in the hours that you have your phone switched off of course! (as suggested by tip #50).
Truth be told, anxiety can be horrible and draining, and sometimes all you want to do it just switch your mind off and do something different and fun.
Hence why you should get yourself a creative hobby!
Now, no one is saying you have to be the next Picasso or Monet, or that you should mould pottery like an ancient Greek, or write sonnets like Shakespeare, or knit as good as my grandma.
But having something that you enjoy, that gets your mind working in different ways, that makes you feel fulfilled and that breaks you out of your routine can do wonders for the mind.
Numerous studies have shown that activities such as art, music, poetry, writing significantly boost our moods.
This is because they provide a valuable outlet for our emotions, as well as giving us a sense of achievement when we produce something.
Here are a few hobbies I would recommend:
1. If you have the spare time and money, why not go to an evening art class?
Art therapy is a well-recognised tool in the anxious person’s anti-anxiety toolkit.
Going to an art class in the evenings also has the added bonus of getting you out and about, as well as having the potential to connect you with more friends!
Incorporating an evening class into your routine also can give a sense of purpose, a reason to go out and face the world and add fulfilment to your life.
(One piece of advice, check the kind of life-drawing class you’re going to, or else you may end up with a rather nasty (or pleasant depending on your point of view quite literally) surprise).
2. Start an ideas journal.
The world is full of amazing ideas. But sometimes, it’s so hard to keep track of them!
Whenever you have an idea for a poem, or drawing, or cartoon, or blog post, or literally anything in the world, pop it in your ideas journal.
This means that whenever the creative mood strikes you, you can easily look through your book of great inspiration and decide which idea to work on that day!
You can even jazz up the inside with some colourful pens!
3. Draw your bucket list!
This can be a really fun and great way to visualise your future.
As well as being fun and creative, having a visual representation of your bucket list can be an amazing motivator and inspirational thing to have hanging on a wall.
You could paint it, make it out of origami, write it like a story, make it out of pasta shapes. The possibilities are endless!
Honestly, knitting is a little bit like mindfulness. In then out, over then under, repeating and repeating and repeating and concentrating. It’s a great anxiety busting technique.
As well as being fun, mindful and meditative, knitting also means that you can make cheap but lovely gifts for all your loved ones for years to come!
It’s a win-win situation.
5. Write a poem
There’s this huge, near-mythical, status of a poet.
People sometimes believe you have to have a natural gift for words, the genius gene. They don’t think of themselves as being particularly emotional or having the quality of being poetic, so they never try.
I tell you this: anyone can be a poet.
Some of the most famous poets in the world, The Romantics, used to destroy and hide their workbooks to help keep this myth alive; they’d pretend that they wrote this amazing piece in one take, when in reality they probably had about 30 drafts hidden away in a draw somewhere.
Being a good poet takes time, patience and practice, but it can be done.
Don’t let the myth put you off.
But even if you’re not worried about the quality of your poems, or have no desire to ever share them, poetry is still an amazing way to really understand how you’re feeling and get to know yourself.
Poetry is my favourite medium through which to express myself, and I cannot recommend it enough, even if it feels a bit silly at first.
Please feel free to share in the comments how you get creative, and if it helps!