I have had issues with depression for most of my life.
I’ve tried many different things to deal with this – counselling/psychotherapy, herbal supplements, exercise, medication, changing jobs/houses/partners etc.
However, last year when I began to consistently tap into my creative energy and express myself creatively on a regular basis, I noticed that the feelings of depression that tend to surface quite frequently with me didn’t visit so often.
In fact, if I keep tapping into my creativity on a daily basis, as well as doing a few others key things (exercise, rest, play, connecting with loved ones, eating well, etc), I tend to feel pretty damn good most of the time.
With all that other stuff I’m doing, how do I know it’s creativity that’s brought about this change? Because I tried all the other things before, and they didn’t work. At least, not without adding creative self-expression into the mix.
I’ve always been a creative person at heart – drawing, singing, writing since I was little, but once I hit adulthood most of that stuff sort of got forgotten about as I got ‘serious’ about life. Funnily enough, I have also spent a good portion of my adulthood dealing with depression.
I’m not suggesting that creativity is a cure-all for mental illness. But for me, personally, I have found creative self-exression to be essential to my mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I can’t imagine my life without it now.
From my journal:
Ever since I’ve been exploring my creative side I’m a totally different person. I’m happier and more fulfilled. I feel like I know myself, what makes me happy. I feel a greater connection to the divine, to my own inner resources of strength, courage, wisdom and faith. I know that through developing a creative practice, I have a routine that supports me in daily life.
Creativity comes in many different forms. It doesn’t have to be artistic, it can be anything – cooking, building, the way you organise your furniture, or dress.
I believe that everyone is really a creative person at heart, and those that don’t think they are creative simply haven’t found the kind of creative expression that works for them yet.
What does the word ‘creativity’ mean to you?
In what ways would you consider yourself to be creative?
In what ways would you like to be more creative?
What does creativity bring to your life? Why is it worth making time to be creative?
What are the obstacles to creativity in your life? They might be time, the opinions of others, resistance, fear, money, etc. What could you do to overcome these obstacles?
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.