Curbing anxiety and stress with art

Artist full of paint peaking through her fingers

Curbing anxiety & stress with art

With the rise of COVID-19 stay home and do art!

With so much more time at home, it is essential to spend some time flexing your creative muscle. Creativity is a part of the human experience and is not something which ‘some people can do and others cannot’, rather it is a part of how we experience and express our experiences in life.

Art for YOUNGER Children

According to Grace Hwang Lynch, a consultant and mom in the Francisco Bay Area, there are developmental benefits of art for children. For younger children, it aids in developing fine motor skills.

Drawing, sculpting clay, and threading beads can develop visual-spatial skills, it’s important for children to learn how to learn visually as a lot of our world has become visually based such as on our phones and computers.

Making and talking about art gives children opportunities to learn new words and concepts such as colours, shapes, and actions and so helps with language development.

Some advice on giving younger children direction for process-focused art from Leslie Bushara:

  1. Prepare for a mess – Set up space for your child to be free and experiment.
  2. Avoid giving direction – Try not to tell your child what to make or how to make it.
  3. Speak specifically about art – Use concepts like colour, shape, and texture.
  4. Explore your child’s process – Ask them how they made it and if they’ve had fun making it.
  5. Don’t always draw with your child – Sometimes drawing something with your child can frustrate them. Rather try to be interested and supportive but don’t take over what they are doing.
  6. Let it be – When your child finishes their piece of art, try not to criticise it or suggest any changes.  Rather help them build their confidence and help them to feel like what they’ve created is enough.

Art for TWEENS & TEENS

Art encourages children to be inventive, it helps them to use and grow their imaginations, which helps in creating adults who are forward-thinking and who look at problems in new and different ways.

Art also helps children learn decision-making skills through problem-solving and critical thinking.

Art opens doors for better cultural awareness for children, which is important in our diverse society. Art can even improve academic performance.

Art for Adults

You don’t need to paint a masterpiece to reap the benefits of art.  Even the act of colouring in can be therapeutic, taking the time to express creatively and peacefully. Art has been proven to reduce anxiety. It has been proven to help people regardless of age, race, and background to heal from and handle difficult experiences and emotions like fear and worry.
 
Art and art therapy exercises help to foster self-esteem and self-awareness, to cultivate emotional resilience, to promote insight, and to reduce and resolve conflicts and distress. Research also shows that art therapy calms the nervous system and encourages self-expression.
 
With the rise in Covid-19, there is bound to be much more time spent at home. Art is a way of creating and expressing with the whole family that will ultimately relieve some of the tension and pressure put on our lives by this virus.
 

Stay safe. Stay home. Do art. Let’s beat this together.

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