6 Creative Outlets To Help Improve Mental Health: Incontinence Edition

Read our latest article to find out how creative outlets help improve your mental health, as well as 6 activity suggestions to get you started!

6 Creative Outlets To Help Improve Mental Health: Incontinence Edition

Read our latest article to find out how creative outlets help improve your mental health, as well as 6 activity suggestions to get you started!

Incontinence doesn’t only have an impact on a person’s physical health, but their mental health too. Our most recent ConfidenceClub annual survey found that 78% of people said incontinence negatively impacted their mental health.

Many other studies conducted have also shown that there is a relationship between mental health conditions like depression and anxiety in individuals with incontinence [1].

However, there are a lot of different approaches available to improve your mental health - and one in particular that might surprise you is turning to creative outlets. These outlets can include the likes of painting, writing or knitting!

So keep reading to find out 6 creative outlets you can use to help improve mental health and reduce stress.

How Can Creativity Help With Mental Health?

Engaging in creative activities can improve mental wellbeing in a variety of different ways, such as:

  • Increasing positive emotions

  • Relieve stress and anxiety

  • Enhance mindfulness and promote relaxation

  • Lessen feelings of shame, anger and depression

That’s right - creative hobbies are an important therapeutic tool you can tap into to improve your mental health! They can provide a distraction from negative thoughts, as well as provide a sense of accomplishment and a confidence boost from completing projects.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, we all have an innate creativity that we can tap into. You probably already engage in creative activities without even realising it!

6 Easy Ideas for Getting Creative!

You don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money on art supplies or instruments to take part in creativity - there are plenty of simple activities you can engage with at home! Here are our suggestions for 6 easy creative hobbies you can try:

1. Journaling

Many studies have shown that journaling your thoughts and feelings can help improve mental health by allowing us to process our emotions and gain a better understanding of them.

It’s one of the simplest and most cost-effective creative activities to engage with, as you can choose to write with pen and paper, on your laptop/tablet or even just through the notes app on your phone!

There’s no “right” way to start journaling - just choose the best method for you and write whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind. You might also want to incorporate gratitude journaling, too, which can include writing a list of things you’re grateful for.

Try to journal regularly - even just a few minutes a day can help get you into the habit.

2. Drawing or Painting

If words aren’t your forte and you prefer to express yourself in more visual ways, drawing or painting is another simple and low-cost way to tap into your creativity.

You might choose pencils, texta, watercolours or paints - whatever mediums you feel most drawn to. The most important thing is to let go of any judgement of what looks “good”, and just enjoy the process of sketching, doodling or just filling a page with patterns.

If you’re not sure exactly what to draw, you might find colouring in books to be a good place to ease in and get started without staring at a blank page for inspiration.

3. Crafts

If you’ve always wanted to take up a craft like knitting, sewing, crocheting or felting, there may be no better incentive to get started than knowing it can help improve your mental health, cognition and memory!

There are lots of tutorials available online for these types of hobbies, and they’re a fun way to be ‘hands-on’ with a project - and at the end, you’ll have a new skill and sense of accomplishment, as well as a new handmade object.

If you’re interested in crafting as part of a group, you can find classes for beginners in your area to help get you started. You might also consider joining a Facebook group for the hobby to feel a sense of community by sharing your finished projects with others.

4. Baking or Cooking

You may be surprised to know that this task many of us do daily is considered a creative hobby, too! Results from a 2020 study found that cooking contributed to better well-being by improving mood and social connections [2].

Experimenting with new recipes or baking with friends or family is a great activity to get the creativity flowing - whether it be considering flavours and ingredients to combine, looking for fun new recipes or how to decorate a cake or cookie in a fun way.

This can be a great way to make yourself enticing treats that take into account any dietary requirements or modifications you may have to help manage your incontinence, too!

5. Gardening

You don’t need to have a green thumb or an expansive backyard to engage in gardening.

At its core, gardening is all about taking time out to connect with nature and the natural environment. A 1992 Japanese study found that simply viewing plants reduced stress, fear and sadness, as well as reduced blood pressure [3]!

It can be as simple as caring for and nurturing an indoor plant, propagating plants from cuttings, going to a park and appreciating the greenery or even pressing flowers you’ve picked.

There are many online resources available - including online gardening groups - to help you on your gardening journey if you’re new to the activity, too!

If you’d rather garden with a group, you might consider joining your local community garden, volunteering at a local farm, or having some friends or family over to plant a small herb garden.

Plus you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labour (pun intended!) by having greenery indoors or using ingredients you’ve grown yourself in meals.

5. Listening to or Playing Music

If you’ve ever wondered why listening to your favourite song makes you feel good, it might interest you to know that listening to music can stimulate different parts of your brain and release feel-good hormones like dopamine [4]. This helps relieve stress and improve your mood!

If you play an instrument, you’re getting stress relief and mood improvement as well as the addition of a sense of achievement, creative release and activation of different regions of the brain! So, if you’re musically inclined, playing your instrument either solo or in a group can help regulate your mood.

But you’ll also benefit from just listening to music, too - studies have shown that listening to music for at least 30 minutes a day helps lower stress, anxiety and depression [4], as well as improve memory and cognition [5].

We hope that you try out some of the above creative activities to help improve your mental health and find an enjoyable hobby that helps you feel more relaxed.

In addition to trying out a new creative hobby, we recommend trying our range of high-quality incontinence aids to offer you peace of mind and reliable protection from leaks all day long - whether you’re out in the garden or sketching at home!

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you are concerned about your mental health, or the mental health of someone you care for, we recommend seeing your GP for medical advice tailored to your situation or call 000 for emergencies.

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