It’s mental health awareness week. A chance to shine a light on our shared experiences with mental health and how we go about navigating the rollercoaster of our emotions.
One of my coping strategies is to throw myself into doing something creative, and it’s often a different creative activity depending on the mood or emotion I’m experiencing at that time. So here’s a few of my go-to’s. Maybe they can be helpful for you too!
If you need to work through something
Collage, doodling, painting
Letting your mind play out whatever it needs to through imagery can be cathartic. For a more structured approach, collage can help prompt your thoughts in a new direction. Or for a more fluid experience, put a pen (or brush) to paper and just see what happens.
If you need to let off some steam
Lino printing, string art
Sometimes you just need to let it out. Carving away at some lino for a few hours can relive a lot of stress. Check out our video on how to make a lino print. If you need something a bit more hardcore, have a go at some string art. Bashing the nails in with a hammer is sure to help you let go of any tension.
If you need a distraction
Crochet, cross-stitch, origami
If you need to concentrate on following a pattern or instructions, there’s no time to get lost in your thoughts! I find this useful if I'm unhealthily dwelling on something that can't be changed. You've just got to break the habit and take your mind of it and these are a perfect distraction.
If you need to relax
Colouring, hand lettering
To relax, you want something that doesn’t require too much concentration or effort. Lounging on the sofa with a good colouring book is a great way to chill out and feel present. Or have a go at some hand lettering or calligraphy. It doesn’t have to look professional, but the smooth movements and positive affirmation words can really help you to unwind and get into a mindful zone.
If you need to get yourself in order
Bullet journalling combines getting creative and getting organised! Fill your pages with calendars, to-do lists and goals along with colours and doodles. Nothing feels better than ticking something off that's been niggling at you for ages.