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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Art & Coping: Relieving Stress Through Creativity

Mimi Jordan
“With PH, you can get a sense of feeling not as worthwhile; art has given me a feeling that I can still do things. It is something you can share with others, art of any type is a creative work, and is a positive and helpful thing to do.”
Mimi Jordan has found a way to turn the hardships of living with pulmonary hypertension into something positive, art. While Mimi has always been an artist, due to PH and limiting physical activity, she has found more time to focus on her painting. Mimi paints on average four-five hours a day, five days a week, or whenever he schedule permits. She states, “It is easy to become negative about the things you cannot do living with PH, you need to find some way to cope in a positive way.” Painting, for Mimi, has become a meditative experience and an important part of her PH. She believes, “you need to find something positive, and creative, art has given me a feeling that I can still do things.”
Unfortunately, due to her physical limitations, Mimi is unable to visit museums or art galleries; however she enjoys browsing various art websites online such as One Art World and Saatchi Online. In addition to this, Mimi has a site of her own! Take a look at Mimi’s paintings.

BreAnn McFarland
Similarly to Mimi, BreAnn has also found comfort in art work.  Always being interested in art, BreAnn quickly realized how great a coping mechanism it was for dealing with her PH, and migraines post lung transplant. As a child, BreAnn possessed the talent for being able to draw something by just looking at it. After diagnosis, she was no longer able to keep up in school and had to switch to homeschooling. Fortunately, BreAnn was given the gift of a lung transplant that rid her of PH, unfortunately, the side effects of the medication she was placed on were chronic migraines. In the process of enrolling into college, BreAnn needed an activity that could get her out of bed and rid her depression. She soon realized that school could not become a part of her plan anymore, and became a full time crafter.
PH bracelet made by BreAnn
BreAnn makes stationary ranging from cards and boxes, to gift bags and jewelry and even temporary tattoos! She is also an avid Photoshop user. She states, “doing what I like to do every day gives me a reason to get up. I love more than anything to make things for people.” Through crafting, BreAnn has also acquired an online family from sites such as Facebook, Paper Craft Planet, and Crafts digital art center (CDAC).
Although she would like to, BreAnn is unable to visit museums or art galleries due to her lack of mobility caused by the migraines. Even though she is unable to enjoy art in those ways, she expresses her feelings on the benefits of creativity and art work. “You need some way to express what you’re feeling creatively as a way to get your feelings out. Great art has come from bottled up emotions. Art is not something you have to share, but something that helps!”

Brandi Stickney
Although Brandi has always been interested in art, she more recently has become interested in taking photographs both for herself and for others.  Upon diagnosis of PH two years ago, Brandi realized that photography was something she was really good at, and an activity of little physical demand. Brandi spends about 2-3 days a week, and around 20 hours a week on her photography. She has found children her favorite subjects to photograph because of their innocence and realness. Brandi states, “it makes me feel like I can do something that is in my control, because I cannot control the way I feel.”
Brandi frequently enjoys visiting museums and looking at other people’s art work to get inspired. For others who have not yet found that perfect coping mechanism, she shares “having a hobby you really love gives you a sense of control in an otherwise chaotic situation. It keeps your mind off of the things you cannot do.”


  1. Nice article!!! I have gone through your post which is nicely written on selected topic. Its great to have this type of quality content. Thanks for sharing this post with us.
    Online Art Gallery

  2. I love the way these three ladies have found something positive to do. These are the role models we all need. I was diagnosed in April, but didn't get in to see a specialist for a couple of months because their processing nurse and I kept getting our wires crossed. I am pretty much in a down time as far as everything goes. I'm not even able to do all the house work yet, and I figure I wont do anything else until I can.

  3. Nice article! Great insight on different ways to relieve stress through art and creativity! It was really cool reading this post, because I love art myself and use it as a stress reliever all the time. It works great and I recommend it for anyone!