4 Ways To Increase Your Self-Care Artistically
Updated: Feb 16, 2020
When most people think of self-care, activities such as going for a walk or meditating immediately come to mind. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case. As I discussed in my previous post Creativity as Self-Care, there are quite a few artistic activities that provide excellent self-care benefits to help you manage your stress before your stress manages you. The link between participation in artistic pursuits and the ability to manage stress is so strong that scientists have studied this phenomenon as this article on the National Institutes of Health’s website shows. Scientists found that there is a decrease in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol when individuals engaged in artistic pursuits. Read on to find out more about the relationship between self-care and the arts in relation to stress management.
Adult coloring books are all the rage and will be here for the foreseeable future. If you can think of a topic, there’s a coloring book for it, from gardens to animals, mythical creatures to motivational statements and even coloring books with curse words. I love, love, love my adult coloring books; every time I use one, it takes me back to my childhood – “am I going to stay in the lines or be a rebel and go outside the lines? Which crayon (or since I’m an adult 😊) colored pencil will provide the best color for this specific picture?” And so on.
I don’t know about you, but I know that my life was a lot simpler when I was a child and helps me to lower my stress levels by going back to those simpler times. Adult coloring allows you to be creative and de-stress by simply coloring and not having to worry about anything. It’s a great de-stresser for those of you who don’t think that you’re creative (although I know that you are because we all are).
Try Drawing Or Painting
Drawing and painting are other super easy ways to be creative and artistic and practice self-care and stress management at the same time. Self-care doesn’t have any hard or fast rules. It’s simply about engaging in activities that make you feel good about yourself so that you can lower your stress levels. Self-care can take your mind off what’s causing you to feel stressed out and help you spend more time focusing on yourself. If you’ve drawing or painting as part of your self-care practice, don’t worry if you’re not the next great artist, it’s all about fun.
I can’t draw, but I enjoy doodling stick figures and puffy clouds from time to time. It gives me and those around me a good laugh and much like adult coloring takes me back to my childhood. If that doesn’t work for you, consider taking a drawing class or tracing images to have the experience of drawing and to let your creativity out. As far as painting is concerned, you could take a class as well or even get a paint by numbers kit if you feel that your artistic skills aren’t up to par. They have some very sophisticated ones nowadays. Just grab a sketchbook and some art supplies to draw, sketch, or paint as you wish.
Learn A New Craft
What better way to express your creative side than learning something new? You don’t have to be naturally artistic to be creative and enjoy creative activities. The act of igniting different areas of your brain and using it in ways that you might not normally, can act as a buffer against stress. Through practice, we all become better at doing.
Learning how to do a new activity can help decrease your stress levels and you have the extra bonus of coming out with a new skill as well! If there’s a hobby that you always wondered about, like scrapbooking, oil painting, making jewelry, metal stamping, flower arranging, sewing or knitting, now’s the time to give it a try. It’s all about making time to enjoy the things that bring you joy.
Writing is another form of creativity for those who don’t enjoy art and crafts projects. It allows you to express yourself, which can be very therapeutic. When writing you can do anything from writing in a journal, to writing short stories or working on a novel.
One easy way to start writing is to set a timer for 10 minutes, then just start writing whatever comes to mind. Continue writing without taking a break until the timer goes off. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just let the words flow out of you without restriction. You can always go back later and edit if you want. This is a great way of getting in touch with your innermost thoughts and feelings as you’re able to get your worries out of your head and onto a piece of paper where you’re able to deal with them easier. And if done regularly can lead to lower stress levels.
The thing that’s so great about all of these activities is that they allow you to tap into your artistic and creative side while also decreasing your stressors which in turn allows you to take care of yourself which can’t be beat!
What artistic practice do you engage in as a form of self-care? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In