Creative expression can be a helpful tool for self-care, as it facilitates the expression of our innermost thoughts, feelings, and reflections. The creative process is about letting go of self-judgement and exploring the process with curiosity. These are useful skills for when we cope with the challenges of caregiving.
It also provides the time to process our emotions, to take time to sit with our thoughts and feelings, in order to find ways to get them out. Getting them out—expression—relieves us of rumination, worry, and depression.
Here are 5 ways you can express yourself through creativity:
- Draw or paint: Use colour, texture, line, and shape to express how you feel. Allow yourself to become fully immersed in the act of drawing or painting. Involve your body in the strokes of the brush, or in the scribble of the pencil.
- Dance, jump, move: Put on some music and move your body to express the many emotions you are experiencing. Dive deep into one emotion in your movement or show how scattered you feel in your steps.
- Free-write your feelings: Free-writing is exactly what it seems, writing with full freedom to explore. Take a piece of paper and a pen. Write at the top: “I am feeling” and write non-stop for 10 minutes. If you get stuck, simply re-write the sentence starter “I am feeling” and see what new thought pops into your mind.
- Create a sculpture or collage: Use found objects and assemble them together into a collage or a sculpture. Use disparate objects around the house to express the conflicted emotions that you feel inside.
- Make music: Belt out a tune, beat on a make-shift drum, tickle those piano keys. We can make music out of nearly anything. The many popular cup rhythms on YouTube demonstrate the human connection to music. Many tout the healing power of singing, so why not give it a try?
If you would like a starting point to incorporating more creativity into your life, please see these helpful books:
- Natalie Goldberg`s Writing Down the Bones
- Julia Cameron`s The Artist`s Way
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic
- Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit