Hey everyone, so today’s post is going to be a little more personal.
As the people who know me well already know, I am someone who lives with the effects of post traumatic stress (what caused this I prefer to keep private at the moment).
Since taking part in a wellbeing course (I mentioned this in my last self-care post) at a women’s therapy centre, I was taught by specially trained therapists many different coping mechanisms for the effects of trauma, with quite a few focusing on creative elements.
Art therapy was one of the aspects in this course, along with mindfulness, assertiveness, self-esteem etc. Being creative is something I’ve always loved from being a child, which has stayed with me as I’ve grown in to an adult as I now work in a creative industry.
I understood creativity could help with mental health, but it didn’t really click for me until I went on this wellbeing course. The more I worked through what I was experiencing in a safe environment with therapists, that’s when the long road to recovery really started for me after a while of just burying it in the back of my head to try move forward with my life (which trust me, as painful as trauma is and as much as you may want to bury it to forget it, burying it only makes it worse).
Now I know what you’re thinking. How in the hell could makeup help with something like that?!
Well, as I said in my previous self-care post for Mental Health Awareness Week, this is what works for me and what works for me might not necessarily work for someone else, so please be aware of this.
I’ve always loved the creativity of makeup, from watching beauty tutorials to owning books on the history behind it (Lisa Eldridge’s Face Paint being a great book!) and as I’ve grown in to a young woman, I’ve been able to find out more of what I liked and grow to be more expressive with.
Another thing I love is the shift in the last few years in how more people are expressing themselves through makeup, instead of following very rigid rules. Put it this way, four years ago I would have been a bit scared to wear a bright blue lip, now I’m pretty game for it!
That’s not to say I’m uncomfortable in my skin without makeup. There’s plenty of days I leave the house without it and I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin to do that. Also, that’s not to say whenever you see me wearing makeup I’m depressed. It’s a case of something I love doing when I’m ok really helps me through the times when I’m not feeling ok.
As I said earlier, I love makeup tutorials and I found that whenever I’m having an ‘off’ time, watching those same makeup tutorials on YouTube and just applying makeup for the hell of it just because I want to really picks me up, because I’m watching/doing something creative, which distracts me from a bout of depression or an anxiety attack threatening to rear its ugly head from a trigger or a flashback, therefore helping me to cope better and come out of said ‘off’ period.
The way I see it, it’s like your face is a blank canvas that you can enhance and create whatever you want, whether it be a barely there natural look, a classic ‘Old Hollywood’ style with a red lip, or a full-blown Instagram style makeup, that for me, the creativity behind it is the key as well as having a spruce up.
And if it’s something that’s healthy and makes you feel better, be it cooking, makeup or drawing (God bless adult colouring books!) then go for it!
And to anyone out there who is going through a tough time at the moment, you are not alone and are very much loved, keep fighting! (Telephone numbers to mental health support is at the bottom of this post if you need it.)
Hope this post was useful guys and have a great Sunday! 🙂
SAMARITANS: 116 123
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE (USA): 1-800-273-8255