We all know someone who we would define as being a ‘creative’ person. Someone who can make something out of an empty toilet roll, a pipe cleaner and a glue gun or someone who can walk in to an empty room and imagine what it could be then create that vision.
Growing up and even well in to my 30’s I wouldn’t have considered myself to be a ‘creative’ person. I saw creativity as something you either do or don’t possess and I most certainly didn’t possess it in my eyes.
I thought to be creative you have be able to produce something that is beautiful, perfect and that others would admire but I have come to realise that being creative is about so much more. For something to be creative it doesn’t have to be perfect or even beautiful in the eyes of others. Google defines creative as “relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something”. What I take from this is that it can be anything you want it to be, it just needs to come from you.
My own journey into creativity started with a longstanding love of fabric but no idea what to do with it! For years I toyed with the idea of wanting to learn to sew but I allowed various things to get in the way, mainly fear I wouldn’t be good enough or telling myself there wasn’t enough time. This changed when Santa brought me a sewing machine the Christmas of 2015 and I thought sod it and booked on to a 10 week dress making course to learn the basics. From starting out making bunting, to now owning a craft business creating all manner of fabric goodness, I finally feel comfortable owning the title of creative.
While training to be a counsellor, being a mum of 2 and working in a challenging job I felt stressed and at my limit some days. I realised when I sewed all these responsibilities seemed to be forgotten for that time and I could go in to my own little creative bubble. Although I turned my passion for sewing in to a business which I’m immensely proud of, I am most happy sewing when I’m creating something for myself or as a gift. This is when there is no pressure to get it just right or no specifications to work to. I can just create what I want, the way I want it and in a time frame that suits me.
I have started to notice that the association between mental well-being and creativity is becoming more and more talked about and recognised. Articles are being shared on social media, local news stories are reporting on it and GP practices are even prescribing it! There is also a growing body of research evidencing the benefits for the general population and those suffering with severe mental illness.
So when I’m feeling a bit stressed or restless I get the sewing machine out and start creating. From painting to knitting and everything in between, being creative encompasses so much. It is a limitless definition with boundless possibilities. Other than stress relief there are many benefits of being creative. I’ve created a list of those that relate specifically to your mental well-being (pardon the pun)!
7 Benefits of being creative