The entire world has gone through extremely stressful first months of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures introduced to control it took a toll on mental health. Now, it’s essential to start focusing on self-care and restoring your inner balance.
Art is one of the best activities you can add to your daily routine to emphasise self-care. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, there are fun and easy activities that will help you decompress, reduce stress and find a creative outlet for some common frustrations.
Relaxation, Expression and Connection Through Art
It doesn’t matter where you live, where you work or how stressed out you feel. Art can help you accomplish a lot in terms of relaxation, expression and establishing a connection with others.
If you want to learn a bit more about art and discover a fun exercise to partake in on your own, check out the following Woodlands Health Campus video:
The video does an excellent job at showing you don’t need to be an artist in order to make the most of this opportunity. In fact, something as simple as drawing basic shapes and symbols could contribute to a sense of calm and peacefulness.
Other Ways to Incorporate Art in Your Self-Care Routine
Using art to process exactly what’s going on and how your world has changed in challenging moments is just one form of self-care.
Fortunately, art is so flexible and diversified that it can be used in numerous other ways to strengthen your mental health.
If you want to get in touch with your emotions or let them out, do give art a try. As already mentioned, you don’t need to be a painter to make that happen.
Here’s a very simple exercise you can use to find an emotional outlet – create a collage. An emotions collage can feature all kinds of pictures and cutouts that are representative of your emotions.
The easiest way to do that exercise is to get a couple of old magazines and leaf through the pages. Cut out pictures, diagrams and illustrations that are somewhat representative of your feelings and state of mind right now.
When you have your cutouts, glue them to a large piece of cardboard. You can add colour or personal notes to the collage, giving it more meaning and turning it into a true form of emotional expression. When done, you’ll almost definitely feel relieved.
Alternatively, you can try to draw your mood.
Get a notebook and each day, draw your mood on a separate page. In a sense, this exercise brings together journaling and art. Your mood could be expressed in the form of a colour, a shape or an abstract picture that shows exactly where you are.
In time, the mood drawings will reveal some patterns and tendencies. Going back through the journal, especially after a couple of months, can help you learn a lot about who you are, what triggers your emotions and how you express your negative (or positive) feelings.
Experimenting with Other Media
Drawing and painting are the most common types of art that most people will utilise as a form of personal care and therapy. These, however, are not the only possibilities as far as self-care exercises go.
Buy some clay from an art supply store (you can easily find clay online, as well).
Clay is a very grounding type of medium. Because you are shaping it with your hands, you feel in control of the process. It doesn’t matter if you go for air dry clay or a material that can be reused numerous times. Let your hands wonder and have a bit of fun. The quality and the shape of the final outcome do not matter if you find some relief and peacefulness during your work.
Sewing, quilting and photography are other forms of art that allow you to get creative, express yourself and potentially tackle some deeper issues hiding inside. The purpose here is always the same – to create something on your own and to allow your artistic vision to come out.
The whole ordeal is as simple as going around and snapping some pictures in your everyday life. From that point forward, you can really take your artistic endeavour in any direction.
Connect with Others Through Out
Social distancing and Covid-19 have made many of us feel lonely and detached. We have to rethink the ways we interact with others as the current changes have the potential to be long-lasting.
Art provides an excellent opportunity to feel connected, even if you cannot go out and meet the people you love.
In a sense, the art you create is a little piece of yourself. Sharing it with others, whether in person or online, gives you a chance to present something about yourself that others could be unaware of.
When we show our art, people will respond by telling us how it makes them feel or what it makes them think. This is a deep, meaningful sort of connection that cannot be brought on in many other ways.
In time, especially if you become hooked on art, you will find yourself sharing your work more often and seeking feedback from others. And that’s a good thing as it can build lasting connections.
Art takes out the things that you’ve been keeping inside. It can be anything that you want it to be. This is the reason why it’s one of the most beneficial and versatile forms of self-care. Even if you’ve never given art a try before, do explore some of the exercises mentioned above. Chances are that you’ll have a ton of fun with these activities and they’ll also contribute to meaningful self-discovery.