March 28, 2020
Treatment for mental health and substance use issues can be challenging, but you finished that, and you are growing stronger every day. Maybe you are even ready to tackle some new challenges, or to pick up some of the pieces where you left off before your treatment. One of the areas that can help you grow and heal and take you to new levels is to challenge yourself to live creatively.
Explore Your World
When you are willing to look around you, you might be surprised at what you see. By exploring your world, you might find a new challenge, something that will be exciting, that will stretch you creatively, and help you to be a better person. Find an area of creativity that you would like to focus on, whether it be learning new crafting skills, making a movie, painting in a new medium, designing clothes, or anything that appeals to you.
As you look around you, what makes your heart beat a little faster? What makes you think? What makes you feel? How does it make you feel? What do you feel like doing when you experience these things? These are all questions that you can ask yourself as you explore your world for inspiration.
When you are depressed, have anxiety, or are using substances, life is hard. Even the most basic functions like getting out of bed or taking a shower can feel monumentally overwhelming. But now that you have learned how to manage your mental health, you are capable of moving to that next level. Not only can you do those most basic of things, but you can stretch and expand and be inspired.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Many people are inspired by mental health and the specific needs of people who share these challenges. So maybe you are inspired to paint a mural about mental health. Or maybe you are inspired by another artist who creates from their place of mental health. Or perhaps you are just inspired by watching something from everyday life. The most important thing to remember is that you are healthy enough to be inspired. You are healthy enough to take that inspiration and use it to help you heal.
Treatment doesn’t have to be tedious, and neither does your healing. You can choose to boost your healing in creative ways. For example, if you need a way to remember your self-care or other routines, create a collage from magazine pictures or come up with a song that helps you remember. Your exercise might be to dance, whether it is a dance that you choreograph or joining a dance class that is a new style for you, such as Latin or swing dancing.
You might find as you heal that certain types of art or music or other creativity bubbles up to the surface and are begging for you to release them with your very best drawing, poetry, kazoo playing, or jewelry making. Or maybe part of your healing is to take a trip back to childhood and play with playdough, finger paint, build with LEGO, draw with sidewalk chalk, or whatever. Expressing creativity, especially with children’s media, can be especially healing as you let your little inner artist out. It is also a really fun activity to do with friends.
As much as creativity is healing in individual endeavors, there is an added dimension to healing when you share your innovation and inspiration with other people. You can collaborate with other musicians to create music. You can work with other dancers to choreograph something much bigger than just you on your own.
So many art and design projects are just begging for you to share your creative powers with one or more people to create together, laugh, and maybe even cry together, but most importantly, heal together. Sharing the healing process within an artistic endeavor with someone else who has walked the life of mental illness or substance use can merge hearts and mend souls while creating beauty out of pain.
Live with Purpose
When you choose to live creatively, you choose to live with purpose. Finding ways to express yourself through creativity will be that purpose, to tell your story in any artistic way that you choose. You will find purpose through healing in creative ways, and you can find purpose in helping others to heal. Maybe something that you do in all of your creativity will also inspire others who have struggled with mental health and substance use to find their purpose, too. Your creativity and healing can become a way of life for you and for others who follow your example.
Living a mentally healthy life does not have to be commonplace or lifeless. When you are taking care of your mental and physical health needs, you have the chance to explore, be inspired, heal, and share creatively. As you find yourself and learn to express yourself in your unique ways, you create purpose and meaning for your life that extends well beyond your school or work life. In fact, living creatively may help you find a new purpose for your life: to inspire others with mental health issues to live their lives creatively, too.
Live a creative life. Explore and inspire and heal with creativity. Potomac Programs can be a reference point for you as you live and grow creatively. Call 1-855-809-0409 if you need help living with purpose.