Unearthing Creative Outlets for Maintaining Mental Wellness

While shuttling through show summaries, hunting for some worthwhile binging, I happily discovered that the new Bosch series—Bosch: Legacy— is available via Amazon’s newly reinvented (free) streaming service Freevee.

Terri and I both have day jobs that are mentally taxing, albeit in different ways. Often, when we get home we are both zapped. Especially, by Friday or Saturday night. Chilling out on a mystery or chortling along with a comedy help us unplug and unwind for a quick minute. Like it or not, our minds need time to recharge. My heart needs to recalibrate. Bosch proved to be just the prescription we needed after a long week at work.

As you’ve probably heard by now, the month of May is our National Mental Health Awareness Month.

When it comes to mental health, there is still far too much stigma amid increasing support and available resources. The challenges of educating the public and advocating for policy changes that help people with mental illness—along with their families—continues. The time is way past due for us to realize the vision of a world where anyone impacted by mental illness is able to get the appropriate support and quality of care needed to live healthy, fulfilling life.

What are you doing to support your mental well-being?

The last few weeks, partly as a means to minding my mental health, I have been thinking through potential creative outlets. Ironically, this past Wednesday morning, as I was putting together the final pieces of our weekly church service at my work, the Holy Spirit gently nudged me, reminding me of where I was and what I’d been doing nearly 35 years ago. As I sat behind the controls of the console during our Wednesday morning church service, I had somewhat of an epiphany. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the young man, an aspiring radio/tv student, who had once considered moving to Berlin to attend film school, a couple of years prior to the crumbling of the Berlin Wall.

I am not sure what being an audio-visual storyteller looks like in the post-pandemic 21st century. There is this itch to explore it. Just as physical exercise helps keep our body strong, creativity helps us maintain our mental health.

This mental journey has yielded fresh perspectives on some old memories, including good times spent with my Dad. He is the one who introduced me to stereos, reel-to-reel players, cameras, and many audio-video gizmos and gadgets. Dad was definitely an audio-video enthusiast. I remember that he seemed excited when he learned I got my first paying radio gig and that I was involved in putting together segments for our college television station.

One thing I remember from my earlier work in the audio-visual world of radio and television is that words are important, but not always necessary. We gather and process a ton of information visually. As the adage purports: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Naturally, blogging is a form of creative release and discovery. Blogging is a way to unpack my mind as well as engage in community. Community, I believe, is a vital part of creativity. I have learned this from my Mom, who is a longtime, talented visual artist. There is an excitement and joy in her voice when she speaks about the art league meetings she attends and the drawing classes she is taking. While making art can be a lonesome affair, eventually, as a work comes to fruition, it involves community.

Do you maintain a creative practice that helps your mental well-being?

As you might have realized from the photo above, I recently planted some roses. Roses are another thing my Dad loved. He was an avid rosarian. Growing roses is something that has interested me for some time. The photo above is the bloom of my first rose bush I planted a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure what will come of this, but I know that it does my mind, my heart, and my soul good to see the blooms blossom and open up (the Rainer Rose does have a good ring to it).

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 (New Living Translation)

I think creativity is important to us because it is important to God. Our God, maker of the heavens and earth, is a creator. And, He created us for community. When I consider people I know who struggle with mental illness, they often lack the support of a loving community. At least that’s true for the unsheltered population I encounter and engage with daily.

May the Lord, in His goodness, bless you and shine His favor upon you.

The Devotional Guy™

Bible Gateway

7 Comments

  1. You’re already a precious rose 🙂

    Thanks for this post – there really is something of a stigma about mental health struggles and the Christian faith, as if we should be, somehow, immune.

    Of course, we are not immune! But understanding that can be the beginnings to healing.

    Blessings upon you and your beloved. May God bless you both with super nourishing rest and hyper-re-charging.

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! Andy-thank you. 😂
    Amen. We inhabit a community in need of healing.

    Thanks for the blessings. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s commendable how you choose to remember your father’s good points. I know from reading your story that your relationship with him was not always smooth sailing. The same goes for my dad and me. I cherish the memory of our time spent fishing and look back fondly on our father and son mini road trips. Thanks for the reminder to “stop and smell the roses.”🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ❤️ Thank you for this, David. In part, I believe it’s simply the Holy Spirit’s way of helping me make sense of me. My relationship with my Dad, as you’ve recognized, is something I’ve wrestled with over a lifetime. In my day gig, I hear lots of stories about broken relationships with family that rip my heart apart, especially the ones where sons battled their fathers. I guess, in a good way, this has increased my reflection on my relationship with my own Dad. It may seem strange to some, but planting these roses has some deeper connection to him than I’ve previously experienced. And I think that’s a good thing. I appreciate your honesty and kindness. Thanks for reading and providing your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ranier, thanks for highlighting the need for all of us to treat the issue of mental wellness with an extra helping of our own grace. Having family members who cope with their own struggles, I see the need for greater understanding and empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing your insights. Fully grasping the importance of mental wellness is something I continue to grow in myself.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.