Reducing Stress Through Art Making
Art for you and your family
Stress is one of those things that we all have, we all talk about, we all struggle with, especially in difficult times such as the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have all heard about how there is good stress and bad stress and that stress can help us get our tasks done and all of that, but let’s be honest Global Pandemic goes way beyond any healthy stress levels.
I am an artist as well as an Art Therapist so naturally I tend to gravitate towards creativity and art making pretty much every spare moment I can. I recently re-read an article that was published in the American Art Therapy Journal in 2016 about a study that was conducted that showed that art making reduces cortisol levels in the body. ALL of the participants that took part, showed a decrease is salivary cortisol after engaging in art making. I mean, WOW! I always knew that art making was awesome but this is really cool! It doesn’t matter if you call yourself an artist or not, just get lost in the process and allow yourself to play. That’s right, I said “play”. We are all creative in different ways we just have to find what speaks to us.
When we experience stress, it is important to have multiple ways to deal with that stress. I like to use the image of a toolbox.
Have you ever tried to unscrew a screw with a butter knife? It might work, but its pretty slow going and probably isn’t your best choice but in a pinch it can work. Well, the more tools that we have in our toolbox, the better prepared we are when something arises. Maybe you always get together with friends when your stressed, but what happens when that isn’t an option? Maybe your child likes to go to the gym when they are feeling anxious… The more tools you can have at your fingertips the better chance you will have of dealing with the issue.
Here are some ideas for you and your family. Afterall, we all can use some decreased cortisol levels right now! Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!
And remember EARTH without ART is just EH
Trisha Clifford-Sprouse MA ATR
- Bubbles from dish detergent
- Make a giant bubble wand
- Paint rocks with acrylic paint and leave them somewhere outside for people to find them
- Make our own Tempera or Finger Paint
- Make your own playdough
- Create a train out of boxes. If you have large boxes, each child can paint their own car and use it as a costume, Just use duct tape to make shoulder straps
- Make a family scrapbook together
- Sidewalk chalk
Homemade Bubble Solution:
- Get a large cup.
- Pour 1/2 cup of dishsoap into the cup.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Measure 2 teaspoons of sugar and add it to the water/soap
- Gently stir your mixture.
- Go outside and blowbubbles!
Giant Bubble Wand:
- 4 feet of yarn or string, cut into two pieces. One that is 1 foot and one that is 3 feet.
- Two pencils or dowels,
- a washer, nut, or paperclip for the longer piece of yarn
- 2 small screw eyes if you have them Tie it onto the dowel if you don’t
- Mix an egg yolk with watercolor paint, food coloring or koolaide.
- (This may stain so be careful)
Homemade Paint 2
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- Bring to boil
- Add coloring, watercolor paint, food coloring or koolaide.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- Food coloring (optional)
Mix it all together until smooth