Creativity off the Screen and The Way it Affects my Mental Health

bullet journal creativity art millie ryan

Oh creativity, you're a funny old thing aren't you.

Truth is, the more I reflect on my time growing up, the more I realise that I've always been a creative soul. As a kid I was always drawing, writing, reading, and really just letting my little brain do it's thing. As I've grown up and watching where my career has taken me, you can see the obvious inspiration into my career online, and I mean it really isn't a surprise to see where my passion for creating content has come from.

I want to write about my life, I want to share it, I want to talk about the super basic things like the autumn fashion beauty bits you need and the 564563 reasons why I love pumpkin spice lattes. But I mean that's not IT, I want to talk about the real, gritty issues, I want to talk about dealing with grief and loss, I want to talk about abuse, I want to talk about mental health, and I want to talk about all these things kind of at the same time.

My brain can be a bit of a clusterfuck of all of the above, and I mean this blog has always been my creative outlet. It's been a place where I've gone to share all of my thoughts, it's been a place that I've got to creative shareable content, and it's been a place where you've all seen me pick up pieces and rise above things.

The truth is, blogging is also work, it's not only the pretty sounding sequences of words that you read and think 'aw that sounds nice.' It's hours of admin, design, emails, stress, and debating whether I can get away with removing the kind from 'kind regards' to really show this brand that I mean business and they should probs pay me now.

The more time that I started to spend sat at a laptop, pursuing all these creative projects, the less time I got to spend sitting down with a notebook, a book, doing something, I mean anything, that didn't involve me typing away and staring at a screen. As soon as I put down my laptop, I was editing an instagram photo, I was swiping through tweets and stories, I was constantly being glued to the screen.

The truth is for me, I notice a definite link between my mental health, my anxiety, my moods, my irritability and more, when I purposely factor in time for me to have some form of creativity that doesn't involve a screen. I mean let's be honest, I'm certainly no Picasso, but those adult colouring in books, really seem to work, as does some time in my bullet journal, something as simple as sketching out a cute little weekly and monthly spread with some attempts at calligraphy and some V tumblr quotes in bold lettering somehow relaxes me, it soothes me, and it just makes me feel a little bit better all around.

I think taking the time to notice what affects our mental health and why is vital to moving on from the issues of anxiety and stress that we face in our day to day lives, is important.

Brands haven't always been supportive of the way I've talked about my mental health,but those aren't brands I would be happy to work with, simply because I believe these are issues that need to be spoken about, and tags like #ItalkMH are slowly helping to change that stigma against them.

Are there any recreational activities that help you in times of bad mental health?

bullet journal creativity art millie ryan
  • NatalieLeanne

    I loved this post Millie and can totally relate. This might seem a bit strange but I actually love being creative in my yoga practice, putting some music on and doing whatever my body and mind feels like. Plus its also without a screen which is a big thumbs up from me! xx

  • soothingsense

    Oh I feel like we are kindred spirits! I wrote about bullet journalling in a recent post on fifteen alternatives to adult colouring books: Definitely think that these off-screen activities can do a lot for mental wellbeing and you are right about blogging. Although it is a wonderful creative outlet, it also brings a fair share of anxiety with it. Thanks for this post – really interesting.