Gifts to Cultivate Creativity and Improve Your Mental Health


Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or hoping to make more time for a lifelong love, there’s nothing like self-care gifts after receiving a herpes diagnosis. A few fresh supplies or inspirational instructional sessions can spark creativity for a new hobby, which, according to the Huffington Post, can help us relax and wind down after a long day or week filled with less pleasurable pursuits. Just be sure that your home – where you spend most of your time and where you’ll likely pursue your hobbies – isn’t ruled by negativity. Take steps to remove sources of stress, like clutter and disorganization, to create an open, positive and healthy environment.

Consider adding these suggestions from Life With Herpes to your self-care gift wish list to help get you feeling passionate about new projects for months to come.

Creative Arts Therapy

If you’re looking for a way to feel refreshed in the new year, therapy that goes beyond words may be the perfect addition to your mental wellness arsenal. Creative arts therapy sessions dance and other movement work, art, music, and dramatic performing arts as methods of helping you grow. These group therapy, individual therapy, and workshops not only help you work through your emotions when words alone aren’t enough, but can also help you find a passion that can lead to a beloved new hobby or even a new line of work.

Arts and Crafts Classes

Craft stores are increasinging offering classes you can take from the comfort of your couch. Some are pre-programmed courses offered online while others are personalized sessions where teachers tutor students via Skype or other voice-and-video-over-internet services. These virtual craft lessons can often be customized to help everyone from novices to experienced creators.

If you’re more of a face-to-face learner, consider adding craft store or community college courses to your wish list. For example, local community classes offer affordable continuing education courses in everything from creative writing to cooking ethnic cuisine. And yarn and fabric shops often feature skills-based classes or specialized sessions that give attendees a strong start toward a finished project. Who knows? These classes could inspire you to create handmade gifts for everyone on your own gift list next year or have them over for a home-cooked holiday dinner they’ll never forget.

Splurge-Worthy Supplies

Once you’ve mastered a skill, you might dream of investing in top-notch tools of the trade or luxurious yarns or fabrics to create something truly special. If you’re reluctant to spend significant sums on supplies, consider adding some items to your holiday wish list. Whether it’s a few skeins of handmade yarn or a high-quality quilting frame, the results will be worth it. And the gift giver will likely consider it money well spent, especially if you share the fruits of your labor with them.

Creative Coloring Accessories

Research shows coloring can reduce anxiety, improve our ability to focus, and make us more mindful of the present moment, according to CNN. That’s because coloring requires practitioners to turn their brains toward the precise movements required to complete a colorful image, just as meditation encourages a hyperfocus on the simple act of breathing. These types of mindful activities tend to, at least temporarily, help people banish negative thoughts and anxiety.

But don’t just grab an old box of crayons from a desk drawer. Experts recommend colored pencils because they push for precision -- a key to boosting focus. So you might want to add a set of pretty pencils and a coloring book full of mandalas or other complex shapes and patterns to your holiday gift list to help you relax and reconnect with your inner child.

Neat Notebooks

PsychCentral notes that journaling is also a great way to get your creative juices flowing or relax and wind down at the end of a hectic day. Additional benefits include logging work-related notes in a work diary, which improves organization and boosts productivity. There are plenty of sophisticated adult options with luxe leather or suede covers that are nothing like the lined notebook that might have served as your childhood diary.

There are also options for those who might need a starting point to pen their thoughts. For example, some themed journals encourage time-pressed writers to record their impressions in a single line. Others leave space for a sketch a day to illustrate your thoughts and ideas. Still others are designed to collect the best quotes from your kids or create a written keepsake of family traditions and daily doings that you can look back on for years to come.

So, whether you want to color, craft, or pursue a wide variety of creative hobbies, consider adding some of these creativity cultivators to your gift list this season.

No matter where you are on your journey with your herpes diagnosis there can be some bumps in the road. Fortunately, the Life With Herpes blog and community are designed to hand-hold you through your next steps. Read more informative articles today!



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