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Art and Creativity as an Outlet for Mental Health 


As many artists and creators already know, art is a reflection of life and inspiration and produces it as well. It can promote self-discovery, and take you on a journey you never imagined, and maybe most importantly it can help to improve your mental health. Under the second stay-at-home order of the year, even those who don’t consider themselves to be artistic in the least are tapping into their creative sides to keep their spirits high in otherwise gloomy times. Our brains want us to use them in a way that makes us feel good, and art provides many of us with that ability.

Although kicking the spring season off indoors is not what any of us had imagined, it gives us time to start creating and producing art that helps us feel good, and who knows, might even provide us with one-of-a-kind works to display in our home. Whatever your motivation may be, taking up an artistic practice can act as a form of self-care and improve your mental health and wellbeing in otherwise stressful or gloomy times. Here are the positive effects that embracing our inner artist can have a positive impact on our lives. 

 

Stress Relief

Art can be a very therapeutic activity to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Many people find it hard to talk about how they feel, so using art as an outlet can be a great way to express your feelings without having to verbalize your emotions. Visual arts like drawing, painting, clay sculpting and pottery can allow you to relax and let your creativity take flight. The creative process will help to stimulate the release of dopamine and make us feel happier. 


Skill Building and Self-Esteem

Practice makes perfect, right? No matter the medium or art form chosen, honing your skills is a great way to build self-esteem and show off your creative side. By indulging in our art as creators, we may be building skills that either make us feel good, or that could produce marketable work. By continuing to build on our skills, we build up our own self-esteem. We can see our own progress as time goes by, mastering techniques we once only dreamed of, and can reap social rewards when outsiders begin commenting on our newly acquired skills. Who doesn’t like a figurative “pat on the -social media- back” every now and again anyway?


Sense of Community

Once you indulge in your artistic side, you meet people with the same interests, or skill sets you admire. You are almost immediately welcomed into a community that uplifts and supports one another. Joining online classes, or social media special interests groups can help you to build your community and remain feeling connected throughout these times of uncertainty. As an added bonus, this can also provide what might be a much-needed break from binging Netflix throughout the remainder of this stay-at-home order.

If you are looking for a mind and body break from the world, grab a pencil, or paintbrush, and see where your mind can take you. Art is a perfectly imperfect way to express yourself, and show off your individuality. Channel your inner artist this spring and feel reap the mental and physical benefits that the skill offers, and who knows, maybe you will discover a little something about yourself in the process.

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