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2022-11-07 15:19:20 By : Ms. Cassie Duan

Channeling your artistic side can be good for your mental health, but working in a high-stress environment can affect your creativity.

Not only can stress negatively affect cognitive flexibility and task switching, according to Frontiers in Psychology, uncontrollable stress can lead to worse performance on creative tasks. However, art therapy reduces stress, strengthens your creative muscles, decreases anxiety and depression, helps you process emotions and increases self-awareness, according to Very Well Health.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that a nurse’s creativity can improve quality care, leave patients with higher satisfaction, prevent more invasive procedures and empower health care workers.

There are many ways you can express yourself through art, as it comes in various mediums. Deciding where to begin may be the tricky part, but here’s a short list of ideas to help you get started:

Painting: If you are a beginner, consider acrylic paint. It’s easy to use and is one of the lesser expensive options, according to Draw Paint Academy. For those with a little more experience, the academy recommends oils or watercolors.

Drawing: This medium requires the least number of supplies and is one of the easiest to access — all you need to get started is a pencil and a piece of paper. If you want to liven up your piece, use colored pencils or markers. For a project more intense or darker than graphite pencils, pick up some charcoals. Also, using a pen can allow you to be more precise with your lines and drawings.

Baking and decorating: This outlet is not only great for your creativity, but tasty as well. All you need to do is look up a cake recipe, find ingredients in your grocery store and start baking. If you’re making cookies or cake, try decorating them with homemade or storebought icing. You can even buy plain cookies and cakes from the store and decorate them yourself.

Photography: This medium allows you to appreciate the extraordinary in the most ordinary of things. A steaming cup of coffee on a window sill can suddenly become a dramatic photo with one click of a button. You don’t have to own a fancy camera either, considering any smartphone could do the trick. Just open up your camera, click away and you’ll be surprised on how many moments you’ve captured.

Collaging and scrapbooking: After clicking away all of your photos, try making a collage or scrapbook out of them. This can allow you to appreciate your photographs and make something new out of them.

Make your own greeting cards: Is someone’s birthday coming up? Do you want to send someone you know a thank you card? Consider making your own greeting cards. A personalized card can leave the recipient even more touched by your gesture. Grab a piece of paper, fold it in half, write your message, and add drawings or stickers to decorate it.

Create a mosaic: Consider collecting medicine caps or other disposable items from your hospital and create a mosaic with what you’ve gathered. One nurse shared on TikTok that she collected med caps from her patients for four years. She plans to create a mural to remember all the patients she cared for.

If you’re still unsure where to start, consider visiting an art therapist in Georgia. When picking an art therapist, you’ll want to ensure they are ATR (registered with the Art Therapy Credentials Board) or ATR-BC (registered and passed an exam to be board certified), according to Psychology Today.

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