Twelve great creative ideas to relax, rejuvenate and find balance

By John Brant | 20th July 2018
Creativity workshop at La Crisalida Health and Wellbeing Retreats

If you have ever felt out of balance or in need of a way to relax and rejuvenate your mind body and spirit, then this is probably the article for you! We share with you some great creative ideas to relax, to connect with the creativity within and find the authentic you. When we connect with the creative part of ourselves we feel in the flow and we find it easier to connect to the messages from our heart. When we are in creative mode, the present moment is enough – and this is why we feel so fulfilled in those creative moments.

Every person is unique, so take a look at the ideas below and try the one or two that inspire you the most. Adopt the attitude of playfulness and curiosity. Do your research and most importantly have fun with your creative side this summer.

Twelve great creative ideas to relax and rejuvenate

Idea 1. Build a sand sculpture

Sand sculpting is taking those sand castles we all made as children to the next level! You will be amazed how with a few simple techniques you can create something of stunning beauty. It is free, and you don’t even need to go down the beach – you can use children’s play sand. Industrial sand often contains fine silica dust and really shouldn’t be used for sandboxes, as that dust can be inhaled, which isn’t good for you. Dust-free sand or non-silica sand work well in addition to natural beach sand

The keys to sand sculpting is having the right tools (a simple DIY spatula will do), to compact the sand with pressure before trying to carve and adding sand to water rather than the other way around.

There are a lot of videos on the internet to explore how to create all types of sculptures from simple to the most complex so let your imagination run wild and create something unique.

Idea 2. Create your very own food recipe

Take the courage to create your own food recipe or dish. The most amazing discoveries in any field were made by mistake, for example sticky toffee pudding! So, trust your intuition and explore the flavours, textures and colours. Be willing to mess it up – test and refine your flavours. Start simple and build in the complexity. Think of a theme for your dish (it could be a region, a cooking technique, a fusion of flavours or something else).

Remember that slow cooking helps to bring out subtle flavours which means you can rely on the natural flavours within a plant-based diet. Give your dish a name and why not share with your friends and publish on social media. Get some feedback and refine. Enjoy the creative process. (If you need some ideas, we have lots of recipes on the blog page).

For an extra challenge create your own recipe collection for a special book or collage.

Idea 3. Design a treasure hunt for your friends

Treasure Hunts aren’t just for children! Design a treasure hunt around your local area. Think creatively – what things about your local area would people be interested in? Consider where are hidden treasures nearby that people would appreciate. Where are the special places of beauty?

Choose a walking treasure hunt, a driven one or combine the two. Decide on how long the treasure hunt should last, design the route and test. Make sure you keep a nice combination of easy and difficult to keep everyone’s interest. Be cryptic and creative – you can create riddles for people to try and solve. Explore and have fun!

Idea 4. Design a vision board

Vision boarding is a great way of getting clarity on what you want for your life. A vision board is created by cutting out pictures from magazines and sticking them onto a piece of card (in a similar way to a mood board). The intention is to put your vison board somewhere you will regularly see it, to help create or manifest the things on your board into your life.

Check out the following articles for more information on vision boarding: all you need to know about vision boarding and a whole new look at vision boarding.

Idea 5. Go to a salsa dance class

Moving your body is a great way of connecting to your creative self. Salsa classes encourage creativity with your partner. Once you learn the basic salsa beat, you and your partner can move your body in creative harmony, feeling your body and going with your intuition. For most classes you can go on your own or with a friend and you will find a dance partner there. Connect with the music, express yourself and have fun!

Idea 6. Paint “Love and Balance”

Painting is a great way of re-connecting with yourself for relaxation and rejuvenation.

There are two ways to paint, first paint something physically present (e.g. a landscape, a person etc) or something more abstract that comes from within. For this exercise we suggest you take the second approach. We all have natural visual representations of abstract words so spend a few moments to take your attention into your body and breathe. Then explore and allow a vision to emerge for the words love and balance. Turn up the colours, the sharpness of the picture and bring the picture towards you in your mind’s eye.

Then go ahead and transfer this picture onto canvas. Allow the creativity to flow through you onto the canvas – avoid the temptation to self-criticise or self-judge and get playful.

Idea 7. Get in touch with your “spirit animal”

In the past many civilisations believed that we each resonate with specific animals which can help to explain many of people’s natural tendencies. Many people, even today, explore their “spirit animal” to try and get a deeper understanding of themselves. Whether it is something real or imaginary doesn’t matter if we consider getting touch with a specific animal we relate to as a metaphor for how we relate to life.

Therefore, have some fun in connecting to the animal that most resonates with you and your life. Close your eyes and take yourself on an imaginary journey. Take a few deep breaths, get yourself centred and start to imagine yourself walking through a forest or jungle track. Be curious and listen to all the noises around you in this imaginary scene. Let your imagination lead you as you reach a clearing in the trees. Take a look around, settle down and wait for your spirit animal to emerge from the forest. Welcome your spirit animal and reassure it that it is safe and sound. Spend a few minutes playing with your spirit animal. Run, walk or fly with your spirit animal – notice that you can communicate with it without words.

If you want, you can ask your spirit animal some questions and wait for its wisdom to enlighten you. Be patient and relaxed and enjoy its company. After a few minutes, when you are ready, say goodbye to your animal. Then bring yourself back to the present moment by connecting with your breath and feeling your feet against the floor and body against the chair.

Finally, you can choose to paint or do some clay modelling of the experience you have had! If you want, you can do this in one of the creativity classes here at the retreat.

Idea 8. Do some clay modelling

There’s nothing like getting your hands dirty to ground yourself and connect to mother earth and her creativity. Clay modelling is easy and cheap and you only need is some basic equipment (a wipeable table/table cloth, modelling clay, some water, a spatula to carve/shape the clay, some warm water to wash your hands and tissues or a towel to dry them).

Choose something to model. At the retreat we choose to model our “spirit animal” having taken the time to explore the animals we resonate with (see item 7 above). Clay modelling is a great activity to do with friends, indoors or outdoors – have fun and create something uniquely you.

Idea 9. Write a “love letter” to yourself

Don’t worry if this sounds conceited, misguided or daft – true balance is when we are able to love all parts of ourselves, even the bits we want to change! Many of us are great at criticising ourselves so a “love letter” can be of great help bringing us back into balance. You won’t need to share this with anyone, so allow yourself to speak from the heart.

Consider:

  • What about myself am I grateful for?
  • What parts of myself do I need to nurture?
  • Where do I feel unappreciated in my life?
  • What (if anything) do I need to forgive myself for?
  • What character traits am I proud of?
  • Where do I need more praise in my life?

Note that this process can become emotional so have a few tissues handy. Open up and allow the words to flow like a song.

Idea 10. Go out and look at the stars

If the day-to-day grind is getting you down, check the weather forecast and schedule some time to go outside and stare up at the stars. Allow yourself to look in wonder at the depth and breadth of everything the universe contains. This process helps us to relax and rejuvenate if we take the time to connect with ourselves at the same time and wonder at the magnificence of the human body and nature on earth.

Wonder at your unique perspective, the light from those stars you are seeing was meant for you. Appreciate the hidden powers of creation and how we have ended up here on earth able to be conscious of everything that is around you. Imagine yourself connected with all the stars in the universe, dancing a dance through time culminating in this moment right here, right now.

Find the north star and connect with the spinning of the earth. Notice that all stars rotate around a fixed point and the north star is the only star that is fixed. Notice the subtle differences in colour amongst the stars – sometimes, something that looks like a star can be a planet! Enjoy exploring the night sky and reconnect with your creative self.

Idea 11. Meditate on a rose

Beauty in nature is everywhere, however when we feel disconnected we can easily miss it. Beauty and creativity go hand in hand so take some time to appreciate some simple beauty in your garden or pay a visit to your local florist. Pick a flower (a rose works well for this playful exercise) and connect with it. Take some time to open yourself and appreciate the beauty, the vulnerability and the presence of this flower. Appreciate the intelligence of life – the delicate balance between giving and taking expressed through the nature of this flower.

Allow the flower to be and allow yourself to be in the same way – allow this flower to be a vessel for you to express your unique self through just being you. Note how the rose accepts itself for what it is thorns and all. Finally, reflect on your experience by writing in your journal.

Idea 12. Write a poem about something you love.

What inspires you in life? What do you do that nobody has to remind you about? What would you do all day even if nobody paid you? Who would you spend time with if you only had one day left on earth?

The answers to these questions can help you to find the love in your life. Then find the courage to write a personal poem to the thing or person you love. Allow your creativity to flow through keeping your attention grounded in your body and heart space, allowing words of inspiration to emerge from within.

Dare yourself to allow your poem not to be perfect and just be an expression of you. Allow the exercise to be an end-in-itself. Relax and enjoy any moments of deep creative flow that you experience.

Try creative ideas to relax at a La Crisalida relax and rejuvenate retreat

At La Crisalida Retreats you can try any of these creative ideas on one of our Relax and Rejuvenate Retreats. These retreats are designed to help you reconnect with the authentic you and find more balance in your life.

You can contact us at info@lacrisalidaretreats.com for more information and to check availability. Have fun and reconnect with your creativity!

Headshot of John Brant - Retreat Founder at La Crisalida Retreats
John Brant

John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.

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