We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to show us what they've created during periods of depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles.
1. Tend to some plants.
2. Take self-portraits.
3. Turn the old into new.
"I take forgotten chairs off the side of the road and reupholster them into something new and beautiful. And it makes me feel amazing… I haven't done this yet but I've always wanted to bring the chair back to where I found it so whoever threw it out could see that things that look like they're on their last leg still have much life left in them, possibly a brighter one. Because it really helps me." — beatrixk3
4. Get out in the world...
5. ...and capture what you find there.
6. Or literally turn it into art.
7. Work with makeup or body paint.
8. Blend your own scented candles.
9. Focus on a new buddy.
10. Design your dream house.
11. And your dream outfits.
12. Wrap arrowheads.
13. Bake, bake, bake.
"I haven't created a 'thing' as such, but I am in the process of creating a new, more educated me. I decided to use my struggle to help others like myself. Next year I'll be a qualified counsellor, changing the lives of people with mental health issues, using my own terrible experience to help better the lives of others living through the same thing." — katiejade
16. Crochet a blanket, for yourself or a beloved pal.
17. Sell what you've made.
19. Play with fire.
20. Make your tears work for you.
21. Know the value of even the smallest, most temporary projects.
22. Make little monsters.
23. Take up embroidery.
24. Create your life.
"I created my life. Through everything I deal with, I have used art in multiple manners such as painting and photography and created a career built on my passion for photo. However, even when I was wanting to end it all, I was able to create a life. I wanted to die, to never see the light again; when the light came I went straight through it and came up with something brighter. I built relationships with my family and friends that helped me build my self again. I molded my path in a way that worked for me not having to bob and twist for others.
I created myself as I wanted to be. The outcome has been happiness, and although I still deal with my mental illness, I have been able to control it like an artist uses a brush to control paint. And even if your life is as messy and sporadic as a Jackson Pollock, it is still beautiful, and someone out there is going to see the beauty in you as well." — abbis4c
To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.
If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately here or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Infinite thanks to the people who shared their stories for this post. Some responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.