It may seem nuts, but one way to stay sane during the holidays is to immerse yourself in the spirit of the season. We’re talking kindness, charity, and of course, crafts.
This is a perfect time of year to create handmade gifts and decorations with your friends and family. Whether it’s gathering branches for a fall-themed centerpiece, making cards or paper garlands, or baking a beautiful pie, doing something creative can be a calm oasis in the whirlwind of parties and errands.
The importance of being creative
Most of us value art and creativity in our culture and our lives. People have always used pictures, stories, dances, and songs as part of healing rituals. Turns out, there’s something to that.
In everyday life, art is a form of play for adults and children alike. Besides making you happy, it’s is a way to explore your feelings and imagination, find creative solutions, or escape tough situations for a while.
Creating art also can also have a real effect on our bodies and health. Among other benefits, it may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; boost the immune system; and help with pain. Studies in older adults have found that creative pursuits such as theater can help with brain functions, including memory and problem solving.
Simple ways to get creative during the holidays
- Cooking can be meditative and calming, and this is a great time of year to try something new or riff on an old favorite. Plus, edible gifts like preserves and cookies are always a hit. You can look for some inspiration at sites like Epicurious and Food Network.
- Art and crafts. Making things is fun, and all you need are some simple supplies and a little time and imagination. Some ideas: year-end photo albums, fresh seasonal wreaths and garlands, and handmade ornaments, cards, and gift tags. For ideas and how-tos, try Martha Stewart or Real Simple.
- Expressive writing. Whether you like to write a journal, dream up poetry, or have a novel stashed away, writing can help you work through your feelings and feel more positive. If you have some time off this holiday season, it could be a time to revisit your writing — in the age of Facebook and Instagram, Christmas letters are making a comeback.
- Singing, especially in a group, can be relaxing and good for the heart, too. Karaoke or caroling, anyone? You can fire up some holiday tunes to get you in the mood on sites like Pandora, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.
- Dance and movement. Dancing is a great way to express yourself, and can count as legit exercise too. If dancing isn’t your thing, try putting on a family performance or playing games with movement like Charades.