Self-expression is a great way to identify and work through our emotions. Below is a list of activities that can help with self-expression.
Art can help us express how we feel when we don't have the words or don't want to use them. There are lots of different ways to use art as self-expression. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Collage: Cut pictures from magazines and newspapers that click with you and reflect with how you feel. Stick them onto paper or card to create a mood-collage.
- Draw a tree: Draw how you feel as a tree. Think about whether it's tall, evergreen, has fruit or flowers etc.
- Mandala: Mandala is Sanskrit for circle. These are Hindu and Buddhist symbols for the universe and are often used in meditation. Colouring in mandalas can help you relax and you can use colour to express how you feel. You can find free templates online or draw your own.
- Sand Art: Go to the beach and make a sandcastle or create any kind of art you like out of the sand.
- Zentangle: Zentangles are line drawings of patterns, a bit like sophisticated and beautiful doodles. Learn more about Zentangles at zentangle.com.
Collecting and sharing quotes or images
Sometimes, when we can't find the words to express ourselves, someone else can. Quotes are a powerful way of expressing our feelings. They also show us we're not alone - others feel, or have felt, like we do.
Dance allows us to express ourselves with our body. You can put on some music and dance around at home on your own, or look for a local dance class.
Writing in a journal
Journals are a great way of recording our feelings, concerns or goals. You don't have to write everyday, just when you feel like it.
You can write at any time of the day. You can write as much or as little as you want, even using bullet points to jot down your feelings if you prefer. You can write by hand or type your journal if you find that easier - it's up to you.
Creative writing is a powerful way to express our emotions. You could try writing poetry, a short story or even a play. You could set aside some time each week, or however often you like, to write whatever comes to you.
Type or use a pen or pencil, delete or destroy it after, or keep it to look back at - it's up to you. We've created a list of prompts to help get you started.
Recording your mood can help you identify patterns and keep track of changes. There different ways you can try:
- Rank how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10 and record it every day.
- Colour a segment of a circle or one square in a grid. Use a colour that represents how you feel. Fill in the circle/grid over a month and you'll have a visual picture of your feelings over that time.
- Use an app. There are lots of mood tracker apps available. Be aware some might not be free.
Even if you can't find the exact right song that captures how you feel, singing can be a good way of expressing or releasing emotion. You can sing at home alone, join a local choir, or even get singing lessons.
Write a letter
Not for sending, just for you. You might write to your old or future self, a loved one, or you might not address it to anyone. You might choose to address it to your perpetrator. Writing a letter can be a way to say things you'd never say in person, aren't ready to say out loud, or haven't had the chance to say to anyone yet. Sometimes we feel we need to say something to someone but we don't always need them to hear it. Once it's written, you might put your letter away somewhere or destroy it.