10 Creatively Stimulating Activities to Relieve Stress

Everyone faces stress in daily life, and some people deal with it more than others. You can strive to reduce the stress in your life, but you’ll never eliminate it entirely – which is why it’s important to find outlets that can relieve that stress.

One of the best ways to relieve stress is with a creatively stimulating hobby. Thinking creatively gives you a chance to allow your brain to function abstractly; it also affords you some downtime, and the ability to channel your inner emotions into a tangible piece of art.

So what are the best creatively stimulating activities for relieving stress?

The Best Creative Activities to Try

Give some of these creative activities and exercises a try the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed:

  1. Color. Sometimes, the best activities are the simplest. You don’t need much creative experience or any special skills to color. All you have to do is pick up a coloring book from the store, grab your choice of medium (crayons and colored pencils work well), and fill in the spaces as you see fit. If you like the activity, you can take it to the next level by designing and printing your own coloring books.
  2. Learn an instrument. Consider learning how to play an instrument. Versatile instruments with lots of range, like the piano or the guitar, are great choices. It’s going to take several weeks of practice before you begin feeling comfortable with the instrument, but once you do, you’ll begin mastering songs quickly. Later on, you’ll develop the ability to improvise – and you can even write your own songs.
  3. Take photos. Photography is a creative hobby in its own right. You won’t be interfering with anything directly, but you will be framing shots, positioning yourself carefully, and experimenting with lighting and placement to get amazing finished products.
  4. Sketch/draw. If you like the idea of using pencil and paper to create your next masterpiece, consider sketching or drawing. Depending on your preferences, you could try to draw items you see in your environment or scenes from nature, or you could attempt to make realistic portraits of people you know. You could also venture into abstract territory, doodling or tinkering with geometric designs.
  5. Paint. Painting is like sketching, but you’ll get to play with more colors and delve into an entirely different medium. Learning the basics of painting is easy, but it can take a lifetime to master this art. Whether you’re painting elaborate scenery on a canvas or an interesting mural on your living room wall, you’ll be relieving stress the whole way.
  6. Create 3D models. If you have a powerful spatial reasoning ability or if you just like the idea of creating 3D models, consider sculpting. If you’re an amateur, you can get started with some basic clay, honing your sculpting skills from scratch. If you’re more advanced, you can move onto more difficult mediums, like carving wood or sculpting marble. You can also use the help of a 3D printer to make your 3D visions a reality.
  7. Write poetry. If visual and auditory creativity isn’t your thing, consider writing poetry. This may seem like an intimidating exercise to someone who’s never tried it before, but there’s something great about poetry: there are no rules. You don’t even have to rhyme. All you have to do is use words in a concise and expressive manner – which anyone can do. You don’t have to be a poet laureate to find stress relief this way.
  8. Knit or crochet. Many people enjoy knitting and crocheting not just because they’re capable of creating useful finished products, but also because they keep your hands busy. It’s simple to make progress on a hat or a pair of mittens while also watching an episode of your favorite TV show, and the repetitive movements can be very stress-relieving.
  9. Create a collage. Consider creating a visual collage with old photos, magazine clippings, or other paper-based items you find. It can take on a life of its own or commemorate a special event or time in your life.
  10. Make a shadowbox. Similarly, you can create a shadowbox. Showcase collectibles you own, flowers you find in the wild, or just about anything else that can fit.

The Importance of Experimenting

These creative activity ideas are a great place to start but don’t feel limited by them. There are plenty of creative activities you can try on your own – and some have yet to be discovered. There are no rules when it comes to creativity, and science demonstrates that any creative exercise has the power to reduce stress. Keep experimenting until you find something that genuinely appeals to you, then keep challenging your creative limits.