April is the fourth month of the year and may have been named after the goddess Aphrodite. Celebrated this month are World Creativity Week, World Health Day and International Dance Day.
This month I will consider how everybody can be creative and how using your creativity skills can be a great mood booster. In recognition of World Health Day, I will provide ideas to help you look after your own mental and physical health. Related to both your creativity and your health, I will encourage you to take advantage of International Dance Day to get up and moving.
When you think of the word ‘creativity’ what comes to mind? Generally we think of artists doing amazing things with a pot of paint. In reality however, creativity is much more than this. It is also about finding novel and innovative solutions to an existing problem. It is about giving things a go and trying new things, without fearing failure. Perhaps you are in a new job and can see that their existing systems are long and laborious and you can think of a more streamlined approach. This is creativity at work; however you must have the courage to put forward your ideas. Doing so will do wonders for your self-esteem. You trust yourself without worrying about being wrong or laughed at.
Nurturing your creativity can put you in a better position to handle certain situations. Perhaps it is looking for a creative solution to finally deal with Aunt Meg’s overzealousness at Christmas. Research suggests that happy people are more creative and spending time on your creative abilities will boost mood. It’s win-win. Furthermore you can become more productive, ridding yourself of boredom and procrastination. Exercising creativity means you are generating ideas, rather than being stuck doing nothing. You may also learn something about yourself; such a task is time never wasted.
- Write your ideas down. Don’t discard anything as they may come in handy later on or trigger a whole new bunch of ideas.
- Be aware of the things that may be hindering your creativity. Negative people and television are obvious examples.
- Look for opportunities to be creative in all areas of your life.
- Encourage others to offer up their ideas and don’t be too quick to dismiss an unexpected suggestion. It may just work.
Often we find that the things that are good for your physical health are also good for your mental health. This becomes apparent when we consider stress. Too much stress causes problems to our physical health and can potentially lead to heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, amongst other things. It can also bring about mental health problems of depression and anxiety. Yet when we take steps to manage stress, we are benefitting both or physical and mental health and doing wonders for our wellbeing in general. What follows are a number of suggestions that have been shown to benefit your overall health.
- My number one tip for good physical and mental health would have to be exercise. It is a fantastic stress reliever, can alleviate symptoms of depression and is great for your health. There are a lot of different types of exercise out there, so make sure you choose something you enjoy.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Too much alcohol can lead to health problems and it is actually a depressant. So it is not increasing your mood.
- Don’t smoke. It does little for your stress levels and nothing for your health.
- Think about the food you eat. Aim for a balanced diet that does not restrict any food group. However watch your intake of saturated fat and sugar and aim for whole foods. These are food that have not been processed or refined. Some foods also increase mood so try to include these into your diet. These foods include: nuts, tofu, garlic, bananas, blueberries, cheese, spinach, oats and beans.
- Take an active role in your own life. Make good decisions and take control where you can. Try cutting down on the amount of television you watch. Instead use this time to engage in your favourite hobby or spend time with friends and family.
Get your groove on
The premise behind International Dance Day is to celebrate the art of dance and bring people together. If you are a dancer you will know how good it makes you feel. Dance offers up an opportunity for a flow experience, where you are so absorbed in the task, the rest of the world is forgotten. Of course, you don’t have to be a dancer to give dancing a go. You can dance in the comfort of your own home, go to a club or attend a dance class. Dance takes many forms so you will probably find something that interests. In fact, it doesn’t have to take any form at all; dancing around your house to your favourite music is just fine. Having a dance can be your chance to get creative and do something good for your health. That’s April’s goals achieved and you can have fun doing it.
- Just try it! Have fun and don’t worry about what other people are thinking.
Every month there is a reason to be happy.