We all know that creativity and play can be extremely beneficial for children, but when was the last time you did something just for fun as an adult?
“Shouldn’t I be doing something productive?”
If you often find yourself thinking this way, you’re not alone. In a society that places so much value on hustle and results, much of our self-worth is, unfortunately, tied to how much we produce.
But sometimes one of the best things we can do is take a break to play.
Good for your mind, body, and soul
Play and creativity are an important part of any self-care practice. And there are huge benefits.
Even if you’ve only got 15 minutes, creative pursuits like music, dancing and writing can:
Have you ever seen a stressed out 6 year old?
Part of what makes creativity and play so powerful is that they’re detached from expectation and judgement, allowing you to truly live in the moment — perhaps a child’s biggest superpower.
We’re all creatives at heart (yes, even you)
If you’re thinking, “well, I’m not very creative,” you can stop right there.
As humans, we’re all innately creative and playful. Sometimes we adults just need a little reminder.
In fact, creativity may even be the basis of human life. It has inspired humans to build cities, invent new technologies, find cures for diseases, and produce architectural masterpieces.
We use creativity every day when we make decisions, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.
Many self-care tools like visualization and manifestation are also exercises in creativity and play, challenging us to expand our minds beyond the tangible world, opening us up to new possibilities.
So, open up your mind and have some fun by weaving a little creativity and play in your self-care flow with these nine unique ideas:
9 creative self-care ideas
1. Build a “Zen Den”
Our lives, and homes, can be pretty chaotic at times, so having a space designated to your health and wellbeing is important. Whether it’s a whole room or the corner of your closet, a zen den is a place to reconnect with yourself and recharge. Cozy cushions. Fragrant candles. Sparkling crystals. Use your creativity to decorate your space with whatever makes you feel most at peace.
2. Sing in the shower
Music is the language of the soul, and whether you’re performing or just appreciating, it has incredible healing benefits. Next time you hop in the shower, put on a song and get singing. Like other performing arts, singing is a powerful form of self-expression that can boost your mood and reduce stress.
3. Write a future biography
Where will you go? Who will you be? What will you achieve?
Part visualization, part manifestation, writing a future biography is a creative and playful exercise that challenges you to dream big.
What is a future biography? It’s a profile you write about yourself in third person, written from the perspective of some point in the future.
The goal is to open your mind to new possibilities and to get intentional about who you want to be, what you want to achieve, the feelings you want to embody, and the impact you want to make. It can be as specific and detailed as you like.
Writing future biographies can take a little getting used to, but it might go something like this:
October 20, 2025:
Danika is a best-selling author and wellness entrepreneur that impacts the lives of millions. She has complete financial freedom and spends lots of time in nature with her husband, children and dog. She nourishes her body with fresh vegetables from her garden, and feels more vibrant and expansive than ever before.
4. Play recipe roulette
Nourishment is one of the four foundations of self-care, but if you’re not mixing things up in the kitchen… cooking can start to feel a little repetitive.
Keep your skills sharp by playing a game of recipe roulette:
- Open a cookbook with your eyes closed
- Make whichever recipe you land on first
If you’re missing an ingredient — and don’t have a grocery run planned — simply swap out for similar ingredients, or try again until you’re close enough.
I can’t guarantee your experiment will turn out deliciously, but promise the challenge will be fun!
5. Take the road less traveled
Physical movement is important for our physical well-being, and it’s equally as important for our minds. A Stanford University study found that walking increases creative inspiration, whether indoors or outdoors.
Try taking a 10-minute walk outside during the day, to boost your energy, get some fresh air and some vitamin D.
The catch? It can’t be the same route you always take.
Shaking up your routine by doing something differently can help keep your mind more flexible and, in turn, more open to innovation. The idea is that by taking a new route to work (or anywhere you go regularly) you’re likely to spot new surprises.
Maybe there’s a hidden park you never knew about or a beautiful water feature. Perhaps you’ll see a new business you didn’t know was there. Being in a new environment may spark even more sense of adventure inside of you!
6. Dig in the garden
There are many benefits to being in nature, but there’s something especially nourishing about caring for plants and feeling connected to the earth.
7. Dance, dance, dance
Movement and dance are both very expressive and have been proven to boost your mood.
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, or need a boost of energy, put on a song and move your body in whatever way feels right for you from start to finish.
8. Write an affirmation acrostic
This one’s sure to make Shakespeare proud. An acrostic is a poem which uses the first letter of each line to spell out a word. An easy way to get started is to write your name with each letter on a separate line vertically — think of it like a numbered list without the numbers.
Then, next to each letter, write an affirmation for how you want to feel in the week to come or who you want to be. For example,
9. Break Out The Craft Supplies
Never underestimate the power of some construction paper, scissors and glue. Whether you’re into coloring books, collaging or you want to build a bedazzled bird house, there are unlimited ways to tap into your inner artist.
Head to your local craft store to pick up some supplies or start with what you have at home.
- Decorate mason jars with chalk paint to store your makeup brushes.
- Cut and paste from some of the magazines you have and create a birthday card collage for a friend or vision board
- Or buy some colorful pom poms and snazzy up some of your favorite shoes.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, or your routine’s feeling a bit stale, shake things up, get creative and think like a kid.
You’ll be healthier and happier for it. We promise.