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The correlation between art and self-care has been long studied. In fact, some studies recognize the mental health benefit of creating art. It is, however, important to recognize that while art may bolster your mental health, it should not be treated as a one-size-fits-all cure. Also, it is important to understand that art as self-care is something everyone can enjoy. It may seem intimidating to start creating art if you’re not already an avid art lover or art enthusiast but don’t worry. You don’t have to be an experienced artist to reap the self-care benefits of creating art. Below are a few of the self-care benefits that can occur through the process of creating art.
1. Art as Escapism
Life is undeniably stressful at times. This can be due to various things, including personal issues, work, school, or many other factors. The great thing about creating art is the potential for escapism. Carve out an hour, or two, to just create. Again, this could be any medium, such as painting or drawing. During that set period, block out the negative thoughts and completely dedicate your mind to creating. Don’t worry about what it looks like. Not only are you able to foster creativity, but you also give your mind a mental reprieve from all the stress-inducing thoughts racing around. The simple enjoyment of creating art is a benefit that nobody can deny, and hey, maybe you’ll develop your artistic talent and eventually create art to sell online!
2. Art as Forgiveness
Another way to positively benefit your mind through art is by treating your art as a way to move on from something potentially painful. This could be a hard day, a difficult relationship, or any other memory that is particularly plaguing you. This process is really about letting go of something that is holding you back psychologically. For example, if someone has hurt you in the past, you could write a letter to a loved one that may have upset you. Or, you could create a painting or drawing that portrays how you feel. By acknowledging your feelings through art, you may be able to release some of the pain and create a path to forgiveness. Holding on to negative experiences isn’t healthy and art may be one way of rectifying that.
3. Art as Accomplishment
Sometimes we do not always feel accomplished in our everyday lives, but art can help change that. Accomplishment is often linked with self-worth and self-esteem. So, by pouring yourself into your artwork, however big or small it may be, you can create little victories for yourself. The act of completing a piece of art will give you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, which can result in a boost of self-esteem. You can take pride in knowing you dedicated yourself to creating something, and you followed through with it. You may even find yourself falling in love with creating art, despite not considering yourself an art lover or art enthusiast, to begin with. This could even lead to you selling your art online. Of course, that’s not the goal, but it could be a nice reward!
4. Art as Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all about being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body. While for some, it may be beneficial to block out their thoughts during the process of creating art, for others, it may be a helpful tool. Sometimes you may feel a disconnection between your mind and body. By creating art with your hands, you may foster this mind-body connection. For example, if you’re painting, you can focus your mind on the process, on every detail, colour, and brushstroke. It may sound ridiculous, but sometimes it is reassuring to remind yourself that you are human and that you are in total control of yourself.