The modern world is far too chaotic and fast-paced for many people, and the pressure to keep up with a never-ending list of social, familial, and professional obligations can sometimes be overwhelming.
There can be times when it becomes too difficult to focus on keeping one’s mental health in check. For those who feel utterly drained by their everyday lives-and for those looking to invest in their mental health-the creative arts can help provide a reprieve from stress.
Although it may seem at first that expressing oneself through art might only contribute to the chaos of life, studies have repeatedly shown that creative pursuits can reduce anxiety, fight depression, and promote overall happiness. So here are some creative outlets that may help you relieve your stress:
Keep a journal
For some people, writing can be an incredibly cathartic experience. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the stressors in your life, start a journal to write down how you’re currently feeling about your surroundings and the events taking place.
By letting out your negative feelings on paper, you can begin healthily processing them and start to work through them without having a panic attack. If you’re stuck at a dead-end job or going through a tough breakup, journaling can help you get back on track and start feeling more optimistic about the future.
Do arts and crafts
Crafting can be an incredibly therapeutic way to work through anything that’s been bothering you. Whether you’re scrapbooking, doing origami, drawing a comic strip, or sculpting clay figurines, the creative process will often help inspire new ideas and fresh perspectives on your everyday issues.
Rather than reverting to unhealthy behaviors like drinking or binge-eating, try picking up a hobby that will help you feel more in control. You can even apply to receive a scrapbook subscription box every month to encourage you to be more consistent with your new hobby.
Exercise or do yoga
Physical activity has been proven to promote physical and mental well-being, so why not add a cardiovascular workout to your daily schedule? If you need help to get motivated, consider joining a gym or purchasing some home exercise equipment.
If you’re looking for an alternative that won’t cost you money down the road, try yoga. It’s cheap and effective; if you’re feeling self-conscious about your appearance, you can practice yoga at home with a few pillows. Even doing simple stretches in the living room will help improve how you feel overall by giving you some time to breathe and reflect on what’s bothering you.
Watch a movie
If your depression or anxiety is causing you to withdraw from the world, consider popping in a DVD. Watching movies is an enjoyable way to take a break from whatever’s stressing you out and help you relax for a bit by taking your mind off of it.
Rather than scrolling through Facebook all day, engage with pop culture by watching new releases at the theater or catching up on old classics at home. You can even watch a favorite show with friends and bond over how much you love the main protagonists.
Read more books
If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, pick up a book and read. Not only is it a great way to take a step back from the real world, but reading has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress levels. And don’t think that you’ll be limited to the best-sellers; any book will do as long as you’re enjoying it.
As a bonus, picking up a new hobby that involves literacy will give you something interesting to talk about with your friends. You can even discuss your favorite parts with them, which will break the ice if you’re meeting up after a long time.
Paint something you love
Art is an amazing way to express yourself and relieve stress at the same time. If you’re feeling helpless and frustrated, paint a picture of something that makes you happy: your favorite place, a beautiful landscape, or even just a cute animal doing something silly.
Just by putting pen to paper, or brush to canvas, you’ll be able to work through your negative feelings and start feeling better. It’s a great way to unleash your emotions healthily and help you process anything that’s been bothering you so much lately.
Create something with friends
If you’re ready to meet new people, consider starting an art project with other people interested in the hobby. You can even find a local class that’s convenient for you and meet up with other students regularly.
Not only is it a great way to bond, but creating something with others will help you feel less isolated and alone in the world. Getting out of your comfort zone by socializing in safe, constructive settings like art classes will allow you to expand your horizons and try something new.
It can be hard to know where to start, so why not pick a creative activity right now? Whether you’ve always loved sculpting or have been wanting to start writing, this is the perfect time to give it a shot. You never know how much you’ll benefit by adding just one more hobby to your list.