Photo: scraps of paper with inspirational quotes and questions on.

'Indulging my creative side always makes me feel better'

Creative journaling gave Sandy Semple new insights into her MS

Creative journaling is a playful mix of collage, journaling and creating a vision board. But it’s so much more than simply sticking images in a book and writing down some thoughts. It’s like therapy through art.  

I’m not the best at drawing, but I do find indulging my creative side always makes me feel better. When I discovered 4 Rooms Living and went to one of their creative journaling workshops, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

With prompts such as ‘I want to feel…’ and ‘I’m curious about…’ to get our minds thinking about what we would create, we began the fun stuff.

What speaks to me

Using paint, ink stamps, pens and pencils we let loose on the page to create a backdrop for some of our prompts. Then we indulged in leafing through a stack of magazines for pictures that spoke to us.

I imagined I would pick images of horses or writing desks as these are my favourite things. I was surprised to find then, that I was drawn to images of vibrant fresh fruit and vegetables, of calm spaces and of families enjoying the simple things in life.  

‘Perhaps,’ said Clara, who was running the workshop, ‘your body is looking to be nurtured and so these images resonate because it’s what you desire on a deep level.’

Prioritising self-care

I was blown away with this insight. We all know diet and wellbeing play a big part in managing MS symptoms, and as I’d been juggling family life and trying to fit everything into our busy schedules (as many of us do!) I took these images as a wake-up call from my body.

I left after several happy hours sticking, glueing and painting, with a wonderful book of inspiration and feeling refreshed and clearer in my mind about what needs to be a priority in my life.  

Selfish as it may sound, keeping myself healthy by eating well and spending quality time with those I love is the best therapy I can think of.

> Get tips on managing everyday life with MS.

About Sandy: Sandy was diagnosed with MS in 2005. She likes to spend time with family, friends and her loopy dog called Wentworth. Read more from Sandy on her blog.