Last Updated on March 29, 2021 by Morris Green
As health professionals warn that 2021 will see a significant challenge to the world’s mental health, now is an important time to reflect on how you can maintain and continue to strengthen the positive mental health that is a key part of any recovery. One simple but effective way to boost your mindset is to take part in creative activities such as painting, photography or sewing. From helping to boost your self-esteem to creating healthy connections with other like-minded people, art can be an incredibly powerful ally on your journey.
Building Strong Mental Health
Research has shown that engagement in visually artistic hobbies such as drawing or painting can reduce stress levels in the body and create feelings of enjoyment and relaxation. Aside from the physical improvements caused by creative activities, psychologists have also confirmed that artists (even amateurs) enter what’s known as a “state of flow”, where everyday anxieties and concerns are left to one side during a period of concentration on the task at hand. The sense of achievement and satisfaction at completing a project can also be a huge boost to feelings of self-confidence and self-worth.
Harnessing Your Hobby
If you already enjoy a creative hobby, now might be a good time to think about how you could turn it into a career. The UN has declared that this year will be dedicated to the creative economy, and with many people looking for ways to work from home, the timing could be just right to make the leap from enthusiast to entrepreneur. If you’re passionate about photography, for example, why not start by building a business plan so that you can assess whether your idea is viable? Many families and couples are looking to capture memories of these extraordinary times in a socially distanced way; maybe now’s your opportunity to introduce yourself and your skillset, building a career in the niche that most interests you.
Whether you’re pursuing art purely for fun or aiming to build an income from it, another hugely positive way in which it can help you is by opening up conversations with other people. From fellow artists and creators to those in your community who may enjoy your work, finding an outlet for your creativity can help to provide positive affirmation and even new friendships. A survey last year found that three out of five Americans are lonely, and this can be particularly challenging for individuals that are in recovery. By becoming involved in creative hobbies, whether in person or online, you can meet like-minded people, feel appreciated for your efforts, and enjoy a sense of common purpose.
Protecting your mental health is a crucial part of navigating your recovery journey, and art can be a valuable tool. From lowering stress levels to making you feel more relaxed and confident, even a simple sketch or embroidery project can help in more ways than perhaps you thought possible. Happily, these types of projects can also be done at home, no matter what’s going on in the world. So whether you’re being creative purely for the fun of it, or hoping to turn it into something more lucrative, embrace your artistic side, and bring some color and joy to your mindset.