CREATIVITY is an important aspect of our lives and it can take many forms, from writing and painting to music and dance.

Creativity is also closely linked to mental health, and many studies have shown that engaging in creative activities can have a positive impact on our mental well-being.

One way in which creativity can help to promote good mental health is through providing a sense of purpose and meaning. When we engage in creative activities, we are using our skills and talents to produce something that is unique and meaningful to us. This can help us to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which in turn can boost our mood and self-esteem.

We also get a great feeling when we have been creative and produced something which gives pleasure to others, such as making someone a greetings card or baking some cakes to take into work.

Engaging in creative activities can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. When we focus on a creative task, we can become fully absorbed in what we are doing. This can help to distract us from our worries and reduce our stress levels.

Creative activities can also provide an outlet for our emotions. When we create something, we are expressing ourselves in a unique and personal way. This can be a powerful way to release pent-up emotions and feelings, which can be particularly helpful for those who find it difficult to express themselves through words.

It’s worth mentioning that the link between creativity and mental health is not one-sided. Many people who experience mental health challenges report feeling more creative during periods of intense emotion. While this is not necessarily true for everyone, it does highlight the complex relationship between creativity and mental health.

Doing something creative by joining a local group, going to night school, or perhaps trying something new with family or friends, can give you a double dose of ‘feel-good’. As I frequently say, we are social creatures by nature, and feeling supported by others, or doing any kind of activity with other people makes us feel supported and part of something, all of this is great for our self-esteem.

So, whether it’s writing a diary or even a blog, taking up a craft, or trying your hand at painting, there are plenty of creative activities to choose from. By finding ways to add some creativity into our lives, we can improve our mood, reduce our stress levels, and express ourselves in a meaningful way.

Here are a few additional tips to get you started:

* Start small. If you are new to creative activities, start with something simple. For example, try writing in a journal or diary for a few minutes each day or taking a few photos of your surroundings.

* Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are no rules when it comes to creativity. Try different things and see what works for you.

* Don’t judge your work. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process of creating. Don’t worry about whether your work is good or bad.

* Share your work with others. Once you have created something, share it with others. This can be a great way to get feedback and connect with other people who are interested in creativity.

In addition to the mental health benefits of creativity, it is also important to remember that creativity is a fun and rewarding activity. When we create something, we are using our imaginations and expressing ourselves in a unique way. This can be a very fulfilling experience, and it can also help us to connect with others who share our interests.

If you are not sure where to start, there are many resources available to help you get started with creative activities. You can find books, online tutorials, and even classes in your community. There are also many online and in-person communities where you can connect with other creative people. It’s a great way to make those all-important connections with others as we head into the darker months.

So what are you waiting for? Start exploring your creative side today! You may be surprised at the benefits it has for your mental health and well-being.

If you run any kind of local or community group to help support mental health and wellbeing, then please get in touch

Please remember if you feel you are in any type of mental health crises, call your GP, go to A&E or call The Samaritans on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258

* Martin Furber is a qualified therapist in various modalities and an instructor member of Mental Health First Aid England.