Stress Relieving Ideas
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused drastic upheaval in our lives, and we are all searching for ways to relieve anxiety during this trying time.
Whether we are in quarantine, imposing self-isolation or practicing safe social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve, we are all struggling to make sense of the greater implications of the worldwide pandemic.
At the same time, we must deal with our day-to-day lives, which in many cases have been completely disrupted as our kids are required to stay home from school and we ourselves may be working from home.
Naturally, we are all stressed and anxious about the health and safety of our loved ones and the long-term social and economic fallout of the pandemic. As our own anxiety and worries clash with those of our children, the home front can quickly become a hotbed of uncertainty, worry, fear and stress.
How can we reduce our family’s stress levels? What can we do with a houseful of worried people and nowhere to go? What are some creative ways to relieve anxiety?
When you’re looking for a way to relieve some anxiety, choose creative activities. Gather your supplies and prepare your work surface if needed. Turn off all devices, call the family together and settle down for a relaxing hour of creating.
Make a conscious decision not to talk about the current crisis for the time being, but rather focus on what you are doing, the colours you are using, the squishy feel of the dough or the ideas you have for the doodle city.
After trying some of the activities, reflect on how you feel. Is your heart rate a little lower? Are your shoulders a bit more relaxed? Have you just spent half an hour thinking about something other than the current crisis?
Ask yourself where and how you can incorporate art into your everyday life.
If you are facing a couple of weeks or more of isolation, make time each day for an art activity.
There are some ideas below but get the whole family involved in coming up with other creative crafts to make. Assign each family member a day where they get to choose the activity.
When you’re finished with your art activity, encourage members of the family to talk about what their creations mean to them and what they are feeling.
You could also use this as an opportunity to connect with friends and family you aren’t able to see in person by mailing your artwork to them, or simply emailing or texting them pictures of it.
Doing creative activities together as a family is a great way to diffuse some of this anxiety. Art therapy has long been touted as a great stress reliever. Doodling, painting, cutting and pasting have all been shown to lower our cortisol levels, which are a marker of stress. Art can help put us in that meditative state known as the “flow” or “zone,” letting us escape, if only for an hour or so, the relentless anxiety-provoking news cycle.
All of these activities are suitable for any age group. Think finger painting is only for toddlers? Try it! The soothing tactile feeling of squishing paint around on paper is incredibly therapeutic. You don’t even need to produce a finished, recognisable painting at the end of it. Simply the act of painting with your fingers will help calm you down.
Since we are being encouraged to limit our movements outside the home, the following activities are designed to be done with the art supplies many of us likely have around the house already.
All you need are:
Download the list here.
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