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.
Inspired Things Studio