Creative Self-care

By Kelsey DeClue

Self-care has become quite the buzzword these days. Hashtags and TikToks aside, the concept is an authentic and cruicial part of a person’s health and wellness journey. The beautiful thing is that self-care can look like just about anything, as long as it is contributing to a positive impact on your physical, social or mental wellbeing. Going for a run, taking a boxing class, meditation, yoga or adopting a new hobby. The list goes on and on. However, one area of self-care seems to be gaining considerable traction: creative and artful pursuits.

If workouts or adult sports leagues aren’t your cup of tea, but you still want to fill your cup, consider a less rigorous hobby, such as joining a book or writing club, taking art classes or learning a “maker” skill that involves working with your hands, such as terrarium building or woodworking. Studies show that creative thinking boosts overall confidence, productivity in other areas of life and gets the neurons firing in parts of our brain that many of us might have been neglecting since childhood. According to research by BetterUp, “creative thinking can help you communicate your ideas more clearly, which leads to better conversations and relationships with your friends, family, and coworkers.”

So where to start? The key to self-care with positive benefits that last is, like anything, consistency. Make sure the activity or interest is something that resonates with you personally. It should be intriguing and challenging, but adaptable to your lifestyle. If the hobby is too difficult either financially or logistically to stick with regularly, your chances of success plummet. Are you someone that needs a support buddy to follow through? Consider asking a friend, family member or co-worker to join you. That way you stay accountable to regularly engaging in this new wellness activity. More of a lone wolf? That’s OK too – the anonymity of the activity will make it feel special and personal to you. Next, identify and set a schedule. This doesn’t have to be rigorous or intensely consistent (such as a certain day or time of the week), although it can be. This action is more about making a commitment to engage in the activity of your choice on a regular basis. Last, and perhaps most important, be kind to yourself. Don’t expect perfection. Creativity is iterative and evolving. Give yourself a break and just enjoy the process for what it is, a chance to express yourself, imperfections and all.

Looking for some local options? Here are a few creative outlets we found to get your juices flowing:

Learn Fiber Arts and Host a Yarn Party

“There is just something magical when a person learns a new skill or gets excited about the project they are about to undertake,” says Susan DellaRocco, owner of Starstruck Cat Yarn Studio. That’ why she started her business almost 20 years ago in the Greenwood area. Now an online store and yarn party business, DellaRocco brings her passion to her people.

Dabble in the Arts with The Art of Kira

Parties, private or group lessons and more for all ages hosted and guided by Franklin artist Kira Brant. Located on Jefferson Street in Franklin Brant offers a wide variety of options in a fun, energetic and supportive environment.

Travel to Unknown Places in a Book

Located in the circa-1911 historic former hotel in downtown Franklin, Wild Geese Bookshop offers of sense of community thought book clubs and unique events and experiences. Author luncheons, book signings, cookbook-based cooking demonstrations and classes and more. Wild Geese has something for just about everyone under a common, approachable theme we can all get behind – reading!