Thursday 13 April 2023

Getting creative

The Editorial Team have come together to share their experiences on how they've dealt with difficulties and helped their mental health through creativity.

- Student Minds Editorial Team

✨ How do you get creative to help your mental health? ✨

⭐ Emily T (Student): 

At the end of a stressful day, I always find myself reaching for the crochet hook. As I spend so much time reading and writing, crocheting allows me to express my creativity in a different way! Even though the craft requires quite a lot of concentration, it allows me to focus my mind on something other than academia. From choosing the colour of yarn to adding the finishing touches to the end product, crochet is a good way for me to slow things down when life feels far too busy! 

⭐ Madeleine (Graduate):

I find that when I am stuck not knowing how to express my thoughts or emotions, creativity can often come to the rescue. Sitting down with myself to really listen with a pen and paper has often led me to write poems about feelings I didn’t know I had before I sat down. Really taking the time to untangle how I’m feeling using creativity helps me enormously. It breaks down the big daunting emotions into manageable words expressed on paper in a neat way that can’t happen just in my head floating around. When words can’t express what I am going through, sometimes I go for the more artistic creativity, with a drawing or a collage. Whatever helps me at that moment. If in doubt, reading often helps calm my mind, putting my mind into a fresh new perspective that another’s writing can offer. 

⭐ Sarah (Student):

In-between deadlines and the busyness of student life, I like to take some time to myself to calm my mind. Doing something creative is the perfect distraction for me because it is relaxing while not being totally passive, so I can feel more of a purpose in what I’m doing. Recently, I’ve been getting back into reading. I used to read books all the time as a child - I was constantly in the library taking out the maximum loan of books! I’m not sure exactly when I stopped reading, but it feels really good to go back to what I used to enjoy. I feel like I’m getting back in touch with my roots - plus it’s the perfect way to escape from the stresses of university by entering the world of a story. 

⭐ Tayyibah (Student):

With a hectic uni schedule and deadlines to meet it is important to look after your mental health and well-being. The way I do this is to take time out to do some writing and more recently I’ve started to read books I once lost touch with. Being a uni student and having many academic books and journal articles to read meant I lost touch with the fiction books I used to read as I felt there wasn’t time. However, a great way for me to get creative if I don’t have time to read is to write. Writing for me helps relieve stress as I can use my imagination to create a story or sometimes write to reflect on my day and seeing all the positives helps boost my confidence.

Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health at university or supporting a friend, help is available.

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