Creativity as Self-Care
Previously on our blog, we looked at two personal resources that can be used to support your self-care: nature connection and self-compassion. Today, we will look at another fantastic resource to boost your health and well-being: creativity.
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘creativity’? Perhaps this might bring up visions of painting, playing an instrument, crafting, baking, writing… There are many ways we can be creative.
But why is this an important personal resource to develop?
Benefits of creativity
Research shows that being creative has many benefits for your health and well-being. For example, creativity can:
Increase positive affect and confidence
Reduce depression and anxiety
Promote stress relief
Improve immune system function.
When you create something, you are giving yourself an emotional outlet to express a thought or feeling you might be having.
Your mind is also given the chance to replenish, which can help your problem-solving skills when it comes to a challenge you may be facing.
The process of being creative, along with admiration of what you have produced, can make you feel more engaged and give you a sense of purpose.
These features make creativity an excellent choice to boost your overall resilience. But you might be wondering, ‘how can I become more creative?’.
Creativity is a skill
As with the mental techniques from our toolkit and MST4Life™ programme, creativity is a skill. This means that it can be learned and improved over time. The great thing is that there are many ways to be creative, so you can pick one you like and practise it.
Activities to try
Now that we have looked at some of the many benefits of creativity, you could try out some simple activities to try to boost your own creativity. For example:
Being creative can give you an outlet to express your emotions in a healthy way, but it is important to first of all know what you are feeling. Begin by improving your emotional awareness using our interactive tool.
Can you schedule in some time each day to do something creative? This only needs to be for a short period of time. How about getting up a little bit earlier in the morning and fitting in 15 minutes of sketching, painting, or composing lyrics? This can put you in the right frame of mind and set you up for the day.
Keep a creativity journal. Make notes on how you feel through the creative process and afterwards. Do you notice feelings of pride, joy, or accomplishment?
What creative skill do you possess, and are there any others that you would like to improve on? Have a go at identifying your creative strengths using our interactive tool.
Consider joining an online club related to your chosen area of creativity. Sharing a creative interest with others can benefit you through improving your social connections. It does not matter how skilled you are in the topic, whether photography, painting, crafting, etc. What matters most is the creative process itself and the opportunity it gives you to meet people with similar interests.
How did you get on? We’d love to hear which activity was your favourite. Let us know how you express your creativity and how it makes you feel. You can catch us over on Twitter using #MSTtoolkit #MST4Life.
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If you would like to find out more about our mental skills training techniques, you can download our free Mental Skills Training Toolkit.
To have a go at our full range of interactive tools, you can click here.
Photo credit: amt_photog, TatianaMara, and chananote on Reshot.