Most of the clients that I work with are battling anxiety and depression. I have a long personal history with anxiety and depression - they tend to go hand in hand. More than not clients report that when anxious or depressed they find it very difficult to tap into their creativity. Its hard to find the energy to invest in creativity. And yet we know that creative tasks help people feel better and add to life's enjoyment.
Whether its playing an instrument, painting, scrap booking, writing or playing sports - its very important to participate in activities that help release endorphins, make us laugh, add beauty to the world and stretch our comfort levels.
One of the really hard things about anxiety and depression is that they take over our lives and start robbing us of doing things that would actual keep them at bay. Our brains start saying I'll get back to my hobbies when I feel better and yet the best thing we can do is push through and do hobbies EVEN if we don't feel like doing them.
Below is an article that I hope will be helpful in supporting you in pursuing creative tasks even if you are not feeling well.
Written by Dean Bokhar
Increasing your creativity—or developing any sense of creativity in the first place—seems to be hardest when you need it most. Personally, I’d always thought “creativity” was sort of elusive. I thought creative people, like Pablo Picasso, for instance, were blessed with some sort of magical, innate talent that most of us just don’t have. And this is how I’d rationalize why people like Picasso were so much more creative than I was. But, as it turns out, I was dead wrong (kind of.)
You see, most people think Picasso just sat down in front of a canvas and effortlessly cranked out masterpiece after masterpiece all day long, but that’s not how things went down at all. The way Picasso actually painted was much more in-depth. He’d sit down and start at the corner of the canvas with one single stroke of the brush. Then, he’d expand from there, allowing the brush to let him transfer whatever he was envisioning onto the canvas.
Sometimes, he’d decide to let an idea take his painting elsewhere. Other times, he’d end up painting something totally different than what he initially envisioned. A few times, he’d start the whole damn thing over again. But, almost every single time, he’d end up with something beautiful. How did he create so many million-dollar masterpieces? Was he talented? Heck yeah. Was he “born with it”? Maybe, but people are born with all sorts of talents they neglect to nurture and refine.
And that’s the key: cultivation. Picasso cultavated his talent into mastery. He was dedicated to his craft. In other words, he did it often enough to recognize that if he went off the beaten path halfway through a painting, he could take a different route and still end up with a piece of art.
Bottom line? Creativity is neither magical nor mysterious. Creativity is like a muscle ...
The above was written by Dean Bokhar and the rest of this by me (Rosemary).
And like any muscle it takes time, energy and practice to strenghten it. There are lots of great books about creativity, take classes to enhance your creativity and most importantly don't be afraid to make mistakes and do NOT wait until you have the energy. Be gentle with yourself and allow your creativity to be a "friend" that helps you lessen anxiety and depression.