NURTURING YOUR CREATIVE SOUL:

NURTURING YOUR CREATIVE SOUL:

15 CREATIVE IDEAS YOU CAN TRY TODAY

If you’re a woman over 50 you have accumulated a lifetime of wisdom as well as experiences.  These qualities give you a unique perspective with which to explore a creative experience. It’s your turn.  It’s your time.

A lot of women might say they are just not creative, but I believe that in fact everybody is, and that we are just misunderstanding what creativity truly is.   The dictionary definition of creativity says “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something.  Using our imagination or following through on an original idea is really part of our everyday life.

I believe part of the reason people say they wish they were creative is that they lack the confidence and maybe even lack faith in their ability to be creative.  But what if it was part of daily living; simple activities we could engage in to build that confidence?

Remember that being creative doesn’t need to be complicated.  It should be something that when you engage, you leave everything else behind! In this post I’ll share some ideas to help you not only get started but pursue what really excites you. 

Don’t let anything stand in your way!  Put your fears aside and start simple.  Learning throughout your life can positively impact your health, give you a more youthful mindset, and help improve cognitive functioning as you age.

15 ACTIVITIES TO NURTURE YOUR CREATIVE SOUL

  1. Go on a nature walk
  2. Write a poem
  3. Read a few chapters from an inspiring book
  4. Draw or doodle in a sketchbook
  5. Cook or bake using your favorite recipes
  6. Handwrite a note to someone special
  7. Journal about what you’re feeling, learning, etc.
  8. Take a picture with your phone.  You might even share it.
  9. Do a simple cross stitch
  10. Listen to your favorite music
  11. Cut some flower to brighten up your living space
  12. Join an art, garden or writing club in your area
  13. Paint a mini canvas
  14. Spend time in your garden
  15. Pick up yarn and knit or crochet something

You’ll probably notice a few activities in this list that you already do as part of your weekly routine. If you don’t have your own garden, visit a community garden to take in the beauty or visit a local nursery and find an easy-care plant that can help you bring nature indoors.

You don’t knit or crochet?  How about embroidery or some hand stitching?  Want to bring your note writing up a notch?  Make your own card using colorful paper, stickers, watercolors or whatever you have in the house.  Just the act of creating a card is therapeutic.  And just imaging how delighted the recipient will be knowing you took the time to create something just for them!

Appreciating nature, enjoying music, or just being curious are all signs that you’re creative!  It’s inside you just waiting to be expressed!  Write down creative ideas throughout your day and build your list of fun activities that bring you joy and nurture your creative soul!

I believe in you and your creative spirit!  Experiment, discover, and enjoy!

Linda Bonner

Inspired Things Studio

September, 2022

JUMPSTARTING YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY

JUMPSTARTING YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY

Now that you know what creativity is and how it’s beneficial for your health, wellness, and social life… What Now?

I’d like to offer an idea to help you get started.  Write out a list of all the things you loved to do as a child.  Don’t censor this list, just write down everything you can think of.  Did you love riding bikes, exploring, painting with watercolors?  Let your mind roam free and see what amazing ideas you come up with.

It may take a few sessions to fill out your list.  Don’t rush the process and don’t settle for just a few things.  You might want to visit some old photos of you as a child to remember what life was like in those innocent years.  This will likely bring back many memories no matter what age you are.  Take time to reminisce and bask in the sweet memories as they enter your mind.

Some of my fondest memories were hopping on my bike and riding for miles!  I’d stop and pick flowers, take in the landscape, and just feel the freedom of riding with no specific destination in mind.  Yes, that was a creative experience…I was letting my mind roam free and I often returned with a fresh perspective and new ideas.

Creativity is mixing a bit of inspiration with a dose of imagination.

Linda Bonner

Then there were all those moments I spent in the kitchen with my mom and my sisters learning how to bake and cook.  With 4 girls in our family, we were often doing something creative like baking cookies.  I was even famous for making mini pizzas out of English Muffins! A creative soul even at a young age.

Back to your list.  I’m hoping you’ve got a good selection to pick from so it’s time to pick the 3 top things that really excite you!  Does it make your heart race to think about hopping on a bike?  How about searching for a special recipe and making it to share with your family.  Would you feel that special delight to take out your camera (or iPhone) and take some nature photos, landscapes, photos of your kids or grandkids?

The first step is to pick the one that excites you the most!  As you look at your list what activity makes you want to jump right in?  Does it require any specific supplies?  If so, check first around your home and see if you can use what you already have.  One of my favorite aspects of creativity is repurposing common household items. 

Let’s take collage, for example.  Do you have some magazines or a cardboard box you can cut up for your base?  How about colored pencils or markers (which you may have on hand if you have grandkids!)?  Add in a bit of ribbon, buttons, or washi tape and you’re ready to create!  You could pick a theme, a specific color scheme or select pictures that bring you joy! The beauty of collage is that there are no rules! The sky’s the limit!

Collage with Paper, Fabric, Ribbon and Found Objects

Would you feel more motivated with a creative buddy or partner to share this experience?  Find someone who shares your interest and start this journey together. There is power in numbers, and you may be an encouragement to others by asking them to join you.

If you’re like me, you might like a solo adventure at first.  Whether on your own, with a friend or a group, this process is meant to expand your world through creative expression in whatever way you choose! 

Don’t let doubt stop you on this journey.  You are capable, creative, and filled with ideas just waiting to come to life!

As you rekindle your creativity you can expect to experience delight, joy, and an intense feeling of satisfaction.  Enjoy every moment!

LINDA A BONNER

SEPTEMBER, 2022

Rekindling Your Creativity Over 50 

Rekindling Your Creativity Over 50 

If you’re a woman over 50 it’s quite likely you’ve seen many changes and experienced multiple life transitions.  They might include graduating college and starting a career, getting married, having children, or even retiring.  These life events can make us put our creative life on hold, sometimes for many years.  

Whether you find yourself in a place where you’re settled and content or looking for something new to enrich your life may we suggest rekindling your creativity?  

Before you start making excuses for why you just don’t have time or think you “don’t have a creative bone” in your body, stop right there!  Each of us has a bit of creativity just waiting to be brought to life.  And being creative doesn’t mean you have to paint like Picasso.  It can be the simplest thing like gardening, baking, crochet, or even flower arranging.  The list is endless!

Just what is creativity?  I like to think of creativity as the place where imagination meets inspiration.  The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “The use of imagination or original ideas”.  Britannica says “Creativity is the ability to make or bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. 

Other definitions include:

  • Allowing your personality to shine
  • Allowing the mind to roam freely
  • Expressing yourself freely
  • Trusting your instincts
  • Believing you can make a difference
  • Believing you can create something worthwhile
  • Two ideas coming together to create something new
  • Daring to be different
  • Taking something common but making it fresh and different

So, you can see creativity has a wide interpretation.  Your creative gift will most likely be different from others.  Many people start comparing what they create to others, and this is the biggest enemy.  Don’t let comparison stand in the way of your creative life!  Start. Explore. Create.

Let’s continue to explore creativity and talk about a few of the benefits.  Yes, there are many health and social benefits of creative expression, especially as you age.  

Creativity improves your Mood.

After engaging in a creative task, like writing in a journal, knitting, or drawing, your brain is filled with dopamine – an all-natural antidepressant that motivates you and makes you feel good.

Even singing in the car can elevate your mood and make you smile more.

Studies have found that older adults that take part in a creative activity just once a day had a more positive outlook on life and said they felt greater happiness.

Creativity improves cognitive function.

Just as parents encourage creativity because it’s good for a child’s brain development, it also stimulates parts of our brains that aren’t used for everyday tasks.  This stimulation engages our right brain which helps improve cognitive function over time.

Creativity boosts your self-esteem

Creative expression comes with a sense of personal satisfaction when you’re finished.  You may also experience a sense of achievement when you create something new.

Studies show that just 45 minutes of free art-making was enough to improve a person’s confidence. With your self-confidence on the rise, you’re more likely to continue being creative!

Creativity improves your social life

Maintaining social connections is important for your well-being at every age.

Creative activities like music groups, cooking lessons, or photography workshops offer opportunities to interact with others and make friends.  This is especially important for those that may have experienced a loss and are feeling lonely as they get older.  

Creativity is just one way to keep up those social connections.  Reach out and get involved wherever you feel comfortable.

Creativity alleviates stress and anxiety

Have you noticed that it’s nearly impossible to be stressed or anxious when you’re completely and utterly in the moment, distracted by an interesting novel, cake recipe or art project?  It brings you to that state where you’re so absorbed in an activity that you forget all about your worries.

Adult coloring books are quite popular because they allow you to let your mind flow freely.  You’re immersed in the moment and focused only on what you’re doing at the time. These activities help reduce stress and anxiety and make you more content overall.

How do I get started?

A good place to start your new creative journey is to think about those things you enjoyed as a child.  Start building your list and then try one of them!  You might find your new passion and make new friends along the way.

Linda Bonner

August 2022

Inspired Things Studio