5 Ways to Calm Your Anxiety With Creativity

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When you’re feeling anxious, what’s your self care like? Are you able to take time out for yourself, without feeling guilty? Creativity is a great way to allow yourself space and time to relax. Being creative is often seen as a childish activity but, even in adulthood, play and creativity is essential to our physical and mental health and can even improve our sense of self.

Take a look at these 5 ways to add creativity into your self care routine and help calm your anxiety.

1. Journaling

Image of open journal held by hands with painted blue nails and holding a pen. Journal shows sketches of sunflowers with title Plant a garden full of self love girl.

Journaling and writing in general is a really creative way to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. When anxious, you might have so many things on your mind, you can’t keep track. So make a to do list to get it down on paper. And it’s a great sense of achievement to be able to tick off something on the list, no matter how small.

Or maybe you’re struggling to make sense of some feelings. Try writing it down, in a journal, a list, or something a bit different like a poem, a rap or song lyrics.

2. Mandalas

image of a coloured mandala with colourful beads and fabrics around the white paper

A Mandala is a circular geometric design which you can draw, paint or collage as a way of expressing yourself on the page.

Start with drawing a circle on a sheet of paper, with two smaller circles inside that one. Use this template if you like, or draw your own.

image of black circles on white paper to print for a blank mandala

Then, working from the inside out, add patterns to the design however you like. You may choose to be symmetrical, or you may choose to be more freeform. Use whatever colours you like and don’t think too much about it. It’s not supposed to be perfect, the process is enough.

If you’d rather work with nature you could try using sand, stones or anything else you’d like to create your mandala. It’s very therapeutic in itself but, if you want to read more into it, you can look here at what your mandala might reveal about you.

Sand sculpture with stones arranged in a circle and more pebbles standing up in circles in the middle
Photo by NewgladeCounselling

3. Pebble Painting

Image of painted stones, One painted in white with the word love. Another painted as a rainbow

Find some rocks or pebbles and get painting! You can use sharpies, paints or even nail varnish! Try writing some inspirational words on the rocks.

It’s also a great activity to do with children and you can even get involved Kindness Rock Project by hiding painted rocks around your local area. This has the added benefit of getting you outside for some fresh air. A simple way to release your creativity and calm your anxiety.

4. Collage

Image of a collage of faces, make up and words not in English

How long has it been since you created a collage? Maybe you’re reminded of when you used to cover your school folders with cut outs from magazines and then paste it with PVA glue, or sticky back plastic?

Perhaps now is the time to have a go at a collage again. Get some old magazines and cut out any pictures or words you like the look of. Stick them onto to a sheet of paper with PVA glue or just a bit of Pritt stick. You can experiment with different colours and textures. Try adding ribbons, buttons or even old concert tickets. Or try a nature collage with things you collect on a walk.

You could even make yourself a “Vision Board” – a board of ideas of what you want your future to look like. It could be based around a goal you want to achieve, or maybe just a feeling which you want more of in your life. Find key words or images that inspire you and let loose!

5. Baking/Cooking

image of five spoons holding differnet spices spices with herbs, chilli seeds and bay leaves next to the spoons

Creativity doesn’t have to be all arts and crafts. Baking or cooking can be really creative and help calm the mind. Try a brand new recipe or go crazy and invent something completely different!

Maybe have a go at making your own pizza dough or fresh pasta. The act of kneading dough is a great stress reliever too.

Even if it’s not Masterchef or Bake Off worthy, it can still be a fantastic way of unleashing a bit of creativity. And hopefully you and whoever you decide to share it with, will enjoy the product of your work!

For more anxiety tips, see my 5 Tips For Anxiety

Amy is a counsellor specialising in neurodivergence and the founder of Newglade Counselling. She has created a team of neurodivergent counsellors who work online and face to face around Canterbury, Kent. Amy also provides parent support sessions, clinical supervision and delivers training in therapy and neurodivergence. For more information about our services contact us here

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