Creative practices to calm your mind while on the go

As it is mental health awareness week I’ve put this post together to provide some #thursdaythoughts on 3 basic creative practices for mental health relief. Not only are they simple activities to incorporate into your daily life, they are highly portable and require little investment. 

As children, we were encouraged to read, write and draw as part of our personal development using them as building blocks to get through life.

For some of us these practices started off as fun activities and we learned to enjoy them whilst developing our skills. However as we became adults reading and writing may have become a chore, whilst drawing was reserved for those who had time, skill and a passion for it. This post aims to remind us all of how reading, writing and drawing can be used to relieve the stresses and anxieties of adult life and how they can keep our minds calm at times when most needed.


Delving into a book is a great way to escape whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Through fiction you can escape into the lives and worlds of characters that you may not ever encounter in real life. Fantasy, romance, drama, crime, the range of genres and stories is immense, providng endless opportunities to take your mind off of your day to day life.

On the other hand through non-fiction you can discover fascinating facts about real life people and events. You would be surprised how many people out there are suffering from mental health issues. Reading about their struggles and how they manage their mental health issues can help you manage yours.

Whatever the case, being able to bring out a book as a form of distraction and/or escapism is a great way to take your mind off things and you never know what you may learn or gain from the writing on those pages, or the words read to you via an audiobook.


If you are like me and have loads of thoughts, ideas, insecurities, and everything in between going round and round in your head, you can often give yourself headaches, suffer from sleep issues and just feel constantly overwhelmed. This is where writing is a great outlet to get things off your mind, brain dump and bring clarity. We often hear about the benefits of journaling and as one who has adopted this practice, I believe it really works.  

In the Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, you are encouraged to do your morning pages. Through this practice you write 3 pages of anything and everything, every morning for 12 weeks. Having completed the Artist’s Way, on my second attempt, I believe the morning pages are a great way to release emotions felt through my dreams and to help me reset from nightmares and night terrors which I often suffer from.They also help bring clarity on how the day can move forward.

You can literally write anything, like  a to-do list, a poem, song, sonnet or just ramblings about how you feel at that time. Your writing does not need to make sense or be neat or tidy. You can also use code or even burn your writings afterwards but the main thing is to let the pen/pencil flow across the page and note how you feel afterwards.


As one who claims an inability to draw, I found my best ‘drawings’ came from the doodles in my notebooks or documents I took to meetings. Oftentimes when I was in formal full time employment I found myself feeling emotions such as annoyance, anxiety, stress and disengagement whilst sitting in meetings and this is where my doodling practice started.

Rather than fidgeting, huffing and puffing, eye rolling and arguing irrelevant points, I started to find myself focusing my attention on doodling around my notes. This became a regular practice and it helped me keep my mind and my emotions calm to the point where everyone who was used to my ‘misbehaviour’ started asking me if I was alright lol. I still don’t claim to be great at drawing but I have found much comfort in trying when my mind is unsettled. 

Whether it’s abstract or what you see in front of you drawing, doodling and sketching are great creative practices to indulge in at any time.

Keep it simple

It is fair to note that in some scenarios,  as I have expressed above, practices such as writing and drawing can be done inconspicuously, whilst whipping out a book or putting on headphones to listen to an audiobook may not be appropriate, especially in a work meeting, lol! 

You also don’t have to be skilled or talented in any of these practices for you to partake in them.They are primarily useful when feeling mental discomfort in a stressful, anxiety inducing or isolating situation. These practices can be performed regularly to get a routine going and they can also be practiced via group activities in the form of workshops.

The most important thing is to remember that reading, writing and drawing can bring calm and relief to a troubled mind, when most needed, so try and have a book, notepad and pen/pencil to hand that you can access quickly on the go!

I hope this post has been useful and please feel free to share comments and thoughts on this topic.

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