Creativity for Wellbeing – No need to be Picasso!


Written by Judy O’Byrne, Counsellor and art therapist, Cancer Society, Wellington Division


Bringing creativity into our daily lives can be a fun, relaxing way to support ourselves at any time of life, but especially so during difficulty or times of change.   Not only does creativity improve our mental wellbeing but it also benefits us physically. Research shows benefits such as improving our cognitive ability, reducing stress, improving emotional wellbeing as well as boosting our immune system.

Creative activities can include crafts (e.g. knitting), listening to or playing music, writing or visual arts (drawing, painting, collage).


I am not talking about having to be gifted with great talent or skill (like Picasso).    I am talking about taking a little time for creative acts that are achievable in our everyday lives.  All we need is a small space in each day to play and explore a creative activity.  And if you can’t make this space on your own it can become a wonderful way to enjoy time with our bubble companions (especially children).   Here are some examples:

  • Use a plate to draw a circle and doodle (create patterns/shapes/colours) inside your circle
  • Build a bird feeder out of anything you can recycle.
  • Decorate plain biscuits with icing (maybe with your children or grandchildren)
  • Pick up that instrument and play (give the toddler a pot and wooden spoon)
  • Dance/move to some favourite music
  • Write about a happy memory or significant experience
  • Draw something you can see outside your window
  • Go outside and collect greenery/flowers to arrange into a jar to sit on your bench
  • Just play with colour and/or patterns using crayons or anything you can find at home.
  • Cut out images and/or words that you like, then arrange and glue them to paper or that cereal box, cardboard or old book you meant to throw away.

Anything goes … and its not about the product but rather relaxing, enjoying and becoming absorbed in the process.

                                                                                                                                         Amelia, 6 years old

One of my favourites is to find a piece of paper (big enough to fit your handprint) and fill it with doodles, colours, patterns or glue images torn or cut from a magazine.  Then turn the paper over, place your hand on the paper, draw around it and cut out the hand shape.  Finally turn it over and enjoy 😊

And for those who want to explore further go to:






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