How to Tap In to Your Creativity During Treatment

How to Tap Into Your Creativity During Treatment

When was the last time you did something creative? Maybe you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, or maybe you haven’t found the time to pick up your old paintbrushes or dust off the old guitar in a while.

Life gets busy, and we often allow the hustle and bustle of everyday life to distract us from making time for things and activities we need to maintain wellness. Spending time being creative is not only enjoyable but can be very therapeutic.

Creative outlets allow us to relieve stress, process thoughts and emotions, and improve our communication skills. Sometimes, art or music can be the only way we are able to understand certain feelings or express thoughts that may be otherwise difficult to communicate. Even if you don’t enjoy art or music necessarily, you can still benefit from exploring what expressive art therapy can offer.

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that art and music can play a significant role in the healing process. During treatment for substance abuse, tapping into your creative side can be very helpful. You are going to need things to do that you enjoy, and you are going to need to make every effort to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Expressive arts may be just what you need!

Art Therapy

How do you feel when you finish a project? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment? Maybe you experience an overwhelming feeling of pride or success. Using art to help process and express thoughts and feelings can generate a similar feeling.

When you create something, you are present in that moment. You can focus all of your attention on the task at hand. Often, art therapy encourages creating something representative of yourself, your emotions, or your situation. This can allow for a release of tension and open the door for healing.

Art therapy can include many different activities and art mediums. A few examples could include painting, drawing, and sculpting. Throughout the process, many find that they are better able to communicate through art and feel more comfortable doing so. At Enlightened Solutions, our art therapists are trained to help you use the experience to better understand yourself and develop strategies for coping with stress and other difficult emotions.

Sometimes, people feel relieved after finally finding some sort of understanding of how they were feeling and what to make of it. Others may feel a sense of empowerment and courage as a result. As mentioned by Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel in her 2010 article, "The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature," “Art helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words.” In reference to trauma that often accompanies substance abuse, using art as a means of expression can be extremely beneficial.

Music Therapy

Music can be another excellent creative outlet for many during treatment and recovery. Music has a way of helping us understand ourselves by allowing us to relate to the words and stories we hear. Music therapy can involve a variety of activities, including listening to music, playing musical instruments, dancing, singing, and more.

Playing instruments can be very therapeutic as well, even more so than listening to music for some. Whether you have been playing for years or are just learning to play an instrument, the act of doing so can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.

When it comes to co-occurring disorders often found among those with substance use disorder (SUD), music therapy can be particularly helpful. Studies show that better results are produced when music therapy is incorporated as part of treatment than when treatment is provided without it.

Writing/Poetry

Writing is something that is encouraged during treatment and recovery. Journaling is known to help with processing and expression. Creative writing can serve as an excellent outlet during treatment. There is something about writing down your thoughts and emotions that feels freeing. Some may choose to write or read poetry. This, like music and art, can promote better communication and expression.

Expressing your creativity during treatment can not only be healing, but it can help you develop new hobbies and interests. Staying busy and engaging in healthy activities that encourage growth and healing throughout treatment and recovery is key. By sampling various creative outlets during treatment, you can determine what activities you may want to incorporate into your life during recovery.

We all have the ability to be creative. Sometimes, it just takes a little encouragement to get our creative juices flowing. By engaging in things like art therapy, music therapy, or creative writing during treatment, you are bound to discover something you are good at or at least enjoy. You might surprise yourself! Let the music, art, or words help you heal and stay on track to recovery.

Getting creative during treatment and engaging in expressive arts therapy is a great way to increase and reinforce what you are learning and achieving throughout the treatment process. Art, music, and creative writing allow you to better process thoughts and feelings, express yourself, and communicate things that may otherwise be difficult to convey. At Enlightened Solutions, we incorporate many creativity-focused activities into our program as we believe in the value of expressive arts and the role they can play in healing. We offer a variety of art mediums and methods for engagement in music therapy or creative writing and encourage clients to explore what interests and works best for them. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder and could benefit from our program, don't hesitate to give us a call. Reach out to Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


Bipolar Can Come With a Lot of Creativity

Bipolar Can Come With a Lot of Creativity

One conversation occurring about people who are bipolar is that they often have great access to creativity.  The link between bipolar and creativity is substantiated by significant data.  Many who are living with this disorder grow to associate their creativity as related to their mental health.  There is collective value in acknowledging this experience of creativity when evaluating the benefits of treatment for bipolar.  During the process of determining treatment, it is paramount to consider the necessity of a creative perspective for someone with bipolar when examining a range of treatment options.  Being a channel of creativity crafts a unique life perspective, different from one who lives primarily on the plane of rational logic. Potential threat lies in the perspective of a treatment option which might violate the natural creative flow.

Due to the the chemical basis of bipolar’s effect on mental health, it is widely recommended that medication be used in the treatment strategy.  Unlike other mental health challenges, bipolar disorder will exist despite changes in environmental experiences.  The necessity of medication is similar to insulin for the diabetic.  Folklore about medication and bipolar is that the creative energy is squelched by this aspect of treatment.  This myth must be debunked as those living with this disorder have special gifts to offer the collective as well as an obligation to their own health.  

The life experience unique to someone with bipolar disorder is a pendulum swinging across two realities.  This disorder expresses two distinct realities, depression and mania.  It is the swinging between these states that generates the powerful energy for creativity. Bipolar is similar to a waterfall, the space between running water of a stream and the pool of water at the bottom of the gravitational flow.  Both are bodies of water and the water that is contained by each space is the same, yet there is a power that is generated in the fall that is booming with effect.  

The journey to finding the medication that will allow this beautiful flow of energy to exist without debilitating effects is challenging.  Balancing brain chemistry with an external influence, like medication, is an imperfect science and also one that saves lives.  The journey is one of minor degrees of change which are sometimes felt as no change at all.  Commitment to continue is essential for both survival and longevity.  When that commitment flounders, return to the vision of the creative gifts that will be generated over a lifetime. Without medication, this creative energy may be extinguished early or stunted by debilitating highs and lows fulfilling the original fear that causes resistance to medication for the person with bipolar disorder.  

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.