person drinking tea and reading a book

5 Poetry Activities for Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which marks a time to learn about, educate, and advocate for the importance of taking care of one’s mental and emotional health. From the potentially overwhelming stressors of everyday life to severe mental health conditions, most of us can relate to struggling with mental health. 


If you’re searching for a creative outlet to cope, poetry can be an effective way to support your mental health. This May, consider incorporating these poetry-themed activities into your daily or weekly routine. 


To begin with, think about either purchasing a new journal or removing already-used pages out of one you already own—this will be used specifically for writing activities throughout the month, where you’ll be able to physically see your mental health progress in May. 


Write at your favorite coffee shop


If you need an escape from your immediate surroundings, visit your favorite local coffee shop for a personal writing session. If you’re uncomfortable sitting at a coffee shop alone, bring a friend with you. Spending time around other people in a calming environment can help you feel less isolated, which in turn supports your general mental health. Also, if you’d like to tune out the noise around you to better focus on your writing, bring headphones to listen to music as you craft your poems. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to write about the interactions you observe around you or a memory you and your friend share. 


Sit in your backyard and write a poem


If you have a backyard, grab a blanket and your journal, then go outside to write for a while. If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety, being in nature can help you feel more grounded. Listening to the wildlife, feeling the breeze, and soaking in the sun’s warmth are sure ways to calm your mind. You might even be inspired to write about the scene around you, fueling your creativity.


Start your day with a spoken word poem, then write and perform your own


This month, consider starting your day by listening to a spoken word poem. On days when you have more time in the morning, take some time to then write and perform your own, even if you’re the only audience member. Doing spoken word poetry  can help you process the stress or sadness that you’re feeling in the moment, which will allow you to experience your day more freely. 


Wander around a botanical garden, then write a poem there


Do you live near a botanical garden? Have you ever left feeling calmer and creatively renewed? Perhaps you’ve even felt inspired to write about your experience there. To support your mental health this May, consider wandering around your local garden, and then writing a poem before you depart. Whether you wish to work on a poem you’ve already started or write a new one, choose a comfortable place to sit, and let your creativity flow. 


End your day by writing a diaristic poem with a cup of relaxing tea


On nights you feel emotionally overwhelmed, write a poem processing your emotional and mental experiences as you enjoy a relaxing tea. This approach to journaling about your day can help you express your creativity. As you write, you might also view your experience from a different perspective, allowing you to end the day less stressed. 

For even more mental health-related poetry content, check out our blogs on how to create a self-care journal and tips for writing about mental health.