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3 Creative Activities to Reconnect to Yourself

When was the last time you paused to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, or the sensations swirling inside your body? This morning? Last week? Who knows?

Unless we’re feeling significant emotional or physical pain, we usually focus on external factors that require our attention right now (like kids, work, laundry). Which, of course, is understandable. After all, on top of the usual busyness and full days, we’re slowly coming out of a global pandemic. 

We’re just trying to stay above water. 

Even with so many stressors around us and within us, we can reconnect to ourselves. And we don’t need hours or even 30 minutes to do so. Carving out 5 or 10 minutes of intentional, thoughtful self-reflection can go a long way. 

Artist, teacher, and interfaith minister Janet Slom, MFA, has written a beautiful book filled with innovative exercises to check in and dig deeper. Today, I’m sharing three activities from  An Artful Path to Mindfulness: MBSR-Based Activities for Using Creativity to Reduce Stress & Embrace the Present Moment

What I love about these activities is how they invite us to get out of our heads and into our bodies. They invite us to call upon our imaginations and see and think about ourselves in unique ways. 

Being the Wind

Begin by drawing the sensation of the wind, of the movement of air as it enters and leaves the body. Without thinking too much about it, express the flow and sense of air. Reflect on what you feel inside your body. Next stand up and stretch your arms above your head, reaching as high as you can, mimicking the wind.

Bend. Stretch. Step. Lunge. Move your arms slowly and quickly as the wind. Do this for several minutes and then stop. Refocus on the sensations in your body. Journal about your experience and your feelings. Are you experiencing an emotion or sensation you weren’t aware of? 

Being the River

Take three deep breaths and visualize a river. Think about the feelings and sensations you’ve experienced while being at a river’s edge or seeing a river in an image or movie. Feel into the sound of the river after a storm or when it’s still. Visualize the trees and vegetation that surround it. Feel into the banks.

According to Slom, “Do they feel like a container or a holding place or confining and restrictive?…The river flows in its ‘river-ness.’ It does not try to be an ocean. It does its natural thing as it flows and moves around.” 

Using your art materials, express the feeling of the river flowing, being still, moving, gushing, pooling. Express your interpretation of the river and how being a river feels. When you’re done, look at your creation and reflect on how this exercise felt. Reflect on the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that arose. Reflect on whether you were surprised by what you created. 

Being the Tree

Imagine a tree as a metaphor for yourself. What kind of tree are you? For example, how tall are your branches? Do you have leaves or flowers? Is there a treehouse?

Then draw your tree. As Slom writes, “Each branch can carry a message, a reminder of gifts to include in your daily practice. As some of the leaves fall, what do they represent? How can you express this letting go? What is included in the new growth?”

When doing these exercises, remember to be gentle, kind, and curious. Approach the process with patience and understanding. Take a playful approach. You are a deep well, and there is so much richness to discover. 

Photo by Katarzyna Kos on Unsplash

3 Creative Activities to Reconnect to Yourself


Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com. She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.


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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2020). 3 Creative Activities to Reconnect to Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2020/05/3-creative-activities-to-reconnect-to-yourself/

 

Last updated: 30 May 2020
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.