There’s lots of evidence to suggest that being more creative can help us to live calmer, more fulfilled lives. In this episode, we talk to Suzy Glaskie of Peppermint Wellness to find out how we can use arts and crafts to reduce stress – even if we don’t feel very creative.
"Creativity is a very undervalued part of wellness," Suzy says. "We focus so much on the healthy food and the green smoothies, buddha bowls and yoga and I think that creativity is actually a fundamental part of being well, whole people.
"It's something that in adulthood, unless you have a very niche hobby [...], I think it just gets left behind in childhood, whereas in fact everybody has this well of creativity inside them, whether they know it or not.
"Unless we acknowledge this in some shape or form, I don't think we're completely well."
Suzy thinks that we lose our natural creative instincts as we get older: "When I look at my daughter, who has just turned 13, and the amount of time that she spends crafting something like a Harry Potter picture and she just spends hours and hours and during that time you won't hear a peep from her.
"She doesn't notice that she's maybe hungry, she will just be in a complete state of flow."
So what is a state of flow? Suzy explains: "When you're in a state of flow, you lose track of time and you're completely absorbed and immersed in what you're doing. And I see that she [Suzy's daughter] slips into that so easily."
More like this
Connecting with your creative side can help you to feel happier, but in modern life we find it hard to make time to do things "just for the joy of doing them".
People can also become more self-conscious about their creative projects as they get older. "I had to get over that myself," Suzy says.
"I'm not an artistic person. I think we need to draw a distinction between being creative and being artistic, because we're all creative. I was never someone who was good at art, I wasn't musical, I was definitely not in that box, but I have pushed myself to go to things as an adult, like a ceramics class and I am, without a doubt, the worst person at ceramics. [...] The point is that it doesn't matter – I'm not making these to sell. It's purely for the sheer enjoyment of going and getting your hands in clay and getting the glazes out – and just getting in that state of flow.
Listen to the rest of the interview on the In The Moment Magazine podcast.