Looking for a new coping skill? Drawing, doodling, or trying a new art medium can be rewarding, fulfilling, and valuable coping skills that can help to decrease anxiety and depression while increasing self-esteem and self-worth.
Art is a place where you can put down your thoughts and get them out of your head instead of keeping them inside. If you have a hard time saying how you’re feeling, use a color to show how you feel. It might feel relieving and stress reducing.
Sometimes, artmaking means using your pen and drawing a repetitive shape or using a pencil to sketch something in the room. It can also be using watercolors or oil pastels by simply putting them on paper without expectation. When making art, like any hobby or interest, there is value in making time for it. Try setting aside time at least once a week or every day for 5 minutes. Consistent artmaking can improve mood and reduce stress. Here are three starter prompts to get you going:
Choose a color and move it on a piece of paper for 5 minutes. Move it in any way without expectations and see what happens.
Take a pen or pencil and make a random mark on a piece of paper. What does the line remind you of? Draw an image inspired by the random mark.
Take a medium of your choice and draw a single shape. Draw the shape repeatedly in different sizes and places until the piece of paper is full or you feel finished.
Lou Lim is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.
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