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CREATIVITY AS PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS

CREATIVITY AS PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS

Channelling your grief through creative expression can be an excellent way to progress on your healing journey. It is not for nothing that art therapy is a recognised therapeutic practice.

Regardless of whether your chosen activity is writing or painting, music or photography, or something completely different, creativity often benefits those going through the agonies of bereavement by both allowing a cathartic release for all those pent-up emotions and helping those suffering to find meaning.

Moreover, it is often observed that the grieving process can, at the same time, provide an opportunity for personal growth and development. In this sense, creativity can be the perfect complement on that that journey of self-discovery, with many finding that it helps them regain a sense of purpose or discover a rewarding new pastime.

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I found that creativity helped me lot during my healing process. I had already enjoyed it before my babies died, and after, it was, in a way, my escape. It was something I had to concentrate on and would focus my attention to. I did not have to think of what happened. I could lock myself away in my little world were everything was OK.

The twins were never far from my mind, and I never completely forgot, but creative activity gave me the opportunity to concentrate on something else for a while and to create something beautiful.

As explained in the article Processing Your Grief, I found an outlet during the healing journey through a variety of artistic means, such as wire sculpture and mosaics. Besides this, I also turned to writing, having been suggested to me by my therapist.

Writing was different to art as it was much more direct. It made me face my feeling and emotions head-on as I sought to express them on paper. It was also different to talking with others as it was just me and the paper, and it felt more private, which brought greater relief as it allowed me to be entirely open.

That said, both of these art forms felt like I was reconnecting with myself, with my soul, and it felt peaceful and natural. And it still does. I still feel the same peace when I am creating something and working on a project. I can still get lost in the process and forget the world around me. When I am not able to do it for a certain amount of time, I notice that I am missing something. To me this has been an important part of my healing journey, lifting my mood and, like enjoying nature, relieving stress.

If this is something you’d like to explore, or reconnect with, then the important thing is to find something that you enjoy. Either continuing what you did before your loss or finding something new. There are so many options available that there will certainly be something for everyone. It could be painting, colouring, doodling, photography, cooking, writing, blogging, journaling, dancing, music, candle making, Jewelry making, stained glass, bead making, woodworking, pottery, calligraphy, knitting, sewing, cross stitching, flower arranging, collaging, scrapbooking, and crafting — and so many more besides.

Many people, me included, have found that being creative during the healing journey has helped them feel more in control — at a time where feelings of helplessness and uncertainty often loom large — and to feel some accomplishment after creating something. It is relaxing and allows a much-needed release of stress in a safe and non-judgemental space.

Creativity also opens the mind and helps you to see problems differently — to become open to other ways of doing things or learning something new and, by so doing, finding solutions. Similarly, it also helps to build resilience, as it unlocks inner resources that you might not have realised that you have.

We are all creative beings. As soon as we are able, we all paint, draw, sing, and dance in some form. It is only when we are older, and we compare ourselves to others with a fear of judgement, do we risk losing touch with our innate ability to create.

Sometimes it is only when faced with trauma, and the recognition of the impermanence of life, that we can lose this inhibition and create freely again, connecting us once again with ourselves, with life, and with the beauty that is all around us if we can but look anew.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Understand that engaging in creative activities can provide a cathartic release for pent-up emotions, fostering emotional expression and helping you find solace.
  • Acknowledge the potential for personal growth and development during the grieving process.
  • Creativity can help you regain a sense of purpose.
  • Recognise that creativity can also help open the mind, fosters problem-solving skills, and build resilience by tapping into inner resources.
  • If considering creative exploration, focus on activities that bring enjoyment and/or reconnect with personal interests.
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