4 Art Therapy Activities To Help Calm Yourself At Home
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. As the days continue where we are being encouraged to stay in our homes during the Covid-19 pandemic, self-care is becoming more important for people to make it a priority, because having a routine can boost your mood and help yourself feeling more positive, no matter how tough life can be.
Apart from practising meditation, reading, or something as simple as lighting up your favourite scented candles, art therapy can also be a great self-care activity to help you relax and express your emotions. Contrary to what some may believe, art therapy doesn’t require creative talent—what matters is that the artist is enjoying and relaxing through the creative process. Here, we list a few therapeutic art experiences that you can enjoy while staying at home.
Colouring books aren’t just for kids—the simple act of colouring can be a great way to ease anxiety for adults, too. Like meditation, colouring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and learn to focus on the moment by bringing those imagined beautiful scenes to life with colours that we like. This activity requires good concentration, but it won’t make you feel mentally exhausted. While helping to quieten your overthinking mind and the noise of the world, it also gives you a real sense of achievement.
Now get your colour pencils ready and spend a few hours of me-time enjoying a beautiful colouring book. From the magical patterns in Johnna Basford’s Secret Garden, to the lovely cityscapes in Rosie Goodwin’s Dream Cities and the jungle adventures in Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah, there’s certainly something for everyone.
Zentangle is a mindful drawing method that invented by meditation expert Rick Roberts and his artist wife Maria Thomas, which is perfect for anyone who wants to escape from the stress of everyday life, even if they don’t think they are creative or skilful enough to create something beautiful.
To start the exercise, you will need plain papers and a regular pencil or pen. Choose a space that feels comfortable, and then take a few deep breaths to reflect and feel gratitude for the drawing materials you have. Remember, there’s no wrong way to do Zentangle art and you can always draw as many different patterns as you like. The patterns (as shown above) may look complicated, but with the online resources offered by Zentangle masters, anyone will be able to learn about this art and to regain a sense of calm in no time.
Check out Rick Robert’s Youtube channel or take a look at artist Charvi Ashtekar’s artworks for inspiration. You may also want to purchase this beautiful booklet on Amazon to learn more about the drawing techniques.
Mandala means “sacred circle” in Sanskrit, which is a traditional concept employed in meditation and a ritual symbol that represents the universe in Hinduism and Buddism. Today, Mandala has evolved into a powerful art therapy exercise that allows the creator to enjoy some peace and quiet by simply crafting colourful geometric patterns within a circular shape.
You can draw any patterns that you like and finish it whenever you feel it’s complete, as long as you are organising them as an integrated structure around a central point. This rule not only symbolises the continuity of life and the notion of connectedness, but also signalling the individual’s journey to greater peace and balance.
While you’re making a Mandala, try to focus on your breathing, feeling and listening to each breath as you slowly inhale and exhale. You’ll easily achieve a peaceful state of calm and forget about your worries during the process.
Check out artist Vijayta Sharma’s Youtube channel to learn more about Mandala and create your own work with the help of this artbook.
Brush calligraphy (or hand lettering) is another wonderful art practice to help order a disorderly mind and replace your anxiety with a sense of calm. This exercise is very meditative and relaxing that not only will you be able to get into the flow of creating beautiful hand lettering with great concentration, but also learn to appreciate the art of slow living and refocus your mind onto something more positive.
You can learn more about brush calligraphy techniques at this Youtube channel and craft your own artwork with Kalo Make Art studio’s calligraphy tools. Once the social distancing rules are lifted, gather your friends and register for a fun workshop at the studio.