Today is World Mental Health Day, so I thought I'd share something here which I hope will be useful for others.
I have always been open about my struggles with my mental health and how this is intrinsically linked to my creative life.
My ups and downs mentally, mirror the ups and downs I experience with how creatively unblocked and free I am.
However, I never understood (or even really linked together) this cycle until I started to journal regularly. Through journaling I began to learn about myself, what makes me tick. Through this new understanding I've been able to get in touch with what makes me tick creatively, making me into the artist I was always meant to be, bringing me into a creative life that fills me with joy.
Through the simple act of daily writing, I've cleared the way for myself to move forward, and I continue to do so. In particular I can now move forward through the negative cycle of overthinking... I overthink everything. I used to get trapped in this for months at a time. Those early journals were a revelation!
Journaling keeps me grounded in my own journey through life, personally and creatively, without comparison to others. I find that artists get so hung up on what others are creating and where their at on their creative journey (that dreaded comparisons thing!). Journaling for me keeps me focussed on what I'm doing, where I'm finding inspiration and where I'm going next. It doesn't mean I never have ups and downs of course, but I now I have a powerful tool for exploring my feelings and helping myself out of the low points, moving from negative thinking into positive. Some of my writing will end up on here, my online journal, in the hope that it will help others.
In my opinion, there's no right or wrong way to journal, but I'm convinced that journaling has huge benefits on your mental health, whether you're an artist or not.
Here's a great resource from the MIND charity I recommend here
And, if you're struggling to think what to write about then this guided book is fab... view here
Read more about journaling on the MIND website here
Get more information and help on mental health issues from the mental health charity MIND here