Creativity as a Means of Self-Care

I envy those who can tap into the right side of their brain. It boggles my mind looking at paintings, reading stories/poetry, or listening to song lyrics. I ponder where the creator’s mind was at the time they crafted their masterpiece. It never ceases to amaze me that this stranger opened the door to the deepest parts of their psyche, letting us in. All of this is in an effort to share a little of piece of themselves with us.

In the last year or so, I became a huge fan of expressive therapies. In this, my clients utilize their creativity as their primary defense against their symptoms/situation. Specifically, for my clients, this has included writing, storytelling, dance, recording music, playing an instrument, podcasts, blogging, drawing, and painting to name a few. There are a plethora of advantages with little downside.

  • It distract us. Creativity allows us to focus our attention away from our thoughts, feelings, and situation at that given moment.
  • It provides balance. It cannot be all work and no play. Your creativity should not be seen as a chore. It is something you should enjoy doing and that will help offset the hustle of everyday life.
  • Leisure. Have fun with it.
  • It is a creative outlet. As I mentioned previously, many individuals utilize their creativity as a means to allow their true selves to shine through. Many people have difficulty expressing themselves by simply talking about it. They let their message, stories, beliefs, views, feelings, and thoughts come out differently. There is no wrong way to let it out. It is merely a different way to do so.
  • The creative process provides an excellent opportunity to reflect and develop insight. In my personal opinion, insight, or knowing yourself, is one of the most powerful tools an individual can possess to combat negativity. Throughout the final process, your creativity forces your brain to think about sensitive topics that you might otherwise avoid. Your mind organizes the information from lingering, disconnected memories, thoughts, and feelings. We do this over and over again through multiple drafts and revisions. We engage in this process until our mind has a firm, comfortable understanding of what it is trying to convey. It all comes together in the final product.

-The Caring Counselor

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