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20 Art Therapy Activities You Can Try At Home To Destress

20 Art Therapy Activities You Can Try At Home To Destress

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso

Art therapy is a broad term used to refer to the practice of creating as a way to heal wounds of the mind or spirit. While art therapists are employed with increasing frequency at hospitals, nursing homes, in schools, and in treatment programs for a wide swatch of ailments, the rejuvenating, stress-busting results of such a practice are something we can all benefit from.

Invite your creative side out to dance with these 20 art therapy ideas you can pursue at home:

Design a postcard.

http://chelswireart.blogspot.com/2011/04/art-therapy-without-borders.html

    Have something to say? Give your words extra dimension by literally decorating them yourself. Writing to a person who caused you pain? Consider burning or otherwise destroying the postcard when you’re finished, as a symbol of your decision to move forward. Have the need to send it, but don’t want to invite them back into your life? Mail your anonymous thoughts to Post Secret.

    Give thanks with cards of your own.

    TY card

      Focus on words and thoughts of gratitude, of your own design. Pick up a stack of blank cards and envelopes at a paper or craft store, or simply embellish a pre-made card. Consider offering thanks to those helping you through current troubles, or those who have helped you in the past. Already said “thanks” in person? A card is nice way to let folks know that they made a lasting impact.

      Cut and paste a collage.

      Collage

        Not sure what to do with those advertisements and circulars scattered around the house? Take a pair of scissors to them, and let your imagination run wild. If you are seeking encouragement in a particular area – love, finances, body image, and so on – zero in on images that cause you to feel uplifted and positive, or ones that embody your goals. Use them as pieces of the larger puzzle of both your collage and healing.

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        Make a digital collage.

        Digital collage

          Short on art supplies, or simply more of a computer person? Fire up your laptop, and download one of many free collage programs. You can create a collage from your own photographs and memories, or conduct an online search to find images that resonate with you. Programs such as Photoshop will provide the most options, but more rudimentary programs such as Photoshop Elements, PowerPoint or some Adobe platforms offer enough for a first effort.

          Draw in response to music.

          Music drawing

            Music is a form of art that is often said to move souls. Energize, relax, and otherwise give attention to yours by simply putting a pen or pencil to paper and moving it as the rhythm dictates. Sharp, staccato music may prompt you to draw jagged edges or bold lines; softer rhythms may encourage you to draw waves. Instrumental music is generally a more effective stress-buster than music with lyrics, because the mind is allowed to relax without distraction. If more formalized or finite images begin to emerge, allow it – the point of the exercise is to allow for creation without expectation or restraint.

            Bring a motivational message to a colorful life.

            Visual Journaling

              Do you have a phrase or saying that makes you feel uplifted?  Cut the words out of magazines and arrange an encouraging display. Don’t have a “go to” phrase? Find generic words, such as “happy,” “joy,” “inspire,” and start with a general display of words. Crack open old journals for inspiration, or start a new art journal for your new creations.

              Move those magnetic words around.

              Fridge art

                There is art in manipulating the written word, too. Tap into your inner poet and give yourself something nice to read every time you open the refrigerator door, with fridge art. A box of words can be rearranged in a seemingly infinite number of combinations. For only a few dollars, pick up boxes with theme-based verbiage, or boxes that include graphic images. Running low on inspiration?   Post a poem or story that resonates with you – just because someone else is the author, doesn’t mean you can’t still reap the relaxing rewards.

                Bedazzle the box.

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                Box

                  Most of us have a box of memorabilia tucked away somewhere (or bits of memorabilia scattered everywhere). Get organized and give your treasures a facelift by literally decorating the box you keep them in. Decor can be specific to a set of memories or time period, or more general. Decorating a box is also a great way to add to a time capsule or memory box given as a gift.

                  Create an affirmation you can carry with you.

                  wearable

                    Gain a more frequent boost from your art therapy efforts by creating a product that you can literally carry with you. Whether it’s a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing, or a key chain, choose images, words, and colors that remind you of how and what you want to feel. Not sure how to begin? Attend a class at a local craft store or gallery to get the creative juices flowing and brush up on techniques.

                    Brighten up old clothing.

                    pattern clothing

                      Working through feelings of unworthiness or low self-esteem? Wish you had the budget to completely overhaul your wardrobe? Get thee to the craft store! Spend $20-$50 on beads, bows, even a bedazzler, and give items you already own an update worthy of fabulous you. Have a bit more to spend, and already know your way around the business end of a sewing machine? Pick up a pattern for a new item of clothing, or a book on an easy-to-learn craft, such as knitting.

                      Color it real.

                      Chart

                        Your feelings, that is. Select colored pencils in accordance with what draws you the most, then check out how they correspond to this chart. Don’t overanalyze or think too much about what your choices might “mean.” By taking a second look at your art after it is created, you may gain valuable insight into your underlying feelings.

                        Map out your heart.

                        heart map

                          At a loss for a place to start with art therapy? Go to the source, and a draw a picture of your heart – literally. Fill in the shape with images of the things you desire, dream of, and love.You can find photos, or simply assign a colored section to each corresponding desire. However you do it, your heart will be full both literally and figuratively by the time you finish this exercise.

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                          Capture pain in chalk…

                          Chalk - featured

                            …then wash it away. While one purpose of art therapy is to purge the mind and heart of negative, past, or unwanted emotions, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to create a permanent monument to such emotions. Resolve this dilemma by pouring out your thoughts in chalk. When you’re finished, anything you no longer wish to carry can be literally washed away.

                            Sculpt a better state.

                            play dough

                              Sculpturing doesn’t have to require a lot of space or materials. Make your own play-dough with a few simple ingredients (conduct a quick online search for a variety of recipes), then let your hands and your imagination soar. The malleable stuff is ideal for exploring emotions that you want to work through, without making permanent; anger can even be unleashed when you smash your creation flat. Ready to relax? Mix essential oils into the dough for some aromatherapy. Store leftovers in the fridge for use during your next session.

                              Give art therapy a hand.

                              hand art

                                Use fingerprints to create in a way that unlocks the child in all of us, and provides additional texture to explore. Or, trace your hand and use the colors and textures of your choice to illustrate the things you hope your hands will create. Really need to let loose? Dip your hands in paint and slap some prints on the paper! The release of energy may be just the healing you need.

                                Not feeling drawn to the more traditional arts?  Try one of these, and continue to reap the healing rewards:

                                Redecorate a room.

                                redecorate

                                  It is often said that healing occurs with even more speed and intensity when the external environment is adapted to facilitate and reflect healing. Burn off extra energy and adapt your environment to your needs by rearranging furniture, ridding your space of old things, and adding punches of uplifting color and texture. Remember to save room for vision boards, affirmations, and other products of your art therapy time.

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                                  Gather with friends, and create in public.

                                  Group art

                                    Hesitant to dive into the art world? Gather a group of friends and explore together. Art groups, like book clubs, meet regularly to explore different media and forms of expression at each gathering. Sound like too much of a commitment?  Studios are popping up around the country that allow groups to create under the guidance of an experienced teacher, while enjoying both wine and food at the same time.

                                    String prayer or meditation beads.

                                    Prayer beads

                                      Take a trip to a local craft store and select beads that appeal to you. Remember to grab line for your string and a clasp if desired; fishing line can also work in a pinch. The beads can be of similar shape and color pattern, or can be random. If you intend to carry your prayer beads with you, select beads that are small enough to fit into a pocket or purse. Not finding what you want? A specialty bead store may have more options.

                                      Rake the sand.

                                      Sand raking

                                        Whether you’re taking a fork to a plate of sand on your desk or hauling a truck full of tools to the beach, raking patterns is a good way to release emotions in an economical, non-permanent sense. Your creation can be a deliberate piece, or simply a series of geometric shapes that help you blow off steam. For an added shot of healing power, work on a large enough scale that the physical exertion required to wield your rake both calms and burns off excess energy or anxiety.

                                        Help something grow.

                                        Garden

                                          Gardening is an art form that employs plants as paint and your hands as tools. Whether you build your garden in a small tabletop bowl, or take over an entire hillside for your colorful creation, let your imagination soar. Don’t know much about plants? Spend some time at a local nursery and find out what grows best in your area, and what care requirements are realistic for you. Peruse local books or visit several plant sellers to gather ideas for your arrangement.

                                          Need some convincing that art therapy is a good choice for you?  Consider these 10 Things You Never Knew You Could Learn From Art.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Chalk Drawings at Third Street via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                                          100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                          100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                          Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                                          By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                                          Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                                          83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                                            84 write random letter

                                              85 use a rubberband

                                                86 dorm smell bad

                                                  87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                                    89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                                      90 take a picture of the name card

                                                        91 iron inside out

                                                          92 old newspaper

                                                            93 tumble try shoes

                                                              keep a card like this

                                                                SONY DSC

                                                                  94 soap bar

                                                                    95 make a hole

                                                                      96 drop the battery

                                                                        97 use a coozie

                                                                          98 when taking a picture

                                                                            use a clean dust pan

                                                                              try a pants hanger

                                                                                use your cellphone light

                                                                                  use a spring from an old pen

                                                                                    quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                                      user binder clips

                                                                                        wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                                          put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                                            clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                                              use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                                                doritos are great for kindling

                                                                                                  use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                                    use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                                      freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                                        use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                                          almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                                            sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                                              unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                                                cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                                                  remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                                    turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                                      for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                                        how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                                          tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                                            place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                                              ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                                                use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                                                  take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                                    how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                                      put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                                        How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                                          user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                                            good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                                              turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                                                50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                                                  the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                                    add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                                      38

                                                                                                                                                        hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                                          stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                                            the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                                              how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                                                the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                                                  use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                                    to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                                      user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                                        a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                                          rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                                            use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                                              50

                                                                                                                                                                                51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                                                  52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                                    rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                      kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                                        use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                                          58

                                                                                                                                                                                            59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                                              60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                                                hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                                    hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                                      use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                                        if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                                          keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                              drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

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