Mommy stress! It’s something that we all have to deal with. It’s 9 a.m. and you’ve already been up for four hours. So far you’ve washed two loads of clothes (and they’re still sitting crumpled in the basket waiting for someone to fold them), made three lunches, fed your kids totally separate meals, braided your preschooler’s hair, bathed the baby and managed to find five out of the six shoes that you’re looking for. You’re ready to pull your hair out and are beginning to daydream of a totally kid-free zone.
While a day at the spa sounds like a delight, it’s about as likely to happen as winning the lottery at this point. Instead of giving in to the stress, let it go and relax with an art activity. Sure, your kids make tons of arts and crafts projects. But, what about you? Think about the sweet smiles that cross your kids’ faces as they paint, print and play with clay. Do they look super-stressed? Most likely not.
Art can help you to relax. A study of college students one week before final exams (remember how stressful that was?) found that art-making activities reduced anxiety, according to Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. Instead of sitting back while your kids craft, join in. This doesn’t mean that you need to direct them or take over the project. Act like one of the kids, and do what they do.
Use art to relax, and:
· Grab your own piece of paper, paint or play clay. Don’t add on to your child’s project. Instead, make something of your own.
· Enjoy the process. Who cares if your self-portrait looks more like a Picasso than a picture? No one does. Get into the process of the art-making and don’t worry about the end product.
· Use your senses. Feel the cool paint slip between your fingers, roll the soft play clay under your palms or watch as the glitter glue catches the sun as it drips on to your paper.
· Close your eyes for a moment. Take a beat to truly relax and let go. Grab some finger paint, shut your eyes and de-stress as you spread the mess onto a piece of paper.
· Remember what it was like to be a child. Think back to a time before you had responsibilities and a crazy-packed schedule. Let the thoughts of the credit card bill, preschool payment, carpool list, soccer schedule and empty fridge go.
Not sure what to create? Here are a few of my favorites:
Shaving Cream Paint: Add a few drops of food coloring to shaving cream. Smear it around on a piece of cardboard or slide it over wax paper. Use a sensitive skin or aloe formula to make the relaxing art activity a moisturizing beauty bath for your hands.
Paint With Clay: Smudge and “finger paint” with dime-sized balls of clay. They’ll stick to the paper underneath. The more that you smear and pull the clay, the more stress you can get out.
Paint Splatter: Dip a brush into tempera paint and toss it on a piece of paper. Let go of any anger or bottled up frustration as you fling the paint. Take it outside to make less of a mess in your house.
Textured Finger Paint: Add sand, coarse salt or sugar to finger paint. The sensory experience will relax you and the added texture works as an exfoliator.
Are you looking for more art ideas to try with your child? Follow my Pinterest board for activities galore!Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.