September is usually a month of some big decisions for me. As many people make new year’s resolutions, and decide to restart their life a bit each January, that’s what I usually do in September.
It marks the beginning of a new school and college year. And it’s right after the summer when I usually have some time to relax and get many new ideas I start to implement from September. It helps that my birthday is also in August. And, you know how each year you make some new resolutions how in that year you’re going to be happier, better or something else.
Well, contrary to all of my previous Septembers when I’d usually start bazillion new projects, I decided to slow down a bit this one. Maybe I’m just getting older (or wiser), but after the last few months, I just need some quiet time. And I decided to fill it with some art.
Let’s slow down a bit
I felt under huge stress lately, and after talking with some of my friends, I’ve realised they feel the same kind of anxiety and pressure on a daily basis. And what struck me the most was how we’re all taking it as something normal. And somehow we got used to it as a part of our lives.
But is it normal? I don’t think so.
That’s why this September I decided to slow down a bit. And use some art for the more quality stress-free time. It’s something that always calms me down. Somehow, everything just slows down a bit when you’re at the museum, reading a book or creating some art yourself.
And probably we all need to slow down a bit, so why not use art to do that?
My Art Healing
If you’d like to join me in slowing down with some art, here are some practical tips and advice.
Everyone has an art form they prefer, so of course, pick up the one you love if you’d like to use some art to slow down. However, let’s start with some tips to make more time in your life for some art.
Turn off the TV
Are you busy and feel like you don’t have time to read, paint or squeeze any art in your life? Turn off the TV then!
According to the Nielsen report, an average adult person in the US spends five hours and five minutes each day in front of the TV. That’s more than 77 days per year. Just imagine what could you do with all that time.
Lose the phone
Another vast time-consuming activity is spending time on your phone. I’m the first one who’s guilty of that.
There is an app you can install on your phone that’s showing you how much time you spend on it. Try to limit your phone time to specific periods. Turn off the notifications, so you won’t pick it up each time you hear them.
By spending less time on those two, I’m sure you’ll free up a few hours each day for some art.
Creative time to stress less
Making a big change in your life always feels overwhelming. But, if you’ll start with small steps, it won’t feel that big of a deal at all.
# – Read a book per month
I’m always reading in bed before going to sleep. But, the thing is I was mostly reading on my phone – blogs, websites or just scrolling through my Facebook feed. And, of course, it wasn’t the best thing to do for my good night sleep.
So, a couple of months ago, I’ve joined the local library and started reading books in an old fashion way again. And it felt completely different. I started going to bed earlier, just to have more time to read. The feeling of having a paper book in my hands and going through the pages felt so relaxing.
And although my goal was to read a book per month, I’m actually reading a book per week now. I’ve got completely hooked on reading again.
Culture Tourist Book Club. I’m recommending a book each month. And, of course, all the titles are fiction, memoirs or biographies somehow linked to art, travel or history.TIP: Because of my newly discovered (old) passion, I decided to start a
# – Visit more museums or galleries
To me, museums are the places where I feel completely calm. It feels like the time stands still there, and is passing just a bit slower than at the outside world.
Slowly strolling through them, and exploring the details on paintings and other exhibits, is the best form of art therapy for me.
TIP: It could be a bit challenging to visit the museums lately, but from what I saw during the last few months they are not packed, and I had a feeling of being safe inside of them. However, do what feels the safest for you. Visit them early in the morning or go to some quiet art galleries where you’ll be the only one there.
# – Listen to some music
When I was a teenager, I was listening to music all the time. I had my favourite bands and albums, and whatever I was doing, they were my daily soundtrack. But, then, with the time, I started to listen to those songs less, and my days became quieter.
However, music is relaxing, and lately, I remembered that teenager who enjoyed the life filled with songs. Whatever you do, play some nice music and appreciate how it makes everything so much more beautiful.
# – Read more about art
Another way to beat stress by bringing more art into your life is by reading more about art. I love browsing through some extensive art monographs and just enjoying looking at some of the most famous world art pieces. If you don’t have that chance, you can take a look at some of my virtual museum visits dedicated to specific paintings, artists or art movements.
Check them out on the links below:
- Johannes Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum
- Van Gogh and his Sunflowers
- Monet and the Water Lilies
- Jan van Eyck at MSK in Ghent
- Impressionists at Musée d’Orsay
- Still Lifes at the Rijksmuseum
# – Look for art around yourself
Slowing down and noticing the little things around you is also a great way to reduce stress and bring more art into your everyday life. Look for some street art when taking a walk. Or check out that interesting shadow on the sidewalk. Search for some interesting colours, textures or contrasts. You’ll be surprised how much art you can see around you when looking for it.
TIP: Use your phone camera and take pictures of some interesting things you’ll find around you. It can become a great personal art project. Create an Instagram profile for it or just a folder on your computer. I’m sure it’s going to bring you a lot of joy.
# – Create some art
And that leads us to my last point. They say art is healing, and art therapy is a big thing right now.
If you feel stressed, reserve some time in your day or week to create some art. I love acrylic paint, but you can go with whichever technique that suits you. If you feel like you’re missing some basics, join some of the art workshops organised close to you or online.
It’s so important to find the right balance in your life. And to try to live a stress-free life by including more art into it. I hope these tips are going to be useful to you.