healing foundations

Stress Management

Creativity in Stress

Jesse St. Jean, WellTheory Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP)

Creativity in Stress Reduction

Research shows that tapping into creative outlets has the ability to alleviate stress. In one meta-analysis, researchers examined the effects of art, music, and dance on reported stress levels and found that all three had a large effect on lowering perceived stress. What does this tell us? It’s time to bring more play into life!

Stress management can be fun if we approach it with an open mind!

There are many ways to bring creativity and play into life without adding to your to-do list. For example, as a busy mama, you could pick a creative project that will benefit both you and the kids! Maybe this is a painting or drawing activity while you listen to your favorite music album.

If you’re busy person with an overflowing to-do list, the idea of adding a creative outlet to your plate may feel stressful in itself. Try listening to a short 5-minute comedy show in the car on the way to work, or singing along to your favorite song in the shower! These are simple tricks and ones that we often forget to lean on in times of stress.

Here are a few other ideas to get you thinking:

  • dancing (to your favorite song in the shower counts too!)
  • singing (try singing along with the radio!)
  • playing an Instrument
  • knitting
  • sewing
  • fine arts (drawing, painting, etc. — this can even be done with your kids!)
  • creating something with your hands like molding clay
  • listening to a funny podcast
  • watching a comedy show
  • rewatching your favorite funny scenes from sitcoms

Take Action

Download your worksheet.

After looking at this list above, take a moment to consider some of your favorite ways of having fun or being creative. You can jot these down on a piece of paper. Feel free to use the list above for inspiration!

Now, pick one of the creative outlets from your piece of paper to try this week and let’s actually schedule it! The research shows that one 30 minute session of creativity or play can lower feelings of stress into the following week. While you don’t have to start with this big a chunk — even 5 minutes is better than none — it’s a good goal to keep in mind as you move forward. Write down that date and time in your calendar or on your phone.

A few questions to think about before your creative session:

  • How would you rate your current stress level?
  • Do you notice a specific area of your body that feels tight?
  • When was the last time you took a deep belly breath?

At the end of the session, take a moment to reflect on how you are feeling.

  • Now how would you rate your current stress level?
  • Are there areas of your body you notice more or less? What has shifted in your physical body?

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