In our busy and digitally-saturated world, it can be hard to remember the benefits of slowing down and engaging in a little self-care. Between work, family, friends, hobbies, podcasts and Netflix shows to watch, who has time for anything else? Well... me! I'm an artist and I recognize that my ability to create is my greatest asset. As such, I've taken steps to ensure that I slow down every day so that I can continue creating. My favorite way to do this is through therapeutic art practices. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Make a list of 3 highlights from the day
In order to start a new habit, you need to make it as easy as possible. So, my first suggestion is to find a way of writing down your goals that's simple and easy to integrate into your daily routine. The pen-and-paper approach works best for me—I find that if I'm writing on a computer, I tend not to take the time necessary for each item on the list. The ritual of physically writing out my goals helps me stay focused and deliberate about what I want in life.
After collecting your thoughts in this way, read through them at least once before bedtime so they're fresh in your mind when you wake up in the morning (or if they're already fresh) throughout your day: maybe during lunch break or while waiting at traffic lights/sitting at traffic jams...basically anywhere where there's nothing else going on but thinking time! If possible use something with good quality paper(!) so that it feels like an art project instead of just another thing we have no time for."
2. Doodle something!
Doodling is a great way to relax, increase focus and creativity, reduce stress, and boost memory. This simple art practice is so under-appreciated it's almost criminal! I'll admit: I used to be one of those people who thought doodling was just a waste of time. Why would anyone want to draw when they could be doing something more productive? But then my therapist showed me how powerful doodling can actually be when it comes to improving mental health. She even said that sometimes she uses her own doodles as part-of her counseling process with clients!
I use this technique all the time now because it helps me relax after a long day at work or right before bedtime so I can fall asleep faster without worrying about anything else on my mind (like bills). You should definitely give it a try if you're feeling stressed out or anxious because it really does work wonders for calming down your thoughts and getting into an alpha state where everything feels safe again."
3. Paint for 5 minutes
I know, painting for 5 minutes is super simple. But that's kind of the point!
Anyone can sit down and paint for 5 minutes. No matter where you are, or what your schedule looks like. You don't have to have an expensive set up to get started (although if you're new to painting or want some serious quality time with your craft supplies, I recommend investing in a few good brushes).
And by doing this regularly, it will help shift some of those negative thought patterns into more positive ones because you are actively taking care of yourself and showing yourself the love that we all deserve!
Join me and others that are practicing self-care everyday through creative outlets
Join me and others that are practicing self-care everyday through creative outlets. In a world full of stress, anxiety, sadness, and anger—we need more self-care than ever before. It's time for us to take a step back from our busy lives and reconnect with ourselves.
Creative outlets can help us do this by giving us an opportunity to express ourselves in ways that feel authentic and meaningful. Whether we're making art or music or writing—creative expression gives us an outlet for any emotions we're feeling at the moment.
I hope these tips were helpful. The more you practice, the easier it will become to incorporate these practices into your everyday life. Feel free to comment below with how you are using art in your life and I look forward to hearing from you!
Hello, my name is Sheree Rayford, and I'm the artist behind Sheree Rayford Creative Services. I am a certified professional Photographer and self-taught Artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. My photography has been published in WWD, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Elle magazines. I am also a certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach, utilizing ancient and modern techniques to help my clients unlock the power of their subconscious mind, allowing them to release emotions, find clarity, and process pain. My family and I are originally from the Midwest (Madison, Wisconsin #GoBadgers) and are now living in Fairfield, California. After climbing the ranks in a career with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, I left the corporate world for a life in the sun and decided to pursue my creative passions! My goal is to use my art to similarly inspire creativity in others. I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world, Jeff, and have three amazing children, TJ, Jayvon and Rhylee. I love my family beyond measure and am obsessed with coffee and long strolls down the aisles of Target.