When it comes to taking on the responsibilities, confusion and uncharted territory of adulthood, sometimes you can get so caught up in your day-to-day tasks and career, you feel like you have no time left to just focus on yourself.

You might miss the days of having free time to pursue personal projects, or maybe you just crave a way to rejuvenate your sense of self by creating something. But you don’t have to write a novel or work on a long-term project to express yourself.

Whatever your lifestyle looks like, creativity and self expression are a big part of discovering yourself, nurturing balance and happiness in your life, and finding a positive outlet for emotion. Plus, practicing self-expression helps relieve stress and better your mental health.

So whether you’re a creative spirit or just craving a little self-discovery, here are some simple outlets to self expression every day:


1. Dance before breakfast

A woman singing along to music.
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

What do you do when your alarm goes off?

Many of us reach for our cell phones and scroll social media before reluctantly heeding the siren song of the workday. Firstly, think about your energy when you start the day that way — all that negative news is no way to make your morning positive, and it doesn’t allow you to focus on yourself, either.

A healthier habit is to exercise in the morning, but let’s face it — not everyone has a biological clock that makes a.m. workouts pleasant. However, you can carve out three to four minutes to get your blood flowing and drench yourself in positive vibes before you step foot in the shower. Everyone needs to let loose sometimes — why not pick a song to dance to each morning and give yourself permission to let go? It will relieve stress before it builds up for the day, lift your mood and let you live in the moment. And who knows — maybe you’ll love it enough to sign up for a dance class.


2. Experiment With Your Style

One of the most inherent, easy ways of self expression is by choosing how you present yourself.

So, if you’re feeling adventurous or like you need to switch things up, start with your wardrobe, hair or makeup. Make an effort to add something unique to your look each day, try sporting a color you don’t usually choose, or make a bigger change by cutting or dying your hair. Because you, yourself, is the biggest opportunity for creativity.


3. Make a vision board or interest scrapbook

A scrapbook for memories.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash.

Do you dream of jetting off to Paris or New Zealand at your first opportunity, or do you hope to build a business one day?

If so, why not start a scrapbook or put up a corkboard now and fill it with articles, images and clips of things you hope to accomplish or places you intend to visit? Hang up the board on your wall, or keep your scrapbook open and place it somewhere you can see it every day. This way, you’ll be motivated to keep adding to and changing it each day — and you’ll also be inspired to bring those visions to life long-term.


4. Create a bouquet

Traditional art isn’t the only way to get creative.

For example, If you love nature, why not try your hand at arranging fresh flowers from your garden or outdoors? Arranging bouquets gives you a chance to create something tangible, work with your hands, and customize your living space with some natural beauty. Plus, If you find you love the craft, you can pick up supplies like floral tape, chicken wire and vases at your local dollar store. Just make sure not to pick any blooms from others’ property!


5. Snap a picture

Taking a photo on an iphone.
Photo by Anna Utochkina on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about the fact that you carry a camera with you everywhere?

If you find beauty in everyday experiences and the world around you, capture those moments by snapping a pic with your phone. One of the benefits of self-expression is sharing your unique vision with the world, but it’s also important to get creative for your own benefit. Why not collect some of your favorite shots and have them printed on a calendar or a photo canvas for your wall? Personal photo items make great gifts, as well.


6. Fall in love with food

Cooking doesn’t have to be a repetitive, joyless activity you engage in only to keep yourself alive each day.

In fact, the kitchen is a great place to get creative, and being mindful about meal preparation — as well as eating — helps you develop a healthier relationship with food. So instead of looking at making dinner as a chore, explore a new recipe or get creative with the ingredients you have available. Each day is a new opportunity to discover a new favorite, experiment with new flavors, or enjoy the colors, scents and steps of cooking. Make it a creative, mindful experience.


7. Rediscover coloring

Colouring in a colouring book.
Photo by Customerbox on Unsplash

Coloring isn’t only creative, but it’s also like taking a relaxing bath for your brain.

Get yourself a mandala coloring book and some colored pencils or markers — you can find both at most general stores. This mindful exercise helps you learn how to incorporate both creative expression and self-care into your everyday routine.


8. Find inspiration in others’ art

You don’t need to be in a partnership to take yourself on a date.

Now that museums are reopening after COVID-19, bike or walk to your local gallery on a sunny Saturday. So, pack a picnic lunch and a book to enjoy alfresco in the manicured grounds. Take all the time you want to view each exhibit and gather inspiration for your next project — or just for life.


9. Keep a journal

A goals journal on a table.
Credit: Alexa Williams, Unsplash.

It might seem like Bridget Jones is the only adult keeping a daily diary, but writing in a journal is actually a very therapeutic experience.

No one has to see what you write — use your journal to get out your frustrations, write out lists and goals, jot down your dreams in the morning or record meaningful experiences. Whether you’re planning out important steps in your life, scribbling down quotes that resonate or working through your emotions, journaling helps you find — and channel — your inner voice.


It’s the little things — express them each day

Creativity and self expression doesn’t have to mean working on a masterpiece or showing the world your skill. Small acts of creative self expression are a gift to yourself each day — use them to relieve stress, relax your mind and find what brings meaning to your life.


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