Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? Whether your answer is yes or no, creative outlets are important to have when recovering from substance use disorders (SUDs). They can serve as healthy escapes or coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety.

Creativity can be incorporated into almost any activity. Take cooking, for example. You are expressing your creativity by putting your own spin on a recipe. Maybe you are decorating cookies for a holiday party. This involves creativity too!

Expressing creativity is something we all should strive to do. Creating has a long list of benefits regarding mood, mental health, and motivation. In treatment and recovery, finding ways to express yourself creatively can enhance your experience and lead to better success long term.

Benefits of Creativity

As mentioned, finding creative outlets and opportunities for expressing creativity can have many advantages. For those struggling with addiction, creative activities can offer a reprieve from the many significant challenges associated with it.

#1 Aids in Relaxation and Stress Reduction

For many, activities that involve being creative can offer a sense of relaxation. This could include drawing, painting, making pottery, writing, and more. The therapeutic nature of these activities can help calm your nerves and help you focus on what your hands are creating in the moment. This allows you to drown out the things that may be weighing you down or causing stress.

#2 Boosts Confidence

There is something about creating something beautiful with your own two hands that brings a sense of pride. Even if the result may not seem beautiful to others, the beauty is often in the process. Learning to create something usually involves developing new skills. With building new skills comes more confidence.

#3 Fosters Socialization and Community

Activities that involve creativity can often be delivered in group settings. This creates an opportunity for you to bond with others over a common goal. Even if everyone is creating something of their own, the shared experience promotes communication and bonding.

Creative Expression During Treatment

At Enlightened Solutions, you are sure to exercise your creativity regularly. We offer a variety of therapeutic activities that promote healing and encourage creative expression. You may even discover a skill or ability to create that you did not know you had before entering treatment.

We understand that talk therapy can sometimes be intimidating or difficult, especially in the early stages of treatment and recovery. Expressive art therapy techniques, such as the ones we utilize, offer you a different modality for expressing your thoughts and feelings. It can be hard to find words to explain certain emotions at times. Painting a picture or writing a poem that is representative of how you are feeling can sometimes feel more manageable.

Our treatment facility utilizes a variety of different mediums when it comes to expressive art therapy. We offer art therapy groups that can involve painting, sculpting, sketching, and more. Our music therapy classes may include listening to music, playing musical instruments, or even singing. We also aim to help clients harness creativity throughout wellness and nutrition groups.

Creative Outlets Enhance Motivation in Treatment

Staying motivated to engage in creativity-focused activities throughout treatment and recovery can sometimes be challenging. This is most common, perhaps, once you have completed treatment and resumed your busy schedule. It is essential, however, to make time for the things that help you manage stress, build confidence, and offer a sense of community.

This may take some planning ahead and time management. For some, expressing creativity may fall into the self-care category due to the mental health and mood-boosting advantages. Learn more about the importance of self-care in recovery here.

It is essential to recognize how versatile exercising creativity can be. It may look different for everyone. Think about how you might be able to express creativity while participating in hobbies or activities you already enjoy. For example, consider taking a photo of the beautiful sunset next time you are out on your paddleboard. Photography can serve as an excellent creative outlet. Or, consider picking up a few flat stones on your next hike. They can make excellent canvases for painting.

Harnessing your creativity in treatment and recovery can benefit your mental health and help you avoid relapse. Usually, when you are doing something creative, your energy and thoughts are focused on what you are creating. This allows you to ignore and fight cravings, drown out stressors, and feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Consider picking up some paintbrushes, or even take a few minutes to doodle or draft a quick poem. You might feel a little more relaxed and joyful as a result.

Everyone has the ability to create. Some may enjoy it more than others, but everyone is capable. For many, the challenge is finding something they actually enjoy doing or believe to be meaningful. There are tons of different activities that can incorporate creative expression. A few common mediums include painting, making music, sketching, writing, acting, and even cooking. Sometimes, trying some of these activities for the first time can lead to new hobbies or coping strategies when it comes to managing stress or processing trauma. At Enlightened Solutions, we facilitate various activities that promote creative expression and help clients recognize the impact. Our trained therapists provide art therapy, music therapy, horticulture therapy, and more. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to help. Call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.