Positive Distractions: Create a self-care ‘toolkit’ or list of your favourite things that you can go to that will serve as positive and healthy distractions when your mind is not in a good place.
Some ideas below:
Something tactile, soft and comforting, like a cosy blanket, a soft toy, etc.
A colouring book, pens and pencils.
Arts and crafts materials such as paper, card, stickers, pens.
Beautiful pictures or postcards of calming scenes such as nature scenery, animals, or photos of friends and loved ones that don’t ‘trigger’ you but only bring about positive and helpful emotions.
Some mood lifting songs.
A journal where you can write out and express your thoughts.
A book of puzzles or mind teaser computer games such as cards or word games (avoid anything with too much noise, visual stimuli or emotional content).
A favourite or sentimental object that makes you feel happy.
A stress ball, children’s play dough, slime or putty, that feels relaxing when you hold it.
A book of beautiful pictures.
A bar of your favourite chocolate, dark chocolate is good for you (in moderation like everything of course) so if you like that maybe you can choose a bar of dark chocolate.
Some calming scents, such as a fragrant wax lavender candle, something that gives of a calming aroma without you having to light it, some essential oils which you can also get in the form of a room spray, lightly scented hand cream, etc.
A book to ‘doodle’ and draw in.
Cosy socks / slippers.
A cosy cardigan or jumper.
Stencils to create patterns.
A favourite book that has a positive message.
A DVD of your favourite film – preferably something uplifting or light-hearted like a comedy.
Audiobooks (that will not be ‘triggering’ for you).
Encouraging, inspiring and uplifting podcasts, Ted Talks, etc.
Anything else that you know will help, calm and soothe you in those difficult moments.
I’m trying to get back into adult colouring in again, as I have only really been able to do a little bit here and there, so here is a picture I started and finished this morning – which is the first one I have completed in a while. This is from the lovely colouring book, ‘Nature’s Beauty’, with the original black and white picture shown in the insert below. I hope it brightens up your day a little 🙂 x
This is my latest completed double page spread in my adult colouring book, Ivy & The Inky Butterfly by Scottish illustrator, Johanna Basford. I used Staedtler ergo soft pencils, Faber Castelle Aquarelle pencils and Staedtler fine-liner pens.
This book by Johanna is a beautifully illustrated story book filled with enchantment and wonder, and lots of ‘goodies’ to colour such as jewels, butterflies, flora and fauna, treasure, owls, toadstools and even a few dragons, to name but a few!
I completed this picture today after being sent home early from work as we are experiencing a snow blizzard!! Just the right thing to turn a chilly snow day into a cosy relaxing afternoon. I hope the colours and Johanna’s beautiful illustrations bring a smile to your face. xx
With the nights growing longer, and the days colder, as leaves begin to turn from green to vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, and then fade once more into grey, and fall and turn to dust, the evenings have become a perfect time for some cosy indoor activities.
So, I am attempting to learn to draw. I have always loved to doodle, but I have never taken an art class in my life, and I have never really known where to begin. I’m no artist, just a beginner, and I would love to learn and develop so much more.
This week I have been sketching and watching You Tube videos in my attempt to figure out just where to start. Here are four completed pictures that I have done. They aren’t great, as I’m just a beginner, but they made me smile and I hope they make you smile too.
I would love to hear from people who have been drawing for a while, and for whom art is ‘their thing’. Do you have any advice for a newbie / beginner? And any feedback on what I have done in my first week?
Thanks so much. Hoping to come across some blogs with some beautiful and interesting original artwork to help inspire me in this creative journey.
As someone who struggles with anxiety and panic attacks, amongst other things, the dream of living fully is offset by the daily reality of having to manage the practicalities of these health conditions.
However, I have found a huge health benefit in the practice of adult colouring in. I realise that some people find the concept bizarre and even laughable, yet before you ‘turn the page’ if you are currently of that opinion, might I entice you to stick around for a while by telling you that I have found it immensely beneficial on a number of levels?
Anxiety and severe anxiety and depression are very difficult conditions to manage. Sufferers find that their minds and bodies are on a constant ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. It is hard to calm the breathing, the nervous system, and at times this can even manifest as intense physical pain.
It has taken time, but I have found that the creative and ‘analogue’ outlet of colouring in has been beautifully therapeutic. When you colour you are more ‘present’ in the moment, your breathing slows and racing thoughts slowly settle on observing the image in front of you, thinking about colour choices, feeling the texture of the pen or pencil against the grain of the paper. Added to that, there is a satisfaction of having collaborated in creating something, adding life and colour to the artist’s beautiful illustrations.
The above images are pictures that I have coloured from the beautiful artwork of Johanna Basford’s ‘Secret Garden’, and Daria Song’s ‘The Time Garden’. Both of these illustrators are accomplished and bring their own sense of wonder to their pages. Johanna Basford is a great advocate of the idea of ‘collaboration’ between the illustrator and the ‘colourist’.
I personally find the world of adult colouring in a vibrant, enchanting and healing place to dwell.