A lot of good comes from paying more attention to those creative activities that we personally derive deep value from. When people feel the kind of fulfillment that comes from being creative, in any medium or mode of expression, they are happier. It is widely accepted now that happier also means healthier (study from 2015 and review from 2019).
Healthier and longer lives containing creatively-derived deep value can be a reality for more people and should be. Money is helpful, and necessary, and not a bad thing to have. It is also focused on to the point of obsession by many of the media sources that we consume. I want to remind everyone including myself that value ≠ money. My aim here is to increase people’s happiness by encouraging participation in creative acts.
A list of accessible creative activities to spark some deeper sense of value and contribute to your lasting happiness:
Try to cook or bake a new recipe that neither of you has tried before with a friend, roommate, younger family member, elderly family member etc.
Ask yourself what was happening the last time you laughed until you cried and tell that story to someone who hasn’t heard it.
Attempt to make something you’ve saved on Pinterest. I dare you. If you do it, I’ll do it.
Learn a new dance move via YouTube, even if you “aren’t really a dancer”
This straightforward one is next on my list
Make a toy for your pet.
Write a persuasive post-it note about why your co-worker should read your favorite book.
Take out any colored pencil, marker, crayon or pastel you can find and the biggest piece of paper you can find and just play until the whole surface is covered. Don’t worry about making anything recognizable, just play.
Write a letter to someone you love, or someone who needs it (find them here)
If you have the supplies, add some very small embroidery to the back pocket of your favorite jeans, or your least favorite jeans to move them up in the rankings a bit.
Find something in your closet that you haven’t worn in over a year and figure out what to wear it with or how to change it into something you’d love to wear. Then figure out the safety-pin way to make that happen and wear it tomorrow.
Plan a friend date that will cost each of you less than $10.
Draw a self-portrait while looking in the mirror and not looking at the paper. Also, don’t pick your pen or pencil up off the page.
What creative act makes you feel like you’ve derived a deep sense of value? Another way to ask the same question, which creative acts feed your soul?
Reach out if you have any activities to add, or if you tried any of the ones I listed above and how it felt!