Four Ways to Get Creative This Summer
By: Hunter Folsom
Whether you are working, interning, summer school-ing, or just hanging out this summer; whether you are super busy or super bored or resting somewhere in between, there’s always room for creativity. Everyday Health, the online source for all things health-related, cites creativity as psychologically beneficial. Channeling your inner creativity is calming and enjoyable thus “[reducing] stress” and “[improving] overall well-being.” On top of that, it “boosts self-confidence” and through building that new skill (like baking a great carrot cake, for instance), you’re developing into an even more layered version of you. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, creativity “stimulates the brain.” By learning and mastering a new skill (maybe knitting? Because all the cool kids are doing it), the neurons in your brain are firing and creating a new, ingrained ability that didn’t exist within you before. And that is pretty incredible.
· Try out a new cooking class in your area. Whole Foods and Central Market both offer cooking classes. You can check out classes, prices, and times based on your location. Go to your local Whole Foods or Central Market and ask for a class schedule!
· Pinterest is an incredible platform for getting creative with food. You can find a multitude of recipes for both savory foods and baked goods. My favorite board to pin from is here.
· There’s always a new and exciting restaurant or coffee shop to try out. Even if you live in a small town, seek out a place around you that you’re curious about or even plan a fun night at a hip restaurant with friends in a nearby city. Some restaurants and coffee shops I really want to try this summer in Dallas are Mudsmith Coffee, Oddfellows, and Lyfe Kitchen.
· Knitting perhaps has a reputation of being lame. A lot of people associate it with their grandmothers or goofy sweaters. But I’m here to say that 1) my grandma rocks 2) I love goofy sweaters and 3) knitting is a fun, productive, calming, simple pastime. And, after you’re done, you have a new scarf or hat! So hit up your nearest Joann’s or Michael’s and get some yarn and knitting needles.
· There is so much creative freedom in putting together a flower arrangement. Though there are the very skilled flower arrangers out there, I believe that anyone can put together something aesthetically pleasing with the right combination of flowers. Trader Joe’s sells their flowers at a great price! Go buy a couple bouquets and arrange some flowers for a friend.
· Terrariums (and succulents) are super trendy right now. Apparently you can make your own terrarium. I haven’t tried but some cooler people have. Check out ideas and instructions here.
· Journaling is a great, cathartic outlet. I know that “writer’s block” is real and sometimes writing thoughts and emotions down feels just pointless but I really believe that a healthy release happens when you sit down and write. By writing down even just the moments of your day – “I did this,” “I talked to so-and-so” –you give yourself a set time to truly process the goings-on of your life and what you liked or disliked in your day.
· Pen pals are the best! I have a lot of friends at camp or in other cities or even in other countries this summer so writing letters back and forth with them is one of the best ways to stay in touch. I love writing to them about what I’m doing but the absolute best part is receiving a letter back and getting to read about what they’re up to. Plus, you can get creative with how you write your pen pal. Ever heard of stickers?
· Explore record stores in your city or in your town. If you don’t happen to have one nearby, Urban Outfitters carries lots of vinyls as well. It’s always exciting to peruse records and take a step back in time, imagining what it was like when the only way you could listen to music was through record players. And if you’re lucky enough to own a record player, you could add a new vinyl or two to your collection.
· Take advantage of Spotify’s “related artist” feature. I really didn’t until the last month and it has changed the way I listen to music. Every day, I discover some new artist who I had never heard of before. By looking at related artists to Bon Iver, for instance, I found a band called Phosphorescent and I was reminded of my love for The Paper Kites who I hadn’t listened to in a long time.
· Take a risk and sign up for piano, guitar, violin, or ukulele lessons! Or if you don’t have money to spare, ask a musically skilled friend to give you some lessons. Even if you have a difficult time understanding music, learning just a couple chords on the guitar can be pretty simple.