Exercising Another Part of My Brain: Arts and Crafts

I always found doing health fairs challenging as a nutritionist. I loved educating people—but putting together an oak tag presentation, not as much. And making healthy salad samples to give out—also challenging. I am a verbal person. I love to talk. I love to write.

When I completed a food pyramid project for my first nutrition workshop as a pediatric outpatient dietitian eight years ago, I was so proud of myself. Though it’s not my forte, I enjoyed working that part of my brain to create the pyramid and sample foods, laminate them, and attach velcro to each piece. It is precisely because it does not come naturally to me that it gave me such deep satisfaction.

As I work on arts and crafts projects with my toddler daughter and/or in my role as a preschool teacher, I am again working this undeveloped muscle. It does not come easy, but over time I get the hang of it. It makes me feel more well-rounded, and I’m sure it’s healthy for my brain to be working different parts of it that have been lying more dormant over the years.

Part of adulthood is about taking what you’re good at and getting even better at it, but another part—just as important—is to grow in the ways that come less easily!

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