10 Creative Activities to Keep Your Mind Active

It’s important to keep your mind active. Thinking creatively, challenging your mind, and staying engaged can help you live a more fulfilling life, solve problems more creatively, and even minimize your risk of certain health afflictions (like dementia). 

If you get lots of creative stimulation in your job, you’re already in great shape. But for most of us, additional recreational creative activities provide a necessary boost in enrichment. 

So what types of creative activities can keep your mind active? 

Important Creative Activities to Keep Your Mind Active

These are some of the best hobbies and activities to engage your creative mind: 

  1. Color. Let’s start with something simple: coloring. It’s a hobby that almost anyone can do, and it doesn’t take much skill, experience, or effort. You can even zone out in front of the TV and gently color within page lines using tools like colored pencils or crayons. Consider picking up a coloring book with complex or interesting designs, or take it to the next level by printing a coloring book of your own
  2. Solve jigsaw puzzles. Some jigsaw puzzles are fairly straightforward, but they still force your mind to think in creative ways. You have to visualize how each piece could look if rotated or positioned differently, and you have to imagine how the larger picture fits together. It’s a stimulating activity, but not an intimidating one, so it’s easy to get started. 
  3. Complete crossword puzzles. You can also spend more time solving crossword puzzles. Crossword puzzles force you to tap into your knowledge of history, vocabulary, pop culture, and dozens of other categories – but also think creatively about how those answers can fit together. Crossword puzzles come in a variety of difficulty levels, so no matter what, you should be able to find a platform that serves you. 
  4. Learn a new language. Learning a language is more challenging, but it’s the perfect way to force your brain to think in new ways. With the right app, you can start learning a language in just a few minutes each day. You’re not going to become a fluent speaker overnight, but you don’t need to; the practice of picking up new words and grammatical structures is enough to keep your mind engaged. 
  5. Play an instrument. Similarly, you could work to learn how to play a new musical instrument. Music is kind of a language of its own; when you become more familiar with it, you’ll be able to learn to play your favorite songs, write songs of your own, and even improvise new solos and melodies from scratch. 
  6. Cook (and experiment). Cooking can be a creative activity if you’re willing to experiment. Once you understand some of the basic rules of cooking, you can start expanding your horizons. Pick up some new, unfamiliar ingredients from the grocery store and tinker with new cooking techniques. What new dishes can you come up with? 
  7. Paint. One of the more “traditional” creative activities on this list is painting. Watch a painting tutorial online or just break out a paint set and let your mind go to work. Blending colors and bringing shapes to life can be invigorating. 
  8. Woodwork. If you love the idea of working with your hands or working with 3-dimensional space, consider woodworking. With a handful of tools and the right lumber, you can create new furniture, abstract sculptures, and anything in between. 
  9. Take photos. Photography is an amazing art – and it’s not difficult to learn the basics. Pick up a decent camera and explore your surroundings. Even if they seem intimately familiar, once a camera is in your hand, there’s a good chance you’ll learn to see everything in a new light. Plus, you’ll be able to put together a collection of photos that can help you remember all your experiences. 
  10. Play games. Don’t underestimate the amount of creative thinking to play games. If you’re a fan of sitting down and playing a tactile board game, you could learn to play chess, a collectible card game, or some of the thousands of modern board games that have revolutionized the genre in recent years. Otherwise, you can pick up a new video game and use your creative thinking to solve puzzles, strategize against an intelligent enemy, or collaborate with teammates. 

Refining Your Approach 

Some of these creative activities are going to “click” with you more than others. The exact activity you choose isn’t as important as the fact that you remain stimulated – so feel free to experiment and only keep the hobbies and practices that give you the best rewards. And if you can complete these activities with other people, even better; the benefits of socialization are hard to ignore.

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