Mental health and art therapy

I’ve been writing this post in my head for two weeks now, and I don’t know if I’ve completely decided what to write about. It’s not so much what to write about as much as how forthcoming I want to be, especially since this blog is focused on cooking. But I do want to go into the topics of health in general, and mental health is a topic that is very close for me. Art therapy is something I’ve been interested in for many years and something I studied for 2. It’s the direction I see myself going into. But before I keep going, I’m going to start somewhere personal…

On Nov. 23, I was supposed to fly to Chicago with my son to spend Thanksgiving with my mom. Due to circumstances I was unable to foresee, I was unable to go. Here I was, packed, prepared for every scenario that could occur on a trip so long with a vegan 2-year-old, and I was being told that I will not fly that day – this I hadn’t prepared for. This was a huge emotional blow. I hadn’t been HOME in 5 years, and I hadn’t seen my mom in 3, AND it was Thanksgiving. The next morning I woke up in my own bed in Bialystok feeling like my spirit is elsewhere and my body’s been hit with a wrecking ball several times. I remained in that state for several days. I let myself eat junk, I didn’t work out, I didn’t even change out of my pajamas.

This is how I felt…


After several days of this “ghostly” existence, I decided to do the only thing that I know gets my mind elsewhere, I started making – jewelry, hats, paintings drawings, etc. My house is a mess of piles of projects (which I promised my husband I’ll clean very very soon). After a few days of arts and crafts, I started to do some yoga, and yesterday I finally got back on my stationary bike (a great way to blow off steam). I think I can safely say now that I have recovered from this blow, but this reminded me how much I need art and doing something with my hands, be it crocheting, writing or drawing, to just stay sane.


My first pair of (upcycled) slippers for myself.


I’ve been battling depression for quite some time now, and making stuff, as well as working out, has been literally life-saving for me. Not “making” is what got me in the black hole in the first place. I fervently believe that art (and craft) has a therapeutic effect – looking, listening, being near and around it as well as making it. So if you feel the black monster is swallowing you whole or are just feeling blue, go to the museum or a gallery or just make something, scribble, sing even if you don’t feel like it, it will make you feel at least a tiny bit better. No judgments, no expectations, just making.

I’d really appreciate your comments.


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