Reduce stress with Creativity!
A strategy to reduce stress and tension and stress is creativity. Creative power has the ability to help us to see new things and solve old problems in new ways. Creative expression has the potential to bring the unconscious, unknown, hidden, and unseen into our sight. The creative process allows us to become aware of our thoughts and feelings, and see how we are being, acting, feeling, thinking, interacting with others. All we need to do is get out of our own way and stop stopping our natural creative flow and move in and with it.
Many people are enslaved and feel compelled to holiday traditions, holiday perfection and having the holiday a certain way. The holidays do not have to be in the family traditional setting even though your great parents, parents, and family did/d it this way. Allow this holiday season to mix change with the tradition with new ideas to enliven the holiday setting.
The intention of the holiday season is to share love, giving and receiving gifts and connecting with family and friends. When you keep this intention in your heart and feel uncomfortable or tense about what you are doing, you know it is time to stop, take a breath, and change directions. Know that is it okay to make changes and do something new! Take some time to nurture and give back to you creating with family and friends, having fun, going for walks, bike rides or the gym.
This weekend I attended an art therapy session with several women participants. It was my first time and I was curious and excited to experience something new. First, the group completed a childhood trauma questionnaire with questions reflecting our childhood experiences. Then the group did an art activity, which was scribbling with our non- dominant hand to help access the right brain.
I scribbled with a crayon in a circular motion. After our scribble, we identified images, forms, and shapes within our scribble. I saw many oval circles all over the paper. Throughout the session, we danced between answering questions and making art.
We made a mailbox to write down our inner messages at any time. The group selected an empty box and decorated it. I chose a black small cigar box with golden oval circles on the front, sides and inside the opening of the box.
I covered the front oval shape and inside oval shapes with beautiful textured golden cloth and then put jewels on it. I made a flower out of orange tulle fabric and placed it inside the box with a jewel in the center of it. When I opened the box, the orange tulle jeweled flowering the center popped up!
The facilitator asked, “What shapes do you see on the box?” I said, oval she told me to look at the archetypal book by Carol Jung and referred me to the “Cosmic Egg.” The “Cosmic Egg” is the oval symbol for the feminine and masculine energies that unite and become perfection. I interpreted the meaning and message of the “Cosmic Egg” of my artwork to circumstances that applied in my life.
Being creative is not always about the product, it also about this process. Yes, creative people paint beautiful paintings, make wonderful music, create sculptures, architectural designs, and invent new ideas. The creative process, also allows for unconscious messages, insights and a new conscious awareness to take shape and have form.
In this experience, my body, mind, soul and spirit was immersed in the process. While focusing and creating art, I let go and became present in the moment. Focused on making art, and the process, my body relaxed, my mind was engaged on creating, enjoying, and having fun. In letting go of the outcome of these creative efforts, I felt a sense of freedom to move and be guided by my own flow and trust the process.
Being creative is our natural impulse as human beings. Let creative expression and art guide you to let go of stress during the holiday season. Stay focused on the intention of the holidays. Allow yourself to do something new that is more relaxing, adds fun, creativity, laughter. Trust in the creative process, to reduce stress. Let creativity guide you to fun steps to move through the holiday season.
Here are just some creative ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season:
1. Make holiday gifts
2. Mix and match the old traditions with something new
3. Bake holiday cookies, fudge, breads, desserts
4. Read holiday magazines and books full of crafty ideas for gifts
5. Color and scribble with your non-dominant hand OR with your eyes closed alone or with your family.
6. Play games, or build things with children.
7. Create a holiday collage with old magazines for strategizing achieving all your holiday gifts and goals
8. Create a holiday banner with paints, pastels, markers, or crayons for the family holiday.
9. What are changes you can make, to enliven and have fun with the family traditions?
10. Come up with new ideas and enjoy creativity as a new coping strategy for the holiday season. Dance through the holidays enjoying doodling, scribbling, painting, dancing, baking, cooking, building, creating new projects, experimenting with new ideas, fun, and the freedom to be in the creative moment!