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A Creative Approach to Stress Management: Simple Ways to Incorporate Art into Your Daily Life

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC

Whether you are struggling with a difficult obstacle currently, or just feeling overwhelmed by everyday stressors, taking time to explore and express your creativity can be immensely helpful. From drawing and painting, to music, writing and dancing, art is a powerful tool for managing your stress levels. In this blog, we'll explore how incorporating art into your daily life can help reduce stress and bring joy. We also provide some practical tips on how you can use art as part of your self-care routine.

In today's fast-paced world, stress has become an inevitable part of our lives. With work, relationships, and various other obligations, we often find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed out. However, incorporating art and creativity into our daily lives can be a powerful tool to improve overall well-being. Artmaking has been shown to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions, and it has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and even heart rate, making it an invaluable skill for those seeking to combat stress.

Whether you're an experienced artist or a beginner, setting daily creative goals and scheduling creative time is an effective way to incorporate art and creativity into your daily routine. Trying new mediums and exploring personal styles can help you discover new talents and calm your mind. Instead of focusing on the end result, which can be stressful, try to enjoy the creative process and let go of any pressure to be perfect.

Incorporating habits such as journaling, knitting, or cooking can add a sense of purpose and routine to your daily life. These activities can also serve as a much-needed escape from day-to-day stressors. Start your day with a creative activity such as coloring, drawing or writing in a journal. This allows you to begin your day with a calming and soothing activity. Here are some effective tips for incorporating art and creativity into your daily routine:

  1. Take a break and engage in art: Whether it's painting, drawing, or sculpting, taking a break to engage in art can be a great way to relieve stress. It allows you to focus on something other than your daily stressors and gives your mind a much-needed break.

  2. Keep a journal: Writing is a great way to express your emotions and work through stress. Keeping a journal allows you to reflect on your feelings, set goals, and track progress.

  3. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment and fully engaged in what you are doing. This can be achieved through activities such as meditation, yoga, or even just taking a few deep breaths.

  4. Create an art kit. Keep a small box filled with art supplies such as pens, pencils, and paper, so you can easily access them whenever you need to. This can provide an outlet for stress while also helping you tap into your creativity.

  5. Make a creative space. Designate a space in your home or office where you can work on art projects. Having a dedicated space can help you focus and create a meditative environment.

  6. Surround yourself with art: Surrounding yourself with art, whether it's in the form of paintings, sculptures, or photographs, can be a great way to boost creativity and reduce stress. Art can inspire and motivate us, and can provide a much-needed escape from our daily stressors.

  7. Set aside dedicated time for artmaking: Scheduling time for artmaking can help make it a regular part of your routine. You can start with just a few minutes a day, and gradually increase the time as you feel more comfortable. It can be helpful to set a specific time each day, such as before or after work, or during your lunch break.

  8. Focus on process over product: When making art for stress management purposes, it's important to focus on the process of creating, rather than the final product. Don't worry about making something perfect or even recognizable. Instead, focus on the act of creating and the enjoyment that comes with it.

  9. Use prompts: If you're not sure where to start with your artmaking, using prompts can be a helpful way to get started. Prompts can be simple, such as drawing your favorite flower or creating a collage based on a color theme. There are many websites and apps that provide art prompts, or you can create your own.

  10. Remember to have fun: Finally, it's important to remember that artmaking should be enjoyable and fun. Don't put pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece every time you sit down to create. Instead, focus on the process and enjoy the benefits that come with making art.

Overall, incorporating art into your daily routine can help you relieve stress, improve your mood, and increase your sense of well-being. Mindful practices such as coloring, drawing, or painting can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and provide a sense of comfort. In this fast-paced world, taking time every day to engage in a creative pursuit can help you find balance and prioritize self-care activities.

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