Art as Therapy: How Creating Art Helps Me Cope with Stress

Inspiration, Life

Moving to a new place can be incredibly stressful, and this January was no exception for me. Setting up a new studio (as well as a new house entirely), restarting my painting routine, finding the perfect spot for photography, and managing countless other details took a toll on my mental health. Here’s how creating art has helped me cope:

  • Reestablishing Routine: The chaos of moving disrupted my usual creative routine. Setting aside dedicated time for painting each day helped me regain a sense of normalcy and structure, which was essential for my mental well-being.
  • Creating a Sanctuary: My new studio became a personal sanctuary where I could escape the stress of unpacking and organizing. Immersing myself in the creative process provided a much-needed break and a safe space to express my emotions.
  • Emotional Outlet: Moving often triggers anxiety and stress for me, making it hard to create artwork. However, when I allowed myself to paint without pressure, it became a therapeutic outlet for processing these feelings. Each brushstroke (or each scrape with whatever random tool I happened to be using) helped me navigate my emotions and find clarity.
  • Building Connection: Sharing my journey and new creations with my online community offered support and encouragement. Knowing that others were interested in my work and progress helped me feel connected and less isolated during this challenging transition.

And I learned a valuable lesson. I have a tendency to believe that I can only create when I’m in a positive state of mind. Well, I’ve completely changed how I look at the creative process now. Creating in ALL states gives me the ability to create more balanced work, as well as utilize my painting process to rebalance.

Creating art has been a vital tool for managing the stress and emotional upheaval of moving. It provided a sense of stability, a way to process my feelings, and a connection to a supportive community. For anyone facing similar challenges, I highly recommend embracing art as a therapeutic practice.