Cheshire's Mental Health Hub

How creativity can help your mental health

Have you ever noticed how naturally creative children are? They can’t help themselves. They are creative in everything they do. They sing, dance, draw, write, make up stories, plays and characters. They do this to help them make sense of the world around them with all it’s big new experiences.

Why is it that as we get older, many of us lose that creative streak, or at least we don’t nurture it. Could we learn something from the way children behave? After all, as adults we have a big wide world to make sense of too.

Doing something creative, like crafting, can focus the mind and distract from negative thoughts and emotions. In turn this can help to ease depression and anxiety. Studies have also shown that creative pursuits like writing, drawing or sculpting can help us to deal with trauma, like losing a loved one.

Enjoying a creative hobby is a great way of connecting with new people too. But if that doesn’t feel comfortable for you, that’s ok. You don’t need to be around other people to be creative.

Here are some ideas you could try:

Writing

There are so many possibilities here but why not keep it simple and try writing a daily journal. Writing about personal experiences has been shown to improve our sense of wellbeing, helping us sleep better and feel better. It doesn’t matter what you write, and you don’t need to show your journal to anybody, unless you want to.

Photography

It’s amazing how once you start looking for a great photo, you develop a deeper appreciation of your surroundings Getting out in nature and really observing what’s around us can do wonders for our mood. You don’t need any expensive kit either, smartphone cameras are capable of taking great photos.

Make Something

There are huge benefits to working with our hands, whether that’s making a clay pot, knitting or crocheting a blanket, or even woodworking. When our hands and minds are absorbed in a project, it’s a kind of meditation, taking us away from negative thoughts and emotions. And when we create something we are proud of our brains release dopamine, the happy hormone, nature's own anti-depressant.

There are many other ways to incorporate creativity into your life. You could search the database at www.youinmind.org to find some more ideas - we’ve picked out just a few below.

Arts and Crafts Sessions

Knitting, Crochet and Natter

Photography Club

Studio Art Club - Nantwich

Craft Hub

Over 50's Theatre Club

Women Makers Fab Club 50+

New Beginnings Pastel Workshop

General Art Workshop

Creative Groups

Art Group

We would love you to keep in touch with us on social media and let us know if you try any of these suggestions. Or perhaps you already have a creative hobby you could tell us about. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram - or email us at [email protected]