Stress can be crippling and make you too exhausted to be creative. Complicated projects are normally impossible when stress takes over, however finding ways to be creative can give you escapism and distract you from the thoughts revolving in your head.
We have pulled together our top three tips from being creative when you are stressed.
1 - THROW THE PLAN OUT THE WINDOW
Well, not literally because you might hit someone.
Adults which are naturally creative will have project ideas coming out of their ears. This means, it can feel pointless to be creative without accomplishing one of the many project ideas on the to-do list. It is important to remember that the 'project' which is most important right now, is YOU!
If you are doing creative things which feel child-like, that is OK. You don't even need to be proud of the finished piece - the National Art Gallery are not coming to judge it. At risk of sounding like a yoga retreat, this time is about mindfulness.
Even if you get all your creative supplies out, you longingly admire them for a while, then put them away without making anything, that's still been time you weren't feeding the stress monster!
Take our next tip as a challenge, and free yourself of expectations.
2 - USE WHATEVER YOU HAVE AROUND
I'm betting you have something in your home that you can get creative with. Pen and paper? Glue and magazines? Rice and a plate? That's right, since we are not caring about what we create, we are able to think about the sensory side. It's a joyous side of creating things, and we often miss out on this part when we focused on making amazing things.
Pen and paper - Draw lots of circles and doodle a face in them all. After you are done, rip the page into as many pieces as you can. Why? Because I want you to remember that it does not matter what they look like. Add colours if you have them for that extra splash of happiness.
Glue and magazines - Cut out things which you like the colour of. Glue them on an old envelope. If your creation turns into an image, fab. OR if it looks like a 3 year old has been set loose, also fab.
Rice and a plate - pour some rice onto a plate and create images. A balloon, a house...even a snake. The feel of the rice on your fingers is a nice sensory element and the randomness of playing with your food (albeit uncooked) will take your mind of serious things.
3 - USE CREATIVITY TO DISTRACT YOU FROM BAD HABITS
Do you find the evening social media scroll increases your stress? Do you hang out at your fridge to put your mind off your anxiety? Consider times of the day when you are doing things which would not benefit your mental health.
Allowing yourself to be creative during these times, gives you a rest. Doing some unplanned painting or building something random out of Lego could be the perfect way to calm your thoughts down a little.
Is it possible to be creative when you feel stressed?
It is extremely normal to be impacted during stressful situations. Being creative during these times is unlikely to resolve your stress but it might give you a moment to breathe. A moment to untense your body and to settle your mind.
Be gentle to yourselves!