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6 Fun and Simple Art Projects Guaranteed to Lower Stress

6 Fun and Simple Art Projects Guaranteed to Lower Stress

When you think about art, you probably think about your nearest museum and all the fancy pictures of naked ladies and sculptures of Greek gods there. On the other hand, you might think about some modern wire sculptures, and you are not sure what they truly mean except that they look like over-glorified coat hangers. No, art is about passion and about what the artist feels inside when he or she is making art – which is a good thing to remember. It all sounds complicated. Finding motivation, investing time and effort, how can that be relaxing?

Well, my dear internet reader, art can be whatever you want it to be – it can be as simple as writing a love letter, or as complicated as creating a zen garden. It is about the experience that involves both your motor skills and focused thinking that can totally occupy the brain and push out other stressors through the window, at least temporarily. It can be an excellent healing process for anyone, especially those who have their days filled with anxiety, negative emotions, or simply too much work.

We have made a small artistic list that will certainly help you relax, enjoy yourself, and not to mention that, at the end of this trip, you’ll have something that you’ll be proud of and that will have practical purpose in your life. Let’s start!

1. Get Your Knit Together

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    First of all, no, knitting is not only for elderly women with lots of cats. Even though I wholeheartedly recommend everyone get at least one cat, knitting can be a calming activity for everyone. In the start, knitting can be difficult to grasp, but once you get through the initial learning curve, the repetitive motion of your fingers will sooth your mind, or even relieve you of chronic pain. There are a lot of knitting groups around you, so you can just Google it. If you are not feeling like spending time with others, there are a lot of tutorials online, so take a look.

    In the end, you’ll have a perfect present for your baby cats, um… I mean, your friends and their human babies, or you’ll be left with a nice scarf that will keep you warm. If you want, you can learn more complex patterns and make something like a whole sweater, then two, then start a knitted sweater empire and rule the world, but I guess ruling the world isn’t as soothing as I might think. Moving on.

    2. Think Inside the Box

    I am talking about creating a memory box. Do you look around your place and see a plethora of stuff that you are too emotionally attached to and you can’t simply throw away, yet you think that it is cluttering your living space? Think no more! Why don’t you create a cute, dedicated box where you can put all your small trinkets away? You don’t have to hide the box in your attic – on the contrary! Make it beautifully unique, and display it on your coffee table. You can buy materials at any DIY store, which include glue, a few measured planks, some glitter and favorite type of cloth. Then take a measuring tape, and start sawing away.

    Decorate it in any way you want, make it for yourself only, so don’t mind if other don’t like it, it’s not meant to be beautiful, it’s supposed to calm you. Then put your favorite trinkets inside, and there you have it – you’ve done something fun, you’ve gained a new skill, you are probably covered in glue head to toe, but now you have something to declutter your home!

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    3. Piece Together a Collage

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      The glitter you’ve bought for the last project can be used here as well – there isn’t an art project glitter can’t improve. If you want to create a cute memento that is dedicated to the relationship you have with your partner, best friend, or your mother or father, creating a collage is a good idea. Not only can it be used to improve the looks of your bedroom, but it can also be a nice gift. Collages are usually made by gluing stuff onto construction paper, such as pictures, newspaper articles, anything that you can think of. The only tool you’ll need are scissors, and your imagination.

      Just cut all that stuff in the desired shape, and start arranging them. You can add any kind of memento there, such as used movie tickets or receipts, but you can also use colored paper to fill in the voids, or add pressed flowers. While this might seem like an activity for women only, think again. Once this is done, you’ll have something that can be a perfect gift for someone you love, or even for yourself.

      4. Go Have a Stroke

      You’ve probably heard about coloring books? They are making a great comeback, and what is more interesting, there are a lot of books that are only designed for adults, meaning that they are much more complex than what you’ve seen in your childhood. This requires more thought than you might think, as well as precise movement, but if you find this too restricting, why not try to create a real painting? There is probably a painting club or two nearby, so you can go there and get some basic instruction. If you are not up to spending time with strangers, then you’ll need a blank canvas, any size you want, and any kind of coloring tool.

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      Everything from crayons to watercolors is fine, acrylic paintings are quite common nowadays as they create vibrant colors without a lot of effort. You can even try and finger paint, which is even more relaxing, especially if you enjoy getting your hands dirty and getting physical with stuff. If cavemen could do it, so can you!

      5. Origami Your Way out of Stress

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        You do not have to create a prancing horse from a piece of paper immediately, you can start with a simple boat or the famous army cap. You’ve probably heard of origami before, it’s an ancient art of making stuff out of simple colored pieces of paper, and you’ve probably already been jealous of other people who are so much better at it than you. Don’t fret, this is about inner piece, and it is about finding what you truly want.

        You need not compare yourself to others, at least not until you get the hang of it. This simple folding of paper can melt your worries away, and simply occupy you so that you don’t have time to think about how your boss was rude earlier today. Control your thoughts and you will feel better in no time. Then take a picture of what you’ve made and post it online, because what isn’t on Facebook, officially didn’t happen.

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        6. “Do it YourShelf” Projects

        This part is reserved for anything else you can think of! Everyone has the capability of coming up with unique ideas that can be extremely satisfying and fun to execute. You can get some clay, and then make ashtrays for your friends who smoke, because, of course you don’t, smoking is bad and can only stress you further. You can find many ideas online about DIY lamps that are quite pretty, and are extremely easy to make.

        Or you can make a laptop cushion for your lap – or you can make a small sandbox that you can place on your work desk and relax when you find things to be too hectic. If you have some tools lying around, you can even create a unique shelf for your favorite books, which you read in your free time instead of watching Game of Thrones, because that show gives, even the best of us, mild anxiety. First he was dead, now he is alive, and Brienne is hooking up with whom? Never mind.

        In the End, Be Drawn to Art

        Sorry, I know, my puns are bad and I should feel bad.

        Back to the topic, If it’s any kind of consolation, all of us are stressed. There are simply so many bills, and so little of us. That is why we are on an eternal quest of finding something that makes us happy, that soothes our nerves and that will help us pass the troublesome times, and get to the stuff that really matters. Our family, loved ones, even our pets. So, take a deep breath, and know that only you have the tool to help yourself, and calming down is usually the first step to success.

        Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/BHNxfaeNCTI via pexels.com

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Last Updated on September 28, 2020

        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

        At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

        Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

        One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

        When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

        So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

        Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

        This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

        Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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        When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

        Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

        One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

        Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

        An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

        When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

        Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

        Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

        We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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        By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

        Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

        While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

        I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

        You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

        Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

        When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

        Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

        Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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        Con #2: Less Human Interaction

        One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

        Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

        Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

        This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

        While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

        Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

        Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

        This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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        For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

        Con #4: Unique Distractions

        Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

        For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

        To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

        Final Thoughts

        Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

        We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

        More About Working From Home

        Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

        Reference

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