Art therapy activities for wellbeing

An art journal with a collage style page.

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Art therapy can be used to help with expression and communication. It allows you to express your emotions and feelings in a creative way. Often actions speak louder than words, art therapy can help you to understand your feelings and emotions which can have a positive impact on your mental health.

Are you struggling with anxiety and depression? Do you feel low and overwhelmed? Working through your emotions in a creative way could lead to a much happier life. You don’t have to be an artist to practice art therapy. Unless you chose to share it; no one needs to see what you create when you practice art therapy. It’s something that is personal to you and can help you in so many ways.

Today I want to share with you some of my favourite art therapy ideas. These ideas will help you to connect with your emotions and start the process of healing and improving your mental health and wellbeing.

1 – Create an art journal 

Art journaling is a way to express your emotions and feelings. Use colour and images to express how you’re feeling. You can experiment with different types of media such as photographs, paints, colouring pencils, collage and much more. You can use an art journal every day and document your life, or you can just use it once a week or once a month. Your art journal will become something that is very personal. Use it as somewhere to write down exactly what you’re feeling. Often just by writing an emotion down it can feel like a weight has been lifted.

2 – Colouring books 

Adult colouring books have become very popular in recent years. Colouring can create a calming effect on the mind and soul. If you’ve had a long day at work and are feeling stressed and anxious; simply colouring for 15 minutes when you get home can help to reduce stress and anxiety from the day. Why not try putting some calming music on in the background to create a relaxing atmosphere?

a colouring book with colouring pencils

3 – Create a vision board 

Creating a vision board can help you to visualise what you want your future to look like. Having something to visually look at can make it seem more real. We all have dreams and hopes. Start to think about what your dream life will look like and create a vision board based off of this. Hang it on your bedroom wall and take some time each day to think about how you’re working towards creating your dream life. During times of anxiety and uncertainty, it’s good to have something positive to visualise for your mental wellbeing.

4 – Design your favourite quote 

We all have a favourite motivational quote. Create an art design using your favourite quote. Use paints and pens, photographs and collage pieces to represent your quote and what it’s about. Hang your design up on a wall where you’ll be able to see it every day.

5 – Draw your favourite memories 

It could be a childhood memory or time that you’ve spent with family and friends. Draw an image to represent your favourite memories. It’s good for our wellbeing to look back on happy memories and reflect on them. Think about why these memories are so special and why they mean so much to you.

6 – Draw your emotions and feelings 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious then draw your feelings. Sometimes it’s easier to use colour and images to represent a feeling rather than using words. Think about what you’ve drawn and use this as something to reflect on. Are there ways that you can improve these negative feelings? Do you know what is causing you to feel this way?

7 – Create a scrapbook of memories 

Scrapbooking is a good way to document your life. You can include the high points and low points. Use your scrapbooks to look back on overtime. You’ll see how much your life has changed. You’ll see how much you’ve grown and accomplished and it’ll make you feel strong and accomplished! We often get stuck in a bit of a rut and we don’t look back at how far we have actually come. Documenting your life in a scrapbook will provide you with something to look back over when you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

8 – Create a calming collage 

Uses colours, photographs and pictures that make you feel calm and create a collage with them. We all find certain places and situations calming. Focus on these places and create some artwork based on it. You could frame it and hang it in your bedroom, or create a piece of art in your journal that you can look back on.

9 – Create a life map 

Use visual materials and creative processes to create a life map. Think about how you want your life to look and what you want to achieve. Visually putting something down on paper often helps to make it feel more achievable.

10 – Create a ‘brain dump’ journal 

Often a lot of our anxieties and worries come from worrying about too many things at once. Use a journal as a brain dump. Every night before you go to bed use your brain dump journal to write down anything that’s on your mind. This will help you to get a better nights sleep as you’ve written it down and don’t have to store these thoughts in your head. You can make your braindump visual and categorise things by colour/ sections.

I hope you find these art therapy activities helpful. If you have any other art therapy suggestions then please leave me a comment below!

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