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01.19.23 | Sage Advice

aRT Without the Capital “A”

Believe it or not, the little stick figure you managed to draw as a kid on is considered a masterpiece. Okay, maybe not a “masterpiece” per se, but definitely a piece of work you should be proud of, because that same stick figure is doing more than you might think.

Flexing That Creative Muscle

Everyone is capable of creative expression. Regardless of skill level, age, or disability, the benefits of creating art are nigh infinite. Whether you draw, paint, do woodwork, or draw stick figures, making art is good for the mind, body, and soul.

The act of creation has been linked to a reduction in anxiety and stress. It even improves your sense of agency when it comes to imagining solutions to problems you may face on a regular basis. 

Making “aRT”


Start with what you enjoy — maybe something you’ve done before, maybe something you loved as a kid. But keep an open mind in this process.

Anything that engages the creative mind — reformatting the ability to make and establish connections between unrelated things through visual communication — is good for you.

Here’s a few to get you going: finger painting, cooking, baking, collaging, oil painting, weaving, knitting, crocheting, writing screenplays, scrapbooking — lose yourself in the process and let go of expectations.

Do what lets you express yourself fully in the world of art making. You do not need to complete a project or like what you’re making to feel the various health benefits.

“aRT” Like You Exercise, Like You Eat

Just as you make time to eat, exercise and hang out with family and friends, you should make time for your new found joy for artistic expression. Creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy — remaining connected to yourself and remaining connected to the world.

Chicago Methodist Senior Services offer a few more resources for healthy art making, enjoy!

Art therapy
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12.10.20 | Sage Advice

Discover Your New Winter Hobby for Seniors

Cultivating hobbies in older adulthood is a vital part of staying enriched and engaged. We’ve spent our entire lives making others happy, from partners to kids to bosses to friends. Now is the perfect time to indulge in activities for personal happiness and enjoyment, too. That’s why today, we’re talking about the benefits of finding a hobby that suits you — and sharing a few ideas to help get you started.

Fitness Hobbies

As we’ve discussed before, it’s vital that older adults partake in regular, moderate physical activity. Hobbies such as yoga, tai chi, swimming and even gardening are great ways to get those minutes in while also enjoying the task. Choosing these forms of exercise will help transform the experience of working out from a chore to a treat. 

Social Activities

Loneliness and social isolation are major challenges older adults face. Incorporating social activities into your life is a great way to meet new people and learn new things at the same time. Consider joining a choir, a local senior bowling (or other leisurely sport) league, taking a dancing class or even getting together for a game of cards every once and awhile.

Mental Engagements

One major benefit of hobbies is the opportunity to stimulate and engage your mind. For those that love a good challenge, or like to be whisked away in a story, try picking up a good novel from your library or grappling with a puzzle in the newspaper. Mentally engaging hobbies and activities are even proven to help keep your memory sharp.

Artistic Pursuits

For those seeking to express their artistic side, there are many artist hobbies available. For those that are good with their hands, knitting, crocheting or quilting are all exciting pursuits. Painting, drawing and scrapbooking are great ways to get creative and to create keepsakes, too. And for the wordsmiths among us, writing counts as an artform too!

There’s a hobby out there for everyone. Keep looking and trying new things until you find one that’s the right fit for you!

Three African American older adults smile together, wearing aprons at a painting class
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