6 unusual ways to unleash your creative nature

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Whether creativity is part of your job or a hobby, we can all get stuck sometimes. When the well of inspiration runs dry, it’s time to take a creative approach to creativity…

1. Seek out the colour blue

6 unusual ways to unleash your creative nature

According to colour psychology, blue can stimulate creative thinking, encouraging us to try new things, while also having a calming effect. Surround yourself with the colour next time you need a creative boost – head outside and take in the blue sky, visit the seaside to marvel at the ocean, or simply add more blue decor to your environment. You could even try wearing more blue and see how you feel.

2. Read/watch/listen outside of your genre

Do you tend to stick to the same genres when reading books, watching TV, or listening to music and podcasts? Feed your curiosity by exploring genres you would never normally try. Love a romance novel? Why not see what fantasy has to offer? Huge rock music fan? Try dipping your toe into the world of RnB. Want to listen to a podcast unlike anything else? Try ‘Everything is Alive’.

3. Tap into your inner child

Kids are naturally creative, so who better to draw inspiration from? Dust off your bike and go for a ride, find an adult-sized ball pit, get your colouring books out, or build a Lego masterpiece. These all help to stem overthinking, encouraging you to experience the world in a more child-like and curious way.

4. Spend more time with creative people

Who we spend time with can make an impact on our worldview. So, if you want to be more creative, try spending more time with fellow creatives. This could be in-person at events or meet-ups, or online.

5. Take silent breaks

The world can be a noisy place at times, and this can colour our thinking. Try to incorporate some silent breaks in your day where there’s no music, podcasts, TV. Allow yourself to sit in silence and give your own thoughts space.

6. Keep a dream journal

Our dreams are about as weird and wacky as they come, and could be a source of inspiration. Keep a notepad and pen by your bed, and grab it when you wake up to write about your dream. The key here is to be quick; trying to remember a dream is like trying to catch water in a net… tricky! Later you can look back and revel in the absurd.

Discover the wellbeing benefits of adult play

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Apparently, being playful and childish is the key to a long and happy life. We’ll take it!

Discover the wellbeing benefits of adult play

Do you find yourself fighting ‘silly’, childish urges? Doodling a smiley face on the car window, or racing your (36-year-old) best bud to the top of the hill, cos’ the loser is a rotten egg? Well, don’t fight it! According to experts, engaging in adult play is more than just a giggle – it can cause changes in the brain which help improve our mental, emotional, and even physical health.

So, before you feel guilty about rearranging the fridge magnets to spell ‘bum’, or blowing a raspberry at your little niece or nephew, let’s take a look at the science behind play, and how it can transform how we feel and live.

Why do we lose our playfulness?

It’s no surprise that kids are one-upping us in the happiness department – as they jump around the garden with one finger up their nose and the other hand clutching a stolen tablespoon. So where does it all go wrong?

According to world-renowned therapist and author Marisa Peer, we never truly forget how to play, but society teaches us that it’s inappropriate after a certain age. Though the urges are there, we are accustomed to suppressing it, and acting in a safer, more ‘appropriate’ manner.

“Humans have a compelling need to find connections and avoid rejection, so they won’t do anything that could exclude them for being different,” she says.

“As a child heads towards their teens, they start to play with toys less, as they look to older children to see what is cool. Being accepted by their peers is so important to them that they will relinquish favourite toys simply to fit in.

“This is reinforced by adults telling youngsters to ‘grow up’, ‘stop being silly’, or ‘don’t be childish’ which contributes to our belief that playing and being playful, after a certain age, is inappropriate.”

Marisa strongly believes in overcoming the society’s discouragement from play, and tries to bring lightness and laughter into every day. She adds: “As a therapist, and a trainer of therapists, I find laughter very helpful. Encouraging people to play has its place in contributing to making steps towards positive mental wellbeing.”

Discover the wellbeing benefits of adult play

The seriousness of play

But it’s not just a laughing matter. Experts say that playing can help people deal with mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and can even support those with trauma.

Creative arts therapist Dr Alison McClymont uses play to help treat trauma in adults. She says that feeding the urges to be playful can actually cause the brain to return to a child-like state, which helps us to access and resolve buried issues.

She says: “While, to some, this may sound ‘kooky’ or new age, play therapies for adults are empirically studied, and I have worked with extremely traumatised people whose only route to therapy was through artistic expression or play.

“The importance of play should not be overlooked; I have used it to treat psychosis and extreme forms of trauma. Creative a

Friday Faves + giveaway time

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Hi hi! Happy Friday! What’s going on this weekend? I hope you have a fun and relaxing one ahead! I’m catching up on some work stuff this morning, studying for IHP, and fighting the temptation to decorate for Christmas. Usually we’re a strong “honor the bird” family and wait until after Thanksgiving, but this year I have zero chill. Give me wreaths, Christmas trees, sparkly holiday baubles, and all the holly jolly. I’m 100% in the Christmas spirit and want to live.it.up.

This weekend, Pilot is getting promoted to another leadership position, so we have a ceremony tomorrow. Also, our Kleiger fam is here to celebrate!! We had an amazing dinner at Culinary Dropout with them last night.

I’m so happy to spend some time with them and enjoy adventures today with Betsy while the kiddos are at school. The Pilot’s mom gets in today, too, so it should be a great weekend with lots of family/friend time.

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love heading about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Read, watch, listen:

Listen to this week’s podcast episode here with a simple nutrition hack.

An important podcast episode from the Model Health Show. 

Reader comments on parenting teens.

The David Foster documentary on Netflix. Betsy told me I needed to watch it (“your boyfriend is in it”) and it blew me away. I was familiar with his background, but had no idea how many enormous hits he’s written and/or produced over the years, along with the talents he’s discovered.

I can’t wait to watch this.

Fashion + beauty:

Got this cute blazer for a steal and the quality is gorgeous. I love the way blazers look with jeans and a tank, or with a dress and Chelsea boots. I figured I’ll wear this one a lot this fall! 

I’ve had these Madewell jeans in my cart for about 2 weeks and think I’m going to go for it. This is my truce attempt between skinny jeans and the ridiculously unflatteri

5 anxiety-busting activities to try this weekend

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Address the stress of the week with these activities that will help you soothe anxiety this weekend

5 anxiety-busting activities to try this weekend

Phew, what a week. To-do lists piling up, hoops to jump through, household chores falling by the wayside, caring responsibilities, appointments, deadlines, and let’s not even go into all the anxiety caused by the general state of the world.

Sometimes, making it to Friday can feel like a real challenge, with anxiety and stress occupying our minds – bringing down our moods and draining our resilience. When we do eventually get to the weekend, it can then be easy to use it as a time to catch up on all the things we were too overwhelmed to do during the week and then, before we know it, it’s Monday and the cycle starts all over again before we’ve had time to catch our breath.

So, if you’ve had a full-on week, your stress levels are peaking, and you’re struggling with anxiety, we've got some suggestions for ways you can make this weekend one dedicated to rest and rejuvenation.

Escape to a different world

When this world gets too much, escape the day-to-day toil with the power of stories. If you’re a reader, this may be the time to curl up with the book that’s been sitting in your to-read pile for a while. Or if films are more your thing, settle down with a warm drink and spend the next couple of hours in a whole new world.

We’ve got plenty of recommendations for films and books, but if you’re using this as a stress and anxiety-busting exercise, it might be worth considering exactly what you need from this activity. Are you looking for a good laugh? An inspirational message? A drop of nostalgia? Or total escapism into a fantasy world?

Whatever you go for, it’s also worth bringing some mindfulness into this activity. If you notice that your mind is starting to wander, prompting that anxiety to creep back in, try to recognise those thoughts, let them go, and bring your attention back to what you’re focusing on.

Go somewhere new

You won’t need your passport for this one, because even a trip half an hour down the road will do. Stuck in our routines, we can end up going between the same places again and again. The Victorians often persuaded a ‘change of air’, something physicians would recommend when their patients had ‘nervous ailments’ or melancholy. Going off and discovering somewhere new breaks those daily patterns that can, sometimes, bring us so much anxiety.

What’s more, we also get that sense of adventure and discovery, something that we adults tend to do less of

5 Minute Chocolate Fudge

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5 Minute Chocolate Fudge is a creamy chocolate fudge recipe generously filled with pecans.

This fudge recipe comes together in just a few minutes and it is perfect for gifting, snacking, and serving for any occasion. Made with or without nuts, this fudge is a favorite sweet treat year-round.

Fudge and Chocolate

Chocolate Fudge

To make this Chocolate Pecan Fudge, you simply combine everything in a glass bowl, heat for a couple of minutes, pour onto a tray, and refrigerate until firm. I like to sprinkle a few spoonfuls of extra chopped nuts on top of the fudge before refrigerating, too.

Once the fudge is set you can slice the fudge into whatever shapes and sizes you like. 1-inch squares are my preferred way to cut this fudge but bigger squares, triangles, and rectangles would also be good!

I like how the small squares of fudge make it easier to share with family and friends or pack into a box with parchment paper for a gift.

This chocolate fudge is rich enough that a little goes a long way so even just a batch of it is enough to satisfy all of our sweet tooths.

How to Make 5 Minute Fudge

Traditional old-fashioned fudge is a time-intensive and finicky candy to make. Old-fashioned fudge requires a candy thermometer and a considerable amount of time spent stirring the hot mixture over the stovetop.

Delicious for sure but, in my opinion, rarely worth all the time, effort, and special equipment.

Microwave Fudge

This method of making fudge may not be traditional but it produces a homemade chocolate fudge that’s just as delicious as the old-fashioned kind. Nothing beats being able to melt baking ingredients to the perfect consistency in just moments.

All it takes is a microwave (or stovetop) and a few ingredients, plus a little hands-off time waiting for the fudge to set. Since you don’t even need the stove for this recipe, it’s also a great one to make with kids!

Kids will love creating their very own chocolate fudge. For little ones it’s almost magical to see the melty chocolate mixture turn into cuttable fudge after just a little time in the fridge.

Now that I’ve been making fudge this way, I’m thrilled to be making countless varieties of fudge in just minutes. There are so many EASY FUDGE RECIPES here, be sure to check them all out!