Unplugging and Finding A Creative Outlet
We live in the 21st century! Technology is everywhere and is ingrained in our daily routines. Your Amazon Alexa can turn on the lights for you in the morning and tell you the upcoming weather. Your iPad and iPhone have all of your friends and acquaintances' latest happenings or updates waiting for you to scroll through. Your Xbox and other gaming consoles sit waiting for you to play the latest game! There are videos of anything and everything on YouTube, Tik Tok, and Instagram that can consume hours or days of your life. While these technologies have their place in our lives and are by no means inherently a negative in our life, too much of anything becomes dangerous or unhealthy.
Let's be real… How often do you scroll through your phone, watch YouTube videos or Netflix or play video games? Chances are, it’s more than you might think. According to CommonSensemedia.org, the 2019 Census found that American teens view on average 7 hours and 22 minutes of media (not including time spent on technology for schoolwork) per day. That is almost 1/3 of the day spent scrolling or watching!
Here at iElevate, we know that it is not realistic to avoid all technology or to ask young adults to pledge to never play video games again. Instead, we want to encourage young adults to spend more time “logged off” and to participate in creative activities! While it’s true that some technology can serve as a creative outlet, this blog post will highlight a few ways to be creative while unplugging your devices.
The benefits of being creative include:
Developing Problem Solving Skills and Resourcefulness
Lowering Stress Levels
Ability to Express Emotions or Thoughts That Are Difficult to Put Into Words
Below are a few ideas to get you started on your creative journey.
1. Coloring Books: We have all colored in a coloring book at some point in our lives. For many of us, this was when we were around the age of 8. Now there are coloring books designed for adults and include more dynamic and exciting pages. Rather than coloring superheroes or princesses, you can draw city skylines, gardens, sea creatures, or 3D geometric designs. Click here for some Adult Coloring Book options.
2. Cooking: Cooking is a functional skill required for independence but can also be a way to express yourself. You can learn to adapt recipes based on what is in your pantry or fridge or you can challenge yourself to create a new recipe! If you are new to cooking, maybe start by making pizza. You can use store bought crust and sauce but search for new toppings and create a design on your baked pie! If you are a little more familiar around the kitchen, try creating your own “Chopped Kitchen.” Just like the popular TV show, call up a friend or family member and ask them to name 3 random ingredients. Then within a certain time frame, make your dinner using those 3 ingredients plus whatever you have available to you. This could be a fun activity to do alone or with friends/ family. If cooking is something that interests you, click here to read a previous blog post about easy recipes for young adults.
3. Collage: Have you ever thought about creating a world using other people’s photographs? Sounds kind of crazy but by using clippings from a magazine you can put giants walking through skylines and make food fall from the sky. The possibilities are endless. All you need are a few magazines, scissors, glue, and a piece of cardboard or thicker paper to serve as a base. If you need help getting started, click here, here, here, and here for some inspiration. If you do not have access to a lot of magazines, click here to order a “cut out” craft book.
These are just 3 ways to be creative without using a device and the possibilities are endless. If this blog post sparked your creative interest for yourself or if you or a loved one needs more help getting started please reach out to Danielle Feerst OTR/L by clicking here to book a FREE 30 minute consultation. She has years of experience working with young adults who are working towards a meaningful life. Along with her Peer Mentors, Danielle and the rest of iElevate have several other ideas, experiences, and expertise on working with young adults with social emotional learning differences to promote living a fully engaged life. In addition, you can connect with us on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you have any ideas for future blog posts, feel free to message us on any of our social media accounts or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Madison Gies, Peer Mentor/Coach, OTDS