In our last article, we talked about the ways art therapy helps your brain. This week, we have compiled a list of art therapy activities you can use this month. These activities are a great way to engage your right brain, lower stress, be fully present, and bring back memory function that may have been lost due to trauma, depression, or anxiety. When our emotion mind overwhelms us, art is a wonderful tool to get you into your wise mind and back on track. Here are 6 different art therapy activities that will help:
Watercolor your bodily state. Start with a visualization- close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine that you are breathing different colors into your body. Use that as a way to get centered and in touch with yourself. Then, draw an outline of your body and use watercolor to color it in with whatever shade matches the emotion you are feeling at that time. This will help you get acquainted with your emotions and figure out what you can do to move past them.
Make a word collage. Instead of making a visual collage, try making a collage with words that jump out to you using magazines, old books, newspapers, etc. Using the words that are inspiring to you, create a story or go with the flow and make something completely outside of the box. You are in control!
Create a color collage. Humans are impacted by colors. Embody the color you are feeling by cutting out pictures of that color and making a collage out of it. This will help you recognize and understand your feelings, and help you honor them and move past them.
Create a doodle chain. Start by doodling one thing and let your imagination take you away. You might start with a squiggle or a square–there are no wrong answers. With this activity, there is less pressure to make something ambitious and grand. Instead, it focuses on freedom and the ability to make something without being attached to what it looks like or the outcome.
Create a past or future self-portrait. Create a self-portrait of the side of yourself that you are leaving behind, or the version of yourself that you feel you have outgrown. Imagining who you were in the past, whether it be your childhood self or who you were two years ago, can help your brain with memory function. Additionally, you can create a self-portrait of who you want to become and where you see yourself in the future.
Draw or build a “safe space”. If the world feels unsafe to you, create a place where you can feel happy and safe in your art. Close your eyes and meditate–get into that space that makes you feel calm, still, and light. This can be somewhere in nature, a fantasy land, or even your grandparent’s house. Paint, draw, or collage what you envision and let that peaceful and calm feeling envelop you.
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, history, and learning about other people.