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Growing up, I played the drums. I loved the sounds I was creating, and the beats and rhythms gave me a sense of peace and stability. Drums were the rhythm of my life, helped me keep a steady pace, and provided a healthy balance between school, sports, and young adult life. I felt a sense of accomplishment and confidence as I learned new beats and rhythms, both individually, and in concert with other musicians.  

It had been several years since I had banged away on a drum kit. For a while, I felt that something was missing. Part of me was missing, and it was taking a toll on my emotional health. I needed to bring back music and the act of creating into my life to feel whole and at peace. Perhaps we used to play an instrument, write poetry, or dance, but then life got hectic and something had to give. When we let go of our creativity, it comes at a cost.

Playing an instrument can bring a sense of peace

Playing an instrument can bring a sense of peace

There are many outlets for stress, some more positive than others. Creative endeavors are one constructive way to channel stress and release negative feelings and emotions. Inventive outlets help avoid burnout, especially for those of us in the helping professions and who do a lot of volunteer work and organizing. Creative activities give us energy and provide inspiration.

Focusing on a task that requires imagination and concentration is a great distraction from life’s challenges, and even a form of meditation for some people, as an intense activity can bring a sense of stability and peace. Creativity also helps us gain perspective. When you feel stressed or off balance, that’s a great time to dive into your creativity! The type of art isn’t important. What matters is that you find the activity enjoyable. Whether it’s playing an instrument, singing, painting, dancing, writing, performing poetry, DJing, acting, sewing, baking, cooking, or any other creative endeavor, find what inspires you and brings you joy. Use your imagination!

If you’re feeling like there’s a void, like something is missing in your life, think about your passions. Are you engaged in and pursuing your passions? If not, how can you make that happen? Creative activities aren’t just a hobby – they’re part of who we are, give us energy, and make life exciting! I finally rediscovered the drums, and I hope you (re)discover your creative energy, too!

Creative outlets like painting can relieve stress.

Creative outlets like painting can relieve stress.

Written By:

Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator

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