Using Creativity to Support Your Recovery

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Recovery is different for everybody, but it usually means a lot of meetings and counseling sessions to maintain your sobriety. But did you know that several holistic therapies can help you from relapsing? Specifically, tapping into your creative spirit can relieve stress and you can find new thoughts to occupy your mind instead of substance abuse. Creativity is one of your best tools to fight cravings and relapse triggers, not to mention that it can add joy to your sober life.

How Can Art Therapy Help?

Many inpatient treatment programs offer art therapy as a form of treatment. This may prompt you to think of an art class you took in school, but many forms of creativity can supplement your meetings and enhance your recovery process. You aren’t limited to sketching fruit or landscapes, although you can do that if you want to. You are free to choose whatever creative subjects you want and whatever creative art forms inspire you. Maybe you have tried it in the past or maybe this art form is something new to you. You may discover an old friend or find a new love.

Take Up Painting

During your inpatient stay, you may have tried painting as a form of art therapy. Painting is a very precise skill in mixing colors and planning what you will put on your canvas, but it can evoke a childlike feeling when you engage your creative mind. If you’re afraid to commit your paintings to a canvas, you can bypass canvas for pads of paper specifically made for paint to practice your skills. You don’t need the skills of Leonardo da Vinci or Vincent van Gogh to enjoy this activity. Create a studio space in a well-lit room full of natural light and just start creating.

Try Your Hand at Photography

Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with your artistic skill and want something a little easier. Have you ever tried photography? With the click of the digital camera or cell phone, you can capture images from events with friends and family to fine art documentary photography. Some people like to manipulate their images with filters or through programs such as Photoshop, which is an art form in itself. You can dedicate an area of your home for photography by setting up lights and backdrops, but you don’t have to–this can be a very compact hobby.

Make Some Music

Maybe you aren’t a visual artist and you’re more inclined to make music. Music is often used in therapy and can be a solo endeavor or a group activity. If you’re not already experienced with an instrument, consider taking up something like a guitar. If you don’t own an instrument and don’t want to make that investment, take voice lessons and learn to sing. How “good” you are doesn’t matter–making music of any kind fills the soul with joy. When there’s joy in your life, there’s not much room for substance abuse.

Try Making Pottery

Never have we seen pottery-making be so sexy as with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the film “Ghost.” The scene where Patrick Swayze’s ghost guides her in making a pot on the wheel is legendary. You may not want to go the whole hog and get a professional pottery wheel and kiln, but there are many smaller pottery wheels that you can buy to dabble with this art form. If you want to go big, some studios are popping up around the country that offer the equipment for pottery-making or for customizing mugs and dishware then glazing it and firing it in a kiln. You can even take classes as a group.

Jewelry-Making Can Be Creative (and Profitable)

Jewelry-making has become popular in recent years as a way to build a small business at home. TV comedy shows such as “Portlandia” have even parodied the craze, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to help with recovery. The intricate work can occupy your mind and keep you busy with jewelry designing ideas rather than focusing on cravings and reminiscing about your old substance abuse days. You may have a knack for it and create a side business you can do at home.

Take Journaling to Another Level

As part of recovery, you probably started a journal, but have you ever considered taking your writing to a whole new level? You don’t have to be the next Stephen King to try your hand at storytelling and fiction. You could also write a nonfiction article or book on a topic of interest. Maybe you want to write about history or even fringe conspiracy theories. The options are endless and writing about them can spark an interest in something new for you. You could even create a side hustle blogging or writing content as a freelancer.

When incorporating art therapy in your recovery process, the medium you use is unimportant. Neither is your skill level. What’s important is that you find something that suits your soul and occupies your mind from thinking about relapsing into substance abuse. As an added benefit, starting a new hobby can introduce you to a whole new set of friends with like-minded interests. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time painting in a sunlit studio or making music rather than numbing yourself with substances? The answer may vary from day to day, but on those bad days when you want to relapse, creativity can be your saving grace. Here at Everlast Recovery Center, we provide art therapy while you’re going through our inpatient programs and aftercare when you move out on your own. With our counseling sessions and holistic programs such as yoga and equine therapy, we can help teach you ways to fight the cravings and maintain your sobriety after detox. Care doesn’t end after you leave our Riverside, California campus. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25

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