Expressing how we feel is critically important to our mental health. But for many Oklahomans, putting feelings on a canvas is easier than putting them into words.
You don’t need to be Picasso to enjoy the impact of art on your brain. Research shows that art and art therapy have many mental health benefits, including lower stress and anxiety levels and boosted mood. Art can even be used as a tool to heal from pain and trauma.
This month, the 988 Mental Health Lifeline challenges you to use this list and add some signature Oklahoma creativity to your mental health self care routine.
- Visit an art museum or gallery in Oklahoma and take time to appreciate the works of art on display.
- Take an art class or workshop to learn a new artistic skill.
- Attend an art festival or exhibition to experience a range of artistic styles and techniques.
- Explore art therapy as a form of mental health treatment.
- Join a local art group or club to connect with other artists and creative individuals.
- Take a drawing or painting class to explore your creativity.
- Create art in response to your emotions or feelings, such as journaling or sketching.
- Try different mediums, such as acrylics, oils, watercolors or pastels, to find what you enjoy most.
- Participate in a community art project, such as a mural or installation.
- Attend an art auction or sale to discover new artists and acquire unique pieces.
- Create art with a group of friends or family to connect and bond with one another.
- Use art to express your identity and personal experiences, such as through self-portraits or abstract works.
- Attend a live performance, such as a play or dance show, to experience the art form in person.
- Visit public art installations in Oklahoma to appreciate the art in a public space.
- Try a mixed media project, combining different materials such as paint, collage and found objects.
- Experiment with digital art or graphic design to create art using technology.
- Take a photography class or workshop to explore the art of capturing images.
- Create art as a way to cope with stress or anxiety, such as through coloring or doodling.
- Use art to explore your spirituality or beliefs, such as through religious or sacred art.
- Attend an art lecture or workshop to learn about different art movements and styles.
- Try art journaling as a way to reflect on your thoughts and emotions.
- Use art as a form of activism, such as through creating protest posters or public installations.
- Attend an art show or exhibit featuring artists from Oklahoma.
- Create art inspired by nature, such as through landscapes or natural materials.
- Take a sculpture class or workshop to explore the art of creating three-dimensional works.
- Use art to explore your culture or heritage, such as through traditional art forms or motifs.
- Attend an art workshop or retreat focused on mindfulness or meditation.
- Create art as a form of self-care, such as creating a vision board or gratitude journal.
- Use art to explore your relationships, such as through creating portraits or collaborative projects with loved ones.
- Attend a film festival or screening to experience art through film and cinema.
- Create art for a cause or charity, such as through auctioning or donating works to raise money for mental health initiatives in Oklahoma.
About 988 Mental Health Lifeline
988 is a direct three-digit mental health lifeline, connecting Oklahomans with trained behavioral health professionals that can get us the help we need. If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, struggling with suicidal thoughts, or need to talk through depression, anxiety, and more, give us a call or text “988” any time.