As we move through our 20s and 30s, we dive into our careers and family life often with a focus on checking off key milestones as we go. We focus on moving up at our dream company, or building our own. Over time, the answer to “What do you do?” morphs from our hobbies into our resume. Quickly our career becomes our identity, and our creativity only utilized as necessary at work.
We’re big believers in hard work and hustle, but being “busy” shouldn’t be a rite of passage to prove your worth. Hobbies outside of your career are important for personal growth not only to unwind from work, but also to keep your mind sharp and open to new ideas.
From baking to ancestry, we’ve rounded up eight of our favorite ways to invigorate your creativity no matter what your interests and skill set.
We all spend so much time digitally pinning, saving, and liking images, but it’s easy for that to become a passive activity as you scroll through endless feeds of photos. Creating collages, whether pinned on an inspiration board or pasted in a notebook, is an easy way to tap into what resonates with you. Beautiful interiors, adorable dogs, and swoon-worthy shoes can live side by side in an inspiring (and ever-changing) moodboard.
If you’re less of a crafter and find inspiration from research, ancestry research is an amazing way to tap into your natural curiosity and creativity. Ancestry.com is a great way to start — add a couple of generations and the site will start prompting you with clues to trace farther back. In addition to learning about the people in your past, you can discover where they worked and where they lived.
Whether you already make your own meals or you’ve never turned on your stove, baking is a great way to de-stress. With only a few ingredients, you can create mouth-watering cookies, brownies, and cupcakes that your family members and co-workers will love to eat. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors, color, and decorations — or start with our favorite easy no-bake desserts.
4. (Niche) Instagramming
Unlike traditional blogging and your personal Instagram, creating a secondary account dedicated to a passion or hobby is a great way to stay creative. Maybe you’re a taco aficionado and love discovering new restaurants, or a new homeowner working on renovating your house — no matter how you spend your free time, a niche Instagram account is a fun project to reinvigorate your passion. Not sure where to start? Try pretty front stoops on your walk to work (a la @doortraits) or highlight the favorite parts of your living space like @thecozyranch.
If collecting piques your interest and DIY makes you weary, thrifting is a perfect outlet. Head out to an antique store or flea market and spend hours meandering up and down aisles of unexpected treasures. New websites, like Everything But The House, have made it even easier to browse everything from vinyl records to delicate handkerchiefs. Not interested in a collection? Swap out some of your existing decor for one-of-a-kind pieces that your friends will swoon over.
There aren’t many instances in our everyday lives that require cursive anymore. We’re constantly typing, texting, or jotting down notes without a second thought. Calligraphy has become an Instagram and Pinterest favorite as more brides are penning their own invitations, signs, and menus. There are hundreds of lessons on Skillshare and more and more teaching events popping up around the country.
7. Film Photography
In the same vein as calligraphy, film photography is another classic pastime that technology has eclipsed. Tap into your creativity by playing with lighting, color, and subject matter. The process of planning a route to photograph through development of the film is one that will render the images so much more meaningful than a quick iPhone snap — and require a lot more creativity.
As we grow up, the time we spend dancing drops significantly. Remember dancing around your bedroom when you were younger? Or at sleepovers with friends? Dancing is one of the best ways to tap into a piece of your brain that you may not use on a typical day. And an hour of uninhibited dance is easy with more gyms starting to offer dance classes and boutique fitness studios like 305 expanding to new metro areas.