How feeding your creativity can impact your mental health
December 4, 2018 | Campus Life, Health
As children, we’re encouraged to be creative. To make things. To colour outside of the lines. It makes me really sad when I hear my peers say they don’t really have time to be creative anymore. When did that switch flip?
I don’t expect everyone to love painting or drawing, but I do think that being creative has such potential to help people cope with the stress in their lives. It’s why I want to be an art therapist.
Around exam time I’m always asking my friends how they are making sure they’re taking care of themselves and doing the creative things they love. At the end of the Spring semester last year, my friends in social work and philosophy turned it around and asked me if we could all get together to make art on the Saturday between exam weeks. I was beyond excited!
We sat around together and each worked on our own little drawings and paintings. The hours went by so fast, and we ended up laughing so often and so hard that we were crying. No one felt self-conscious about their own artistic skills, and that’s important because it’s really not about the art at all. It’s about de-stressing a little bit and taking care of each other. And it doesn’t even need to be art. If your creative outlet is cooking or dancing, then find the time, and give yourself the permission, to cook or to dance.
Feeding that need to be creative is a big part of how I take care of my mental health. Plodding away at a project is meditative. It’s when I feel most myself.
–Taiessa, Fine Art Diploma ‘18
Taiessa's story is part of Changing Minds: Creating a healthy campus – an initiative that makes mental health a priority. The program connects training opportunities, support services, resources and stories from real people across the MacEwan University community.