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Get Physical for Mental Health…with ART!

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

― Shel Silverstein

Why not start February with a quote from one of my favorite children’s book authors?

February is a time of transition.  But, we don’t have to wait for a groundhog to tell us whether we’re getting a few more weeks of winter or not. 

Positive Thinking may not always be easy when it’s still looking bleak outside…

But thankfully, that’s what art is for.

Not sure where to start with art? Start small. Make an INCHIE.

What’s an INCHIE?  Literally a collage that was 1 in tall and 1 inch wide – little miniature thumbnail sketches of how I felt.

I made hundreds when stuck at Yale hospital for months. I love creating inchie art, and in dire medical circumstances, this was the best way to express my uneasiness in the midst of uncertainty.

Each individual inchie expressed a fear, worry or concern I had about my future.

 I called this “Can’t Distract” because I was unable to take my thoughts away from this anxiety.  Rather than deny these thoughts, I made art from them.  Suddenly, they became less scary.  Art made your fears and concerns visual so you can begin to deal with them.

Art makes you comfortable with uncertainty

Just like the uncertainty of Yale hospital I could use my art as a metaphor for the best mindset to have: getting creative with uncertainty.

The pieces I had the most fun creating are the ones that I have no expectations for.  Like life!

 This started by some random shredding and gluing of newspapers, magazines,  coupons, plastic wrap, gum wrappers, and whatever else I was about to throw out.  Then, I spent hours just painting layers and layers of paint, trying to obscure some of the printed text.  Eventually, this face emerged.

 For me, this symbolized the process of finding myself – hard to find at first, but with each and every layer, applied tediously and determinedly with meticulousness and great care, my a face eventually surfaced.

So yes, art is definitely a way to warm up your February…

To get my morning started, I always need to wake up to something physical.  It can be a walk, yoga…but you know what?  Art is a great way to get physical too!  And use all of your senses to create color, light and hope.

Because there is always hope, Detourists!

You’re Not Alone on Your Detour

We all have detours in life, and they are easier to get through when we share them.  Remember to use #LoveMyDetour and show the world that a Detour is Not a Dead End.

And learn how to share your own detour here!  If you want to share anything at all about any detour in your life, I would love to hear – we’re stronger together!

That’s all for this week, Detourists.  I’m off to do some last minute rehearsing…I’ve got a show to do this Sunday! (And it involves NO football)

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
― William Faulkner

using art for mental health

One Reply to “Get Physical for Mental Health…with ART!”

  1. Allikat says:

    Wow I love this post, the pictures really captivate me! I remember the book The Giving Tree! Of course when I was young, I couldn’t see as much value to the lesson of the story as I do now.

    Your quotes and general post just helped amp up my day and definitely increased my motivation! Thank you!

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