Have you ever considered drawing as a way to care for your mental wellness? Do you even like to draw? I’ve had many thoughts about what I want to do as a profession and art therapy was one of them. I thought it was a great way to continue being a social worker as well as ass my passion of creativity to my career. When I thought about going back to school, I considered getting an art therapy degree as well as other degrees, but ultimately, I decided to get my MSW. While I am happy that I got my MSW, and I’m happy that people talked to me about how to get the most out of my degree, I wish I had put a little more thought into how I made my decision. I wish I had thought harder about what I really wanted with my career and put more effort into the creativity part of it. I’ve taken some art therapy conferences and my old habit of thinking I’m not good enough creeps back in when I start to think about do art as a job even if it’s as a therapist. Then I think about things I’ve drawn and how I feel while drawing and after I’ve drawn them. This picture is a great example of how you can start off thinking that you have no talent and then when you finish, you realize maybe it’s not that bad. You also remember how it felt while you were drawing the picture and you feel pretty accomplished. You also look at it and see that maybe there is somewhat of a self portrait in there that you didn’t really intend.
Sometimes, your drawings are more basic, but still feel good when you look at them. I forget what prompted this picture , but I look at it and just feel happy. It was definitely drawn based on pictures of goddess dolls that I have seen, but I know that I was following some sort of prompt when I painted it. I actually just went back to my art journal and tried to figure it out. The prompt was about my vision and passion and I don’t know why this is what I saw, but if I had to write about it now, I would say it’s about following what I love, feeling like I have the colors of the rainbow for inclusion of all people including those that don’t seem like they need help because they are not diagnosable, but could still benefit from coping skills, the goddess is because we all have a goddess within us somewhere, even if we do not feel like we do. and the red is because it is one of my favorite colors. drawing is a great way to get out your feeling, especially when words don’t always come easily.
I love that my kids like to draw. It can be a way for me to connect with them and spend time with them, but it is also a great coping skill for them to have. My twins have a lot of my negative or maladaptive coping strategies for stress and coping with trying new things. Drawing is one area that they have a lot of confidence in and really enjoy. I try to have that be one of their tools in their tool box fro when they are overly stressed or when they need to feel good, or when they need to have something to do and have it be something not technology oriented. I need to get them to choose drawing more often than playing games on a computer or watching youtube. I know that I have my addictions to the web and social media, but I want to make sure that they have other things they can utilize for activities to do other than technology things and drawing and being creative is a great way to spend time as well as a great way to relax and feel good about what they do.
Does drawing help you feel better? Does it cause more tension? Can you change how you look at drawing and see the mental wellness benefits?