Art Therapy: Mandalas

I read somewhere that drawing mandalas (basically, geometric patterned shapes/designs) could be a good way of coping with stress and anxiety. Having a bit of a creative bent, I thought I’d give it a try. A little art therapy is good for anybody, right? So, for a while, I took to doodling mandalas (most often when I was watching T.V or doing some other mindless task that had me sitting down).

I had mixed results with this activity. On one hand, I think it can be useful to get your mind off things because you’re focused on creating your pattern. It gives you something neutral to concentrate on. This is handy if you’re feeling a bit anxious!  On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s a great task for somebody with perfectionist tendencies (like me) because you will notice every wonky line, uneven shape, etc. Perhaps for the especially self-critical among us, coloring mandalas would be more relaxing and less infuriating (You can find lots of mandala colouring pages online that are free to print off!). Colouring is also pretty popular these days as a way of dealing with stress and anxiety; I do that once in a while too.

One great things about this activity is that it’s pretty easy and incredibly inexpensive to do. All you need is some paper and some sort of writing utensil. I used lined paper and a black pen (plus a red pen to colour one). You can make your mandala very simplistic, or very intricate. If you need some ideas, I recommend looking up images of mandalas for inspiration.

I’ll show a few I did (and I’ll try not to mourn my sloppy line work too much haha!):

If you click on the image, it should enlarge. Number 3 is my favourite 🙂

So, if this seems like something you might enjoy, I suggest giving it a go. Just try not to stress about it too much – I’ll try this too!

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Art post – Ad astra per aspera

I’m afraid I don’t have too much to say today. I’ve been having a bit of a rough time, and I’m still trying to work through the ideas stirring about in my head. It’s difficult for me to put them into words until I’ve made some sense of them.

So, instead of words, I’ll share with you a painting I recently did. The photograph I took of it is not the best representation of it, but it will do. Clicking on the image should open it it full, slightly blurry, resolution.

The words ‘ad astra per aspera’ are Latin for ‘to the stars through hardship’. I heard the phrase not so long ago and even though it’s a bit hokey, it stuck with me.

Painting - 'Ad astra per aspera'

I see so many flaws in this painting. I see places where paint is too thick or thin. I see places where I’d have liked to change the colour a bit. I try not to look at how wonky the letters are, because that’s just plain upsetting!

I’m sure somebody else could look at it and not notice any of those things. I am my own greatest critic.

Despite its flaws, I have this painting sitting in my room. The colour brings me a little happiness. I’ll take whatever little bit of happiness comes my way.

From Anxiety and Depression: Art

As much as I hate to see that other people feel as awful as I do sometimes, there is still something relieving about knowing that you’re not alone with your struggles. I came across some art the other day, all done by a person who struggles with anxiety and depression. I found the pictures so relatable that I had to share some with you. The artist graciously gave me permission to post some pieces; if you’d like to see more, check out imightbedeadtomorrow.tumblr.com or instagram.com/imightbedeadtomorrow.

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