7 Creative Hacks to Help You Stay Happy & Well.

I carry around with me a deep-seated belief that everyone is creative.

And because I put that belief out in the word (and increasingly so), people are always asking me what I suggest to get them back on track with their creativity. What they can do to boost it, kick-start it, find it.

Now, before you say that you really aren't (creative), please know that your biggest block might be your own perception of what you are or aren't.

Being 'creative' doesn't mean that you always know what you are doing. Or that you can brandish a pair of scissors and cut out a detailed silhouette of your dog while others stare on in amazement. Ok, that's a weird example, but you get the point.

I want you to see that creativity can be realized in the way that you cut your vegetables up for soup. It can be exercised through the media you choose to consume each day. It can be ignited in so many of the small things you do every day - it's just in the way that you approach them.

  • Can you find a different way to do something you have done a thousand times before?
  • Can you do something with your non-dominant hand to see what it would feel like?
  • Can you close your eyes and use your imagination for a minute?

Here are 7 more of my creative hacks for staying happy & well. 

1. Knit, crochet, sew or something while on your Zoom calls. And don't ask anyone permission to do so. Anyone that knits, crochets or sews KNOWS that when you pick these things up and work on them while in conversation, most of us tend to find a greater focus on the conversation. So, if anyone says, 'Hey! Are you paying attention or are you just knitting?' you can tell them that you are probably paying a whole heck of a lot more attention than the other 97% of the folks on the call who are simultaneously answering emails or scrolling their phones.

2. If you really can't put your phone down, use it for something good - like taking/editing photos. Even though I'm on a mission to have everyone put their phones down more often (in order to use their hands for something crafty that will make them feel better than doom-scrolling), there are some beautiful things about carrying this awesome computers in our pockets ... like the ability to take gallery-worthy photos. So, go take that walk and while you're out there consider taking a few photos of things you see. And then jump into your phone's editing software (Most photo programs have it built in) and play with the editing functionality. Change the light levels, crop it, rotate. Have fun with it!

3. Meditate. I use Headspace and have for years. But lately, I've also been using the Insight Timer and it's great (and completely free)! I especially like Sarah Blondin and any of her talks and meditations. Take a minute (or 10), head on over to your Insight Timer app and discover all the amazing talks, music and meditation that are waiting there for you to ground into and perhaps find your creative edge.

4. Engage some tactile stimulation. Even if you don't do anything with textiles or fibre, just the act of grabbing something that feels luscious in your hands can bring a smile to your face. I actively encourage people that visit my studio to touch my yarn and the objects I create out of it (decidedly NOT like a gallery!). So, even if you don't do anything with the fibre, just grab some (you can even head over to your local yarn shop - like the fabulous Wabi Sabi if you live in Ottawa - if you don't have any of your own) and do some finger (as opposed to window) shopping. WARNING: you might end up coming home with some (and if you do, come on over to the Studio and learn what to do with it!).

5. Ask around for suggestions on classes or workshops to take - either in-person OR virtually. Know a friend that has their ear to the ground on all the fun things happening in your area? Tap into their knowledge! Of course, I wish you would all come over to my Studio and take a workshop here, but understandably, I might not offer something that interests OR you might live in San Diego. 

6. Read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and/or The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Here's an excerpt from Big Magic to entice ya:

But surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure.I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.

The hunt to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living.


7. Listen to a favourite podcast while taking a walk in nature. A podcast I have enjoyed for the last couple years and listen to regularly is "Art For Your Ear by the Jealous Curator". Danielle Krysa (AKA the Jealous Curator) also has excellent books and even a subscription service that you can sign up for that will deliver a daily dose of art inspiration straight to your inbox. Genius!

Let me know if you try any of my hacks ... and if you have others to add to future lists. Here's to your health and creativity!

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