Why art as self care is essential right now?
Let’s get serious for a moment because the world is overwhelmed and self care is needed now more than ever.
The pandemic isn’t pulling its punches, causing changes and uncertainties that have been challenging us since 2020.
Add to that are the usual insomnia- and stress-inducing matters we’ve been facing way before this furious global catastrophe.
And even though we’ve valiantly withstood each passing day, our mind and body can only take so much.
But unlike our body that can recover relatively quickly by burying wounds beneath scars, our mind can stubbornly hold on to a huge archive of all the stress it went through.
This is why when we talk about art as self care, we should be emphasizing our mental health. Fortunately for us, mental and emotional self care can be achieved through simple things done mindfully.
Using Art as self care
Aside from expressing yourself and your passions, you can use art to soothe your mind.
Studies have proven that, to an extent, engaging in creative art can reduce the negative effects of stressful stimuli on your physical and mental health.
Art can refer to creative writing, music, movement (e.g., dancing), and visual arts to name a few.
The good news is, you don’t need to be good at any creative field to use it in taking care of yourself. Using art as self care is personal; and given that creativity is inherent to us, there are art forms that are easily accessible as a hobby.
Art is free and you can use it however you like to calm and relieve your mind.
5 Reasons Why Art is Essential in Self Care
art as self care allows self-expression
Nothing can give us more relief than having a safe space for self-expression.
When you make art, it’s just you and the inanimate objects at your disposal. Together, you can perform a healthy release of everything that weighs you down without judgment.
Sometimes, we don’t express ourselves in fear of what others might think. But, when we are our only audience, we feel safe to be authentic and unapologetic about what bothers us.
And when engaging in visual arts, we can achieve this state without using words, a commodity that becomes scarce when we’re too overwhelmed to talk or write.
Art as self care reintroduces you to yourself.
Oftentimes, your responsibilities occupy you so much that you don’t have enough room for the rest of yourself.
When was the last time you wanted to draw a cherished childhood memory or appreciate creations that make you feel something?
When was the last time you created something?
Tapping into your creativity through art will help surface what you’ve been ignoring. Your painting will tell you what memory you want to immortalize, what you want to represent, what colors make you emotional, or what scenery you want to see.
The pressure in your strokes, the colors you choose, and the subject you paint all tell you what you’re thinking and feeling at the moment.
Through art, you get to just sit down and catch up with yourself in a beautiful, creative way.
art as self care teaches you to embrace imperfections.
Rigid lines and realistic details don’t define art, the same way societal standards and expectations don’t make up a human. They’re just a part of an entirety.
Art and humanity thrive in diversity because they’re concerned about representing essence and beauty rather than coloring within the lines or fitting in a box.
Watercolors, for example, help you see imperfections at work and realize that they don’t take away the beauty of a painting. Instead, they enhance it.
Watercolor painting teaches you that you’re painting an image of an object based on how you see it and not how it looks to anyone else.
As a result, it allows you to embrace your own imperfections and express yourself in an authentic way, free from what others see and expect from you.
Art as set care teaches you to focus on the journey and not the outcome.
Using art as self care is not about the end product but the process.
Art is therapeutic. The colors harmonizing, the graceful body movements guided by the rhythm, the piecing together of words that summarizes your being, the music you create with your piano- all of these ground you in the present where you feel happy, restful, and content.
That feeling is priceless and one of the rare instances where your mind is at peace.
Art is inclusive.
All of us can use art as self care. Within us is an abundance of creativity that we can uniquely express. This creativity is accessible to all who need to set it free and is not limited by language, age, race, etc.
Art is for everyone, and everyone uses art albeit differently. Mediums and methods may vary, but art is a universal language. It bridges human experiences, allows for an exchange of stories, and evokes emotions.
Creative Activities Through Watercolor Painting to elevate your r&r
Watercolor painting is one of the many creative self care activities that you can do at home using just a handful of materials. Really, you don’t need plenty of paints and brushes to start.
Therefore, watercolor painting is a beginner-friendly, easy-to-access hobby that you can learn through guided classes or tutorials.
Here’s how to begin unleashing your creativity through watercolors
- Gather your materials; they don’t have to be expensive.
Get a sketchbook, a medium-size watercolor painting brush (preferably good quality), and three (3) paints with colors red, blue, and yellow (learn a bit about Color Theory in this blog to know what to mix to make more colors).
- Follow these free beginner-friendly watercolor painting tutorials or these video guides.
- To make this a more relaxing and beneficial experience, integrate meditation in the activities by being mindful:
-Observe the colors as they shift and tango across the page.
-Focus on the feeling of the brush in your hand.
-Listen to the sound of the bristles against the paper.
Be mindful of the information that your senses are giving you so you can be present in the moment.
- If you feel like merely focusing on what you sense isn’t enough, give your mind some help by engaging it more. You can do this by using your non-dominant hand to paint. This activity can be challenging enough to demand more mental focus.
- Keep in mind that you’re doing this for yourself. For once, give it a rest and bask in this mental peace that you deserve.
The best part of it all; free and accessible
Art as self care is free and accessible, not to mention beneficial and effective. It’s not very demanding; it only asks to be chosen. So, choose it; choose it for yourself.
You have the tools in taking care of yourself through art given to you above, and I truly hope you’ll use them.
If you need more step-by-step watercolor painting tutorials or projects for your regular self care sessions, you can have them in my book The Beginners Guide to Watercolor that you can pre-order on Amazon.
Good luck, and take care in your journey toward coping and healing.
What can you say about the article and the sample creative self care activities? Share your thoughts in the comments.