Stress Management Part 2: Everyone is an Artist

Stress Management Part 2: Everyone is an Artist

Studies have shown that creating art reduces cortisol (stress hormone) within 45 minutes. There are lots of ways to be creative, and you can be as elaborate as you would like. There is no right or wrong way to create art.

Visual Art

  • Coloring Books. There are some fantastic themed and mandala coloring books for adults.
  • Zentangle Doodling. I personally love this form of drawing. Basics: paper and a pencil or markers etc. Take your piece of paper and draw a line from one edge of your paper to the opposite edge. Now draw 4 or 5 more lines from any edge to another edge. Your lines can be straight, curved or wavy. Now you have sectioned off spaces. Within those spaces you can create patterns and shapes. You can use all different colors or simply black and white. Search “zentangle patterns” online for ideas.
  • Mandala Journaling. In your journal trace a circle. Create any images you would like inside and/or outside the circle.
  • Digital Photo Collage. Most of us have smartphones with a camera. For a week, 2 weeks, or a month — whatever your personal set amount of time is – collect pictures of things that make you happy, things that you are grateful for, things that you find beautiful, or even things you simply find interesting or funny. After your time frame is up, use a free app to compile them all together in a collage.

Writing & Creative Writing


Many people love the idea of journaling, but they have a difficult time getting started. Here are some prompts you might find helpful:

  • What things make you happy?
  • What are you proud of yourself for?
  • What do you need to forgive yourself for?
  • What is your favorite memory?
  • What are you most grateful for right now?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • What is inspiring to you? Why?
  • What is causing you stress right now?
  • What do you need to heal?
  • What “items” are in your self-care toolkit?

There are tons of journaling prompts that you can find with a quick Google search or on Pinterest.


For those who find writing prose challenging haiku poetry is an interesting alternative. A haiku must have three lines. The lines must follow the 5-7-5 format: The first line is 5 syllables. The second line must have 7 syllables, the third line must have 5 syllables.

Things to think about: How am I feeling? What is my favorite season? What object or thing is my subject?

Example: Outward Observation

Bird sits on a wire
His song welcomes the evening
Sun begins to set

Example: Inward Observation

Frustration within
Clawing at my chest in fear
Darkness consumes me

It’s Music to my ears!

Have you ever listened to a piece of music and were so overcome with emotion that you cried? Have you listened to a piece of music and go goosebumps? Often music helps us connect with emotions that we are having a hard time understand or verbalizing. So, turn up your stereo or put on those headphones and listen to your favorite music!

Dance your heart out

Since we are talking about music… don’t forget to dance to your music. Dance like no one is watching. Move with the music however you like. Are you living with roommates or family members? Grab a dance partner and get moving.

Move smarter. Live better.

There are many choices we can make and things that we can do to take some control back of our daily routines. Creating an integrative wellness routine will help provide some structure to your day as well as relieve some of your stress and anxiety during this time of reflection, change and renewal.

This is a four part series.