What Is Creative Self-Care?

Creative Self Care


Creative self-care is not just about regular exercise, eating right, and making time to relax.
Creative self-care is about feeding your soul.
It’s making sure that you have something to be excited about when you get up in the morning. For me, that’s family, art, and running. For you it might be something else. Or, perhaps you aren’t even sure what gets you going anymore.
If you are feeling, low, anxious, or generally “blah,” passion is an excellent way to combat these feelings. Taking risks and facing your fears shows anxiety and depression what you are made of.
This is what we are going to be all about in this year at Mindful Art Studio:
Take chances. Fail. Get creative. Get rejected. Meet someone new. Try a new sport or class. Pick up your paintbrushes. Take a dance class. Most of all, GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY. (Can someone remind me of that later?) If you like this idea, check out how to Use Art to Relax, Simple Drawing Techniques for Anxiety, and my podcast on How Even Non-Artists Can Use Art Journaling to Relieve Stress.

Getting Fear Out of the Way

This weekend I heard a great story about a man who was so afraid of being rejected that he rarely left his house and the company of his four cats. To conquer his fear, he decided to actively seek out rejection every day. He did this successfully, because he’d made it a game, every time he got rejected, he actually felt good.
The most amazing part of his “rejection therapy” was that he discovered that there were far more people willing to accept him and his random requests than he thought. The world is full of far more yeses, than no’s. Click here to hear the whole story on NPR.
This year I will be talking a lot more about the intersections between fear, creativity, and mental health. We’ll also be engaging in some fun, silly, creative challenges. I’m hoping you’ll see that you, and we, are stronger than you thought.
Let go of your expectations, your attachment to the outcomes, and join me in making space for a spark in your day.  I am beyond excited to hear what you report back.
Will you join me?


Creativity Challenge #1: Paint with Your Non-Dominant Hand

 Creative Self-Care: Anti-Anxiety Challenge

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Just pick up the brush with the “wrong” hand and see what comes out. This exercise is about getting out of your own way. You don’t need to be an “artist” or “creative” to do the creativity challenges.


Think you have “no artistic talent?” Good. Paint something really ugly. That’s stretching your comfort zone, taking a chance, and facing a small fear to say, “In your face!”


To help get you started, you might try some of the following tricks:

1. Hold the brush like you are pointing at something, not like a pencil.
2. Embrace the wobbliness, and “mistakes,” they are exactly what you want.
3. Turn on some music to help you relax.
4. Do more than one painting to give yourself a chance to get into it. If you tend to do quick pieces with just a few strokes, do some more complex ones, or vice versa.

For More Inspiration:

Online Art Journaling Classes

Join the Creative Self-Care Facebook Group!

 Creative Self-Care FB Cover
I have set up a group on Facebook so that we can share our images. Click here and request to be added to the Creative Self-Care Facebook group. You can share what you create in the Creativity Challenges and see what others are doing too.  It will be a fabulous, supportive, creative community.


What Sparks Your Creativity and Passion?

Tell us about it in the comments and share some of your own tricks for staying inspired and interested.


  1. ria maas

    Some 15 years ago i used to paint/draw without any knowledge of anything about paint, color and comp. and i was having a great time doing it.(and with real nice results) Now i know a lot of things (and there is so much more i don’t know) and its like i can’t paint , fun is gone, just sit and start can take weeks before anything happens, simply choosing what to do is a struggle and almost every time i end up doing nothing, its almost like i freeze. I know i should simply start, can you explain it to me ??

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Ria:

      Isn’t wild the way that beginner’s mind opens us up and allows us to just create without expectation, but once the “rules” are given to us, the fear of it not being good enough seems to creep in?

      It can be useful for some folks to go back to that state of beginner’s mind. Give yourself permission to not make ANY ART. Just engage in ART PLAY – just like kids do. Sometimes that can help invite some of the joy of art making back in.

      I hope that helps,

  2. Becca

    I love your website. I am always looking for new creative ways to heal through art. Thank you.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Becca:

      I’m so happy that Mindful Art Studio speaks to you! I also have plenty of tutorials on Youtube. I hope to see you around here more!

  3. Marlene

    I really resonated a lot with what you have said in what is creative self care! Fab work, thank you 🙂

    • Amy Maricle

      Oh, Marlene, I so appreciate hearing that. Happy creating! xo



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