It’s becoming clear that creativity is a key component of our mental and physical health.

Art reduces stress by reducing activity in the brain’s amygdala; the part responsible for emotions like fear, anxiety, and sadness.

And according to this scientific study “there are clear indications that artistic engagement has significantly positive effects on health.”

However, most people don’t think of themselves as artists. In fact, most of us would probably be quick to say we have zero artistic ability. 

The good news is that you don’t need to be the next Picasso to reap the health benefits of getting creative. It’s the act of creating art, not the final product that benefits our wellbeing. 

Here are 2 quick suggestions on how to start using art in your self-care routine:

Dedicate a space to creativity 

You don’t need an entire art studio to set aside some space for creativity. Maybe a corner of your garage, or attic space. 

Even if it’s just a specific place in your apartment that you go when you want to paint, draw, write, or something else. 

Try hanging up your favorite artwork in your creative space to give you some motivation. 

Having a dedicated space will greatly increase your chances of taking the time out of your day to create.

Try making “response art.”

For people (like us!) who lack traditional art skills, just sitting down and creating something can seem…daunting. 

If that describes you, try this quick exercise to get the creative juices flowin’. Pick a favorite song lyric, quote, or line from a book that you really like and write it down. 

Now, simply respond to it however seems right. Doodle with a pencil, color with colored pencils or crayons, or throw some paint down on a blank page.

Remember that the benefits come from just relaxing your mind and expressing yourself, the end product really doesn’t matter!