A couple of weeks ago, I facilitated a workshop on self-care through art. Most of the women I met in the workshop hold full time jobs while also taking care of their disabled children or parents. They are BUSY! Like it is for many of us, finding time to do self-care is a real challenge. Whether or not you are responsible for anyone but yourself, I bet you can identify.
No matter how busy you are though, if you decide that you are a priority, you will find 5 minutes in your day for yourself. In the waiting room at the doctor’s office, during the last five minutes of lunch, or while your kids are doing crafts, you could potentially be doing art. Whether or not you feel you have art “talent,” you can the simple self-care cards these women made. In the process of making art, you can release stress, clear your mind, and hopefully surprise yourself with your creativity.
Self-care cards are a great way to get creative in short bursts. Using 2×3 inch rectangles of card stock, I showed the women how to use easy repetitive patterns, blocks of color, and layering paper for simple, but beautiful pieces. (See my samples below, as well as the links.) There is almost always some initial hesitation and anxiety when people are not accustomed to making art, and this workshop was no different. But once everyone got going, the art took on a life of its own and it was hard to get them to stop! Most people did numerous five-minute pieces over the hour. Whenever I work with a new group or client, I am always inspired by people’s courage and creativity. I hope you are inspired by their work and their courage to create too.
Here’s some of the amazing art they produced:
How Can You Make Art on the Go?
If you like the idea of using art for self-care on the go, consider creating and carrying a little portable art kit. With simple materials, you can make your own self-care cards anytime. Use only lines, colors, and images, or incorporate positive messages, quotes, or self-care reminders.
What’s in a Portable Art Kit?
Pens, colored sharpies, and/or metallic paint markers – the metallic ones are so fun!
Small squares of card stock (2 x3 inches)
Scraps of tissue paper, images, or handmade papers and glue
You can carry as little or as much as feels right to you. The point is to have the ability to make art at any time. Here’s just a few samples of what you might do in 5 minutes or less:
What Can You Do with Your Self-Care Cards?
Once you have a collection of self-care cards, you may want to create a larger piece with them. You might decorate a box with special papers, keep them inside, and look at them whenever you need a lift. You also might bind them into a small book. Just punch a hole in the corner of each card and then tie them together with ribbon. You might also create a self-care mobile, like the one pictured here. I used not only markers, paper, and paint, but also incorporated natural materials, scraps of cloth, thread, and string. I used a needle to poke a hole in each card, and tied them to a stick with a piece of string.
Useful Techniques for Portable Art:
Other Sources of Inspiration for Small Art
Resources for Caregivers:
This was their 2nd Annual CARE conference, (Connecting and Advocating Respite for Everyone) held in Marlborough, MA on Friday, May 9th.
How do you squeeze self-care and time for art into your day, your week, or your month? What are your self-care challenges? What’s the smallest thing you could change in terms of your self-care, and how could you implement it? Do you have a portable art kit? Where and when do you use it?