15 Ways to Creatively Challenge Yourself Every Day
We all want to embrace creativity, but actually making it happen? That’s the tricky part. With long to-do lists at home and work, it can be difficult to imagine actually making creative expression part of our routine. Creativity is about more than time-consuming craft projects, though, and it may be easier to include it in your daily life than you think! Here are 15 suggestions for doing just that.
1. Switch up your playlists. It’s easy to stick to your tried and true tunes, but testing out new musical styles and artists is a simple way to experiment creatively in your daily life — and there’s no work required! Ask for recommendations from a friend who you know has different tastes or make a random selection on Spotify (eeny, meeny, miny, moe…). You may even discover a new favorite song or genre!
2. Turn your hair and makeup routine into a project. Getting ready for the day is a basic part of our morning routine… but can it be more than that? Why not? Turn your simple hair and makeup rituals into an opportunity for creative expression by giving yourself a little extra time to get glam. With a few more minutes to beautify, you’ll be able to approach your beauty routine with the artistry it deserves, whether you’re bold enough to try mermaid lips or prefer a more natural look à la Jennifer Aniston.
3. Keep a notebook handy. (Yep, an actual notebook). Most of us have been conditioned to keep track of our “notes to self” on our phones or other devices. There’s nothing wrong with all of the apps out there built for writing and doodling, but they can’t quite compete with the satisfaction of putting real pen to paper. Having a notebook on hand and ready to jot down thoughts and ideas is a great way to prime your brain for creativity, and it will be an easy source of inspiration for other projects later on!
4. Try out one of the new Brit + Co DIY kits from Target. If you love expressing your creativity with hands-on DIY projects, ours are a great place to start. Weave a Necklace, Embroider a Leather Cuff, Knit a Scarf, or Embroider a Wall Hanging — you’ll be making time for a creative challenge and crafting a fun treat to keep for yourself. Plus, each kit comes with a gift card for a free online B+C class, so you’re really getting two projects in one!
5. Learn something new. Stretch your brain by researching a new topic or practicing a new skill. Try learning a new language, browsing the web for facts about something that’s always fascinated you, or watching a documentary that feels out of your comfort zone.
6. Pull some inspo from old magazines. You know that old stack of magazines or catalogs that are gathering dust under your bed? Put it to work! Take time to tear out pages or cut out images and phrases that inspire you (you can even work on this while you binge watch or lounge in bed). Use these clippings to create a collage or vision board, or simply hang on to them for use in a creative project down the road.
7. Keep a gratitude journal. Spend a few moments before you go to sleep each evening jotting down the things you most appreciated about your day. Keeping up with a standard diary isn’t for everyone, and starting with a prompt like “What am I grateful for today?” can make journaling a more approachable part of your routine. Writing is a creative expression in and of itself, and documenting the special moments from your day-to-day life may get your mental wheels turning about other ways you’d like to get creative.
8. Rearrange your decor. Refreshing your environment is a great way to kickstart your creativity, and the process is fun too! Shift around your furniture, reorganize your favorite photos in new frames, or try color coding your bookshelf.
9. Try out a new podcast. Instead of listening to music during your commute or workout, tune into a podcast! There are options out there for everyone, so whether you’re interested in science, pop culture, or simply listening to cool real-life stories, you should easily be able to find a show that will have you totally hooked. Podcasts are also a great resource for learning new things from interesting experts, so choose a random one and see what you can discover.
10. Practice calligraphy or hand lettering. Calligraphy and hand lettering are fun, stress-relieving creative outlets — and they can come in handy for wedding planning and DIY card-making too. Check out our online classes for an easy way to pick up these skills from your own cozy home.
11. Test out something from Pinterest. Stop scrolling and start doing! It’s easy to simply ooh and aah over all of the awesome crafts and recipes in our Pinterest feeds… why not actually give them a try? Pinterest is a great way to seek inspo for your next creative project.
12. Write a note to a friend or loved one. You don’t need to be a novelist or blogger to stretch your creative muscles through writing. Sharing your thoughts with someone you care about by writing them a letter is a great way to refine your communication skills, and you can add some extra flair with a few doodles and fun lettering. Your loved one will appreciate the gesture, and you’ll have taken the time to express yourself. It’s a win-win!
13. Follow a new Instagram feed. There are tons of interesting and talented creatives sharing their process and products on social media. Learn more about what inspires them — and see if that can inspire you too — by checking out their feeds.
14. Pick someone’s brain. We’re all surrounded by a diverse and amazing community of people, many of whom have experienced and learned things that we can hardly imagine! Take the time to ask people good questions beyond the simple “What do you do?” or “Where are you from?” Challenge yourself to find out more about your friends and colleagues — you’ll find you have plenty to learn from the people around you, and their stories could even inspire your next drawing or short story!
15. Say “no” to other commitments. Making the time to be creative is half the battle. If you start saying “no” to a happy hour or optional work event here and there, you’ll create the space you need in your routine to learn, try, and be inspired by new things.
How do you challenge yourself creatively? Tweet us @BritandCo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
(Photos via Getty)