Recent clinical studies have shown that spending time on creative goals during the day is associated with a higher-activated positive affect on that day. To break this down into terms that are easier to understand, creativity is proven to help people feel more positive about their day and promote overall well-being. This study also revealed that, when people are feeling more creative, it has a lingering positive effect: study participants also felt happier and more flourishing in the following days.1
If social distancing has you spending more time at home and you are starting to feel stir crazy, fight the boredom and get inspired with some new ideas to boost your creativity and your outlook on life.
Take a Virtual Vacation
Explore the world from the comfort of your home. Travel to Alaska, California, Hawaii, or wherever your heart desires. To get started, decide where you want to go and what you want to see, and then search online to see if there is a 360-degree video or guided city tour that you can watch. Try a virtual visit to a National Park if you are in need of some extra Nature therapy, or even visit some of the world's most popular museums. Since food is synonymous with travel to most people, research the local cuisine for your travel destination and plan a special meal for an even more authentic experience.
Try a New Recipe
It’s always a good time to create something new in the kitchen. Cooking can also be a great family activity. Stray from your normal breakfast and try a Clean Green Smoothie, or deliver a tasty after-dinner treat with Golden Spice Comfort Pie. Get both of these comforting recipes shared by Gaia team members.
Craft Your Own Herbal Mocktail
Create drinks with an herbal flair. Herbal extracts don’t have to be taken on their own, they can be incorporated in fun herbal mocktails. We’ve created some delicious mocktails with the help of our guest writer Amy Fisher, R.D.
Enjoy a Game Night
End your week with a night of fun for the whole family. Grab a few board games, or even a puzzle, and spend time with the ones closest to you. Creating your own board game is also a great way to encourage creativity and imagination in your little ones.
Being at home makes it easier to see how much packaging and waste you go through on a daily basis. Keep track of how much waste you create throughout the day, and look for ways to live life greener and help support the health of the planet.
Create a Gratitude List
Now is the time to be grateful for what we have. Make a gratitude list or keep a daily gratitude journal, and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Reflect with one another on what you are grateful for, and brainstorm on how you can help others in your community and beyond.
Call a friend or family member to check in and see how they’re doing. Using FaceTime or Skype will allow you to see their faces and is a fun way to host a virtual game night or get together.
Many personal fitness businesses are actively taking precaution and have decided to (or have been required to) temporarily close their doors. Because of this, some are now offering online yoga or workout classes. Reach out to your favorite studio or download an app to stay active.
Start small, taking it one drawer at a time. You will be amazed in a few short weeks how much you can accomplish and how much better this will make you feel. Many organizations are in need of donations, so getting your house organized can also help your local community.
Right now, it's challenging to visualize what the rest of the year will look like. Instead, focus on being present and setting daily intentions to guide you. Think about the things that you would like to better about yourself. It can be as simple as drinking more water or as personal as practicing patience or gratitude.
Discover a new hiking trail
Nature is the best therapy and being outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air and explore new places. The National Park Service is a great source to find trails throughout the U.S. If you do venture on a trail, please be mindful of others and don’t crowd the trailheads. We also recommend checking current guidelines before making your plans as some parks and trails are temporarily closed.
Plant a Garden
Starting a garden is a great way to bond with your little ones. Growing your own food helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and these vegetables tend to have more nutrients than store-bought produce that is typically picked early. Container gardens are a great option for those living in apartments or want to start their garden indoors. Vegetables like lettuce, strawberries, and spinach do very well in container gardens.
Create a Space for Pollinators
Aside from a vegetable garden, creating a place in your yard for pollinators is beneficial for you and your veggies. Without pollinators, a lot of our favorite foods - and many of the herbs we use in our products - would cease to exist. Pollinators like bees, beetles, birds, and Monarch butterflies love plants such as Echinacea, Swamp Milkweed, Lavender, Zinnias, Sunflowers, and Daisies. Learn more ways to protect our pollinators.
Design a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Make a Nature scavenger hunt by creating a list of a plants and flowers growing in your backyard and challenge your children to take photos or gather samples from all of the plants on the list. This is a great way to encourage your children to play outdoors, while also educating them (and possibly yourself) about the plants growing all around.
Embrace your inner child and rediscover the fun of lying back in the grass, watching the clouds glide by in the sky, and identifying what shapes the clouds look like. This is a relaxing solo activity, but it can also be a fun game with your littles ones to spot clouds together and compare what you see in the sky.
Conduct an Outside Art Class
It's hard to beat the great outdoors for an artistic muse. Bring a pencil and paper, or paint and canvas if you have it, and become inspired by the Nature around you. It's also a fun way to get children outside and away from their screens.
Have a Picnic
As the weather begins to warm, it's a great time to plan a backyard picnic. Picnics allow you to eat, play, and spend quality time together as a family. Make your Spring picnic even more special with our favorite recipe for Black Elderberry Lemonade.
Enjoy an Outdoor Movie
If you have a mini projector and a white sheet, then you are all set. Hang the sheet on a sturdy area, and set up pillows and blankets around the yard. You can also simply download a movie and watch it on your laptop or iPad. Add popcorn and a sweet treat and you've got an instant family movie night on the lawn.
Set Up a Relay Race
Get the whole family moving outside. Divide into teams and the first team to complete the race wins. Challenges during the race could include a lap around the yard, kicking a ball through a desired goal, or having a team member grab items from a bucket and the second team member returning the items. Encourage each family member to design a portion of the race.
Take a Moon Bath
Now that you have exhausted yourself with all of these new outdoor activities, enjoy a moon bath. This Ayurvedic tradition is believed to help promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and even help regulate a woman’s cycle.*
Embrace Your Creative Side
Being creative and trying new forms of activity can keep you motivated, improve your outlook on life, prevent boredom, and most importantly, add some fun. Embrace this extra time at home and challenge yourself to try something new each and every week.