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Habits for Creativity – Investing in Yourself for Improved Mental and Physical Health

Embarking on a new creative project is always exciting, with countless opportunities for you to decide what you want to accomplish and how you’ll pull it off. However, Stan Stewart writes that you might push a project too far in the process—overthinking every creative decision, getting frustrated, and ultimately running out of ideas.

The image focuses on a large condenser microphone in front of a piano soundboard.

In these cases, it’s okay to stop pushing yourself. Not every creative endeavor has to be groundbreaking. Simply going back to the basics, like returning to bare piano renditions rather than focusing on using synthesizers in your pieces, can help you learn why you’re stumped and how to move the project forward. You’ll also want to continue taking care of yourself. If you’re experiencing creative burnout—where you feel emotionally, physically, and mentally spent—taking a break means you can return to your project refreshed. 

However, that doesn’t mean you need to let go of creative activities as you recuperate. Building productive habits that simultaneously improve your mental and physical health means you can continue flexing your artistic muscles. They can even give you new ideas for your unfinished project! Here are a few you can try. 


Image of an open book with center pages rolled back to create a heart shape. Habits like reading can make a huge difference.

Though it doesn’t seem likely, reading can boost both your mental and physical well-being. Nuvance Health explains that it activates different parts of the brain to improve memory and cognitive function. As a form of entertainment, books can also relieve your stress and boost your overall mood. It can even lower blood pressure and enhance sleep quality! Most importantly, reading creative works challenges your imagination and can inspire new ideas for your project. 

Get started by reading books you like. That’ll be pretty simple to do in today’s digital world, where you can get not just physical books but e-books and audiobooks as well. Works in these formats that are written by countless authors in various genres are easily available via a subscription service, which can make building reading as a habit easier and more accessible. Everand’s digital library is one place where you can access thousands of ebooks and audiobooks for a flat monthly fee, ranging from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods to Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. With diverse categories, editor’s picks, and curated lists to choose from, such platforms make it easier for you to find an appealing place to start this habit. For the best effect, aim to read for at least 15 minutes a day. 

Spending time in nature

A cloudy sunset behind a tree line.

Heading outdoors can do more than help you relax while getting a workout in. A study published by Frontiers in Psychiatry shows that nature activities can also boost creativity by stimulating your curiosity and fueling your imagination, providing a serene environment where you can develop new and unique ideas. The best part is that there are plenty of things you can try, so do something you’ll enjoy! It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking, fishing, or even gardening in your own backyard—as long as you consistently do something that lets you spend time in nature, you can easily build this creativity-inducing habit.

Dancing Habits

A sign at a music festival: "dance tent"

If you’re more of the active type, using your project break to groove to some music can do wonders. CultureOwl emphasizes that dancing is more than just a fun exercise—it’s excellent for boosting your mood. It also enhances focus and concentration, two key aspects that can improve your creativity. And just like nature activities, you can try plenty of genres to test your self-expression, ranging from mainstream ballet and hip-hop to the more improvisational interpretative dance. There’ll likely be a dance studio near you specializing in the genre of your choice—so get on Google and search for one. That way, it’ll be easy for you to make a habit of visiting it on a regular basis.

Listening to music

Composing isn’t the only creative musical habit you can pick up. Authoritative medical entities like Johns Hopkins agree that simply listening to music alone can ease anxiety, enhance mental alertness, and improve memory. Just like reading, this activity can also help you sleep better and regulate your blood pressure. It can even relieve pain! Listening to music doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fostering creativity, either. If you make a habit out of frequenting not just the genres you like but those you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll challenge your brain to understand new sounds and maybe even pick up new ideas for pending creative projects. 

The most seamless and convenient way to build this habit is by using a streaming platform like Apple Music. Its subscription gives you ad-free access to millions of songs in its catalog, ranging from classical music to K-pop. Meanwhile, its many discovery features will introduce you to new tracks it thinks you may like—perfect for making a habit out of discovering new pieces.

Though it can be rewarding to finish a creative project, don’t push yourself too far while you’re making it. Taking a break and building conducive habits can help you practice self-care and return to your work stronger than ever before. For more posts like this, keep browsing here on Muz4Now. 

Article contributed by Romy Jane
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