Creativity can play an important role for those in recovery. While some may believe using a substance can enhance one’s creativity, this does not hold true. In fact, it can do the opposite and weaken a person’s natural talents and creativity. Recovery can serve as a time to connect to one’s creative self, learning new ways to cope without substances. Creative self-expression is an excellent way to manage stress, process emotions, build confidence, and foster joy.
Benefits of Creativity in Recovery
There are many benefits of being creative while in recovery:
- Prevent Relapse: One of the biggest benefits of creativity is preventing relapse. Doing something creative can not only take your mind off a craving and relieve boredom but also help you stay focused on your recovery.
- Develop New Coping Skills: Being creative can help you develop new coping skills. There are many creative outlets, such as writing, listening to or playing music, drawing, or painting, that can be used to combat negative thoughts and emotions.
- Express Yourself: Having a creative outlet allows you to express your inner thoughts and emotions, whether they are negative or positive. Letting out your feelings can help you understand what you may be struggling with and release it in a healthy way. This can allow you to better understand yourself as well as what may trigger you. It can also help you deal with past trauma and the feelings associated with it.
- Give You a Sense of Purpose: While in recovery, you may feel that you no longer have a purpose. Being creative can help you feel joy and find a purpose in your life. Your creative outlet can be part of your routine and can give you something to look forward to.
- Tap into Your Inner Child: Creativity gives you a chance to be playful and have fun. You can return to feelings of childhood joy by doing something that makes you happy and lifts your mood when you are feeling down.
- Get Rid of Feelings of Shame and Guilt: You may have feelings of shame or guilt from when you used drugs or alcohol. Expressing yourself creatively can help you release these feelings and move past what is holding you back from finding happiness while in recovery.
- Boost Your Self-Esteem: Being creative and finishing a project can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem. This can help you be inspired to continue creating and moving forward in your recovery.
- Connect with Others: Creativity can give you the opportunity to connect with others. You may want to go see a musical performance with a friend or attend a class and meet new people who have shared interests. Since it is common to feel lonely or isolated in early recovery, when you’re in the process of rebuilding your relationships, a creative hobby can help you feel less lonely and give you the chance to do something new.
Creative Activities to Try in Recovery
There are endless ways to be creative. Here are some creative activities to try that require little effort and can be done by people of all ages and abilities:
- Dance to your favorite music
- Draw a picture of something that makes you happy
- Pick up a paintbrush and paint on canvas whatever comes to mind
- Write in a journal
- Take up a hobby such as origami, knitting, crocheting, or woodworking
- Do a craft such as scrapbooking
- Create a collage of photos you love
- Take photographs of nature
- Play a musical instrument
- Try a new recipe and cook a meal for your family
When it comes to being creative, express yourself in any way that works best for you. This can be a time to try something new or rediscover interests you had before the addiction.
Need a Pennsylvania Recovery Center?
Are you or a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder? If so, Mountain Laurel Recovery Center is here to help. We can help you find treatment options to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. To find out more about what programs and services are available in our Pennsylvania recovery center, contact us for a confidential consultation.