Influenced by works from Dr. James Pennebaker, Research Professor from the University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Brene’ Brown, Research Professor at University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, I encourage many of my clients to do and activity I’ve come to call Creative Space. Creative Space is an exercise that encourages participants to write, create, or draw for 5-7 consecutive days, for a minimum of 15-minutes per day.
Research has shown that writing can have profoundly positive effects on our physical and mental health. Additionally, using our creativity engages our whole brain process, allowing us to “get out of our heads” and into a place that engages both our head and our heart as we process life and make thoughtful decisions.
Creative Space requires that you allow your creativity and intuition to guide you. Release the need to edit, critique, or concern yourself with accuracy. This is a creative free for all. Get a journal with sturdy enough paper for anything your imagination may throw at it. I find that spiral bound sketchpads are best. Gather or purchase art and/or office supplies that get your juices flowing – stickers, kids paints, color markers, scissors, tape, etc. (As a Mom, I use my 3-year old’s art supplies and have Creative Space while she’s painting or working on her projects). Next, using your creativity (and even if you don’t think you are creative, you are!) get started. This is not a fine arts class; this is just you and your beautiful mind. Tell your inner critics to go to hell and just begin.
Here is an incomplete list of ideas that may assist in getting started:
- Outline your foot and write everywhere it went that day
- Tell someone how you REALLY feel (don’t worry, you don’t ever have to show them)
- Identify your emotional state (positive and/or negative) and how that is effecting you, your day, your health, your family, etc. –
- Create affirmations and doodle all around it
- Paint – anything
- Answer the question: What is one thing I am doing an awesome job at in my life and what is one thing I could give more attention to
- Make a bucket list via collage
- Write a poem
- Capture your favorite quotes and why
- List all of the things you are grateful for in this very moment
- Draw your perfect day
- Write yourself a love note because you ARE wonderful
- Cartoon sketch your inner voices when you are angry, joyful, anxious, busy, overwhelmed, sexy, etc.
- Write a letter to your future kids, your future self, etc.
There is no wrong way
At the end of 5-7 days, create an entry about any insights this activity may have provided and how/if you want to continue the practice.
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Tiffany is a Certified Professional Coach, Facilitator, and Founder of Evolutionary Consulting.