There is a lot of pressure on young people today; from school, social media, family, peer groups, and much more. This pressure can cause a lot of stress and lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed. One way to help keep this stress at bay is to explore your creativity and self-expression. There are so many ways to do this; painting and drawing, dancing and playing music, as well as writing stories and decorating the space around you. Activities like these can help you to unwind and clear your mind of those day-to-day stresses. In this blog I am going to discuss some of the simple and easy ways to get involved.

Interested in Art?

If you’re wanting to get into art a good way to start could be going to your local museum or art gallery which are generally free to visit and in some cases can be done virtually. Or even something as simple as scrolling through Pinterest to collect images of things you like can free your mind.

There are local museums in Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud you could check out.

https://natureinart.org.uk/

https://parkgallery.co.uk/

https://museuminthepark.org.uk/

Then why not find some simple art materials such as a sketchbook and some pencils and draw something that makes you happy or something you find interesting to look at. Try and remember that your art will progress, it may not turn out how you want to begin with, but keep trying. You can also find video tutorials online of how to experiment with shapes, shading and perspective.

If you’re not quite ready to start your own drawing from scratch you can always begin by colouring in existing pieces. These can be found as books or individual sheets online to be printed off. http://www.supercoloring.com/

Fancy a Dance?

If you’re interested in getting into dance as a hobby or just something fun to do every now and then you could find some free online dance videos and follow along. This is a good way to start learning some specific moves or to figure out which style of dance you like best, such as hip-hop, contemporary or ballet. These online video tutorials/classes are also a good way to build some confidence in your dancing without the pressure of others being near you. If you don’t have the space to do this in your own home there are often local spaces such as your school or sports centre that may have spaces you can use; it’s always worth the ask. An added benefit of dancing is that you are also listening to music, which just by itself can also be a good way to de-stress.

Tell us a Story.

If you’re interested in getting into writing as a way of being creative, a good place to start is by using randomised writing prompts. These can be bought in dice form, online, or an app on your phone. These will give you random suggestions for what to write about, they’re a fantastic way to spark creativity as well as getting you out of a writing slump. From there you can expand and keep writing to find your style. Maybe try to write a larger piece, or several small pieces or poems depending on your writing goal. This could develop into taking some online classes or joining a local club/group.

Here is a link for a writing prompt generator to help get you started: https://www.servicescape.com/writing-prompt-generator

Is DIY your thing?

Another way to express yourself is through your space, your home, your bedroom. Some simple ways to do this would be to add in a tapestry or some posters for a less-permanent change to the space. These are good alternatives to painting as you can easily remove and change them, they are also a lot cheaper than painting a whole room. However, if you do want to paint, you can always use tester paint pots or your own paint to make a poster to put up.

The colours you choose to use in your space can also have a big effect. For example, pink is meant to represent a feeling of love and kindness as well as boost creativity. Green is meant to represent a feeling of calmness as well as reducing stress.

You can also organise your space in a way that works best for you. So rather than tidying everything away how you feel it should look, have a think about your daily routine and whether moving things to different areas or keeping some parts open and more easily accessible would improve how you move around in the space. All of these ways to change your space can make such a difference in how you feel while making it work better for you.

These are all fun, practical changes that will help with mental health. Simple changes that can grow into larger opportunities as well as being a creative way to take care of your mental health and express yourself, so maybe give one a go.