“New Year, New You.” It’s the ubiquitous phrase we see and hear as the calendar turns over to 2016. As we head into January, we prefer to put a colorful spin on it, enhancing health and happiness by finding new ways to boost creativity. The key, though, is to think of creativity broadly. You don’t have to enroll your family in painting classes to meet your wellness goals — unless, of course, you want to! It can be as simple as experimenting with recipes or trying a new approach like these 5 surprising ways that inspire creativity:
Create a Family Treasure Chest
From fairytales to blockbuster movies, pirates and overseas adventures never fail to capture our attention. Do like Davey Jones and find your family treasure — just don’t bury it. Collect inspiring items that energize and excite you, instantly lifting your mood. Have people select a few items that they can contribute to the mix and store them in an easily accessible box or container so you can visit them anytime you need to feel inspired.
Wear green. Paint your walls the natural hue. Head outdoors. Looking at something green for as little as two seconds is said to spark inventiveness and boost creativity. A study conducted by a psychologist at the University of Munich found that our brains associate the color green with growth and development, encouraging self-improvement and mastering tasks.
Write “The End.”
We love the idea of assuming superhero identities and writing a family comic or getting creative juices flowing with a round of morning glory stories, where everyone moves the plot along one-by-one. Instead of telling the story from the start, however, write or create the end first. This helps everyone break free of any creative blocks and encourages new perspectives.
Let Limits Set You Free
Did you know Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham by challenging himself to tell the story using less than 50 words? Surprisingly, working with a limitation lets you think more freely because you brain doesn’t have to sort through infinite options. So the next time you want to amp up creativity, ask your kiddo to turn to a random page in the dictionary and select one word or tear an image out of a magazine. Then, take 5 minutes to free associate and write down everything that the word or picture inspires.
Have No Expectations
Don’t start new projects with a predetermined outcome in mind. Gather art supplies and follow your kids’ lead. This increases the chance of creating something that really awakens your senses and makes your heart sing.
And, parents, you might also appreciate this: Doing things when you’re tired actually enhances creative thinking because you’re less inhibited and more likely to think outside of the box. Now we can thank our kids for fewer hours of rest.