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Mental health moment: Adapting through creativity

Creativity is good for distraction, it helps generate new ways of thinking and it leads to innovative solutions. But did you also know that creativity is good for our mental health?

Creativity is a tool that helps us adapt to change. It moves us into our right-brain, which is where curiosity, flexibility and playfulness live.

Creative people have a high tolerance for uncertainty. This is because they are comfortable with the unknown that comes with the creative process. They are also open to adapting their thinking in non-linear ways. 

Creativity as a coping tool

In my counselling practice, I’ve seen the value of creativity.  

It can be used to release strong emotions, to connect with others, to decrease individual and collective stress, to build confidence or to generate new ways of thinking about personal problems. 

It helps us get ‘unstuck’.

And right now, creativity can be a tool for coping with the changes that have been forced upon us during this health care crisis.

Creativity as opportunity

Let’s consider creativity as a tool for adapting to change. Instead of fearing it, what happens when we look for the opportunities that come with change? A little creativity can help us thrive through almost any situation.

Here are eight ways to help foster creativity and get those creative juices flowing:

  1. Try a cooking challenge: Cook with a new spice, or challenge someone to a cook-off
  2. Be curious about others and the world around you: Ask “I wonder…” more often
  3. Experiment with brain games & puzzles: Try something new to stimulate that grey matter
  4. Pick up a new hobby: Try a new card game, creative photography, playing the kazoo
  5. Do some creative writing: Use a timer for five minutes of free-flow writing
  6. Have a daily dance off: Choose a time everyday to crank a tune and boogie like no one is watching
  7. Study your natural environment: Take five minutes a day to really take in that bird, insect or sprouting garden
  8. Create an avatar of yourself: have fun recreating yourself using a free app

Remember – adapting to change is key to moving forward and staying mentally well. Let creativity help you get there!

avatar Lois Didyk





Lois Didyk, MSW, RSW, is a social worker with Michael Garron Hospital Mental Health Services. She has worked for the past 30 years with Community Outreach Services and more recently, with the Mental Health SCOPE Program.