100 Art Therapy Exercises

_100 Art Therapy Exercises

By Shelley Klammer


Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful exercises.

  1. Draw or paint your emotions. In this exercise, you’ll focus entirely on painting what you’re feeling.
  2. Create an emotion wheel. Using color, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  3. Make a meditative painting. Looking for a creative way to relax?  Have trouble sitting still to meditate?  Meditative painting might be just the thing you’re looking for.  No painting skill or experience necessary – only a desire to relax and become more creative.
  4. Put together a journal. Journals don’t have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  5. Explore puppet therapy. Puppets aren’t just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  6. Use line art. Line is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you’re feeling.
  7. Design a postcard you will never send. Are you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don’t have to ever send it.
  8. Create a family sculpture. For this activity, you makes a clay representation of each family member– mother, father, siblings, and any other close or influential family members to explore emotional dynamics and roles within your family.
  9. Paint a mountain and a valley. The mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  10. Attach a drawing or message to a balloon. Send away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
  11. Draw Your Heart. Draw your feelings in a heart formation.

Remix ThisMandala 100 art therapy exercises

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you’re looking to feel a little more laid back.

  1. Paint to music. Letting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  2. Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you’ll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.
  3. Finger paint. Finger painting isn’t just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading the paint around.
  4. Make a mandala. Whether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  5. Draw with your eyes closed. Not being able to see what you are drawing intensifies fluidity, intuition, touch and sensitivity.
  6. Draw something HUGE. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release emotion as you’re drawing.
  7. Use color blocks. Colors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you’ve created a colorful masterpiece.
  8. Let yourself be free. Don’t allow yourself to judge your work. If you think your paintings are too tight and controlled, this collection of tips and techniques to try should help you work in a looser style.
  9. Only use colors that calm you. Create a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.
  10. Draw in sand. Like a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  11. Make a zentangle. These fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  12. Color in a design. Sometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  13. Draw outside. Working en plein air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you’re working on art.


More therapies on self, trauma, gratitude, inside the mind and more at:



Some good News for a Change

Slide 1 of 51: Some days, it feels like all you hear about is the planet getting warmer, prices getting higher, and the country becoming more divided. And on those days, a little bit of good news can go a long way. Fortunately, there's a lot of that to go around if you know where to look. For example, have you heard about quokkas, the adorable animals that always look like they're smiling? Or did you know that the voice actors behind Minnie and Mickey Mouse were married in real life? Prepare to be completely inspired by these and more feel-good facts! And for more simple tricks that will bring a smile to your face, check out the 17 Things Happy People Do Every Morning.

Photo by Best Life

See all 50 reasons to make you smile at:



How to Not Go Insane When You Live Alone During COVID-19

Copy By: Madeline Galassi
Feature Image By: @madelinegalassi

It’s been over a week of self-isolation (and even longer since being in our office), and I’ve had to buckle down and take control of my days to prevent myself from going crazy. There have been some rough moments, but these are the ways my extroverted self has made these unpredictable days a little more bearable while living alone.

1. Set a schedule—and stick to it.

I’m not generally a big schedule person—especially on work-from-home days. But during this unconventional time, I’ve discovered how vital a schedule is to my days. Working in an office naturally leads to a routine—waking up, getting ready, heading out for your commute at the same time. But working from home? It’s a free-for-all.

Every workday, I write down my schedule in the morning and stick to it for my entire workday. I write in physical activity and breaks and meals (not just cheese and crackers) to make sure I’m not working from my bed all day.

2. Eat real meals

When you’re at home, it’s easy to snack all day and never take the time to actually cook something (or support a small business by ordering a takeout meal). Factor in three real meals every day, and take the time to cook for yourself and give your body the nutrients it needs—it’ll help your overall mood more than anything else can.

3. Schedule time to talk to people

Never did I think that 2020 would consist of needing to schedule a set time to Facetime or call someone in order to make human contact, but here we are. It’s easy to text a friend or family member to check in on them, but it’s different to actually make use of your vocal chords and speak to someone. In the morning, I call my mom and talk to her while I’m making my breakfast; and every night, I Facetime my sister while I’m eating dinner. It reminds me that I’m not alone in this, and everyone is in the same boat. (I’m still trying to talk my coworkers into an all-day group Skype call to keep each other company, but they aren’t sold just yet).

4. Play music (or turn on the TV)

For me, the weirdest part of living alone is the opportunity to have absolute silence. It’s eerie and something that’s wonderful at times, but it also takes some getting used to. It definitely is not something that I enjoy now, given that I’ve been home for over a week, so as soon as I wake up, I play a Spotify playlist on my Alexa. Having some noise in any form in the background helps to distract me from the fact that I’m alone, and sometimes, that’s all I need.

5. Move your body

When all of this began to go down, I made one goal: continue to hit my move goal on my Apple watch every day, no matter what it takes to get there. I’ve been having fun keeping up with the challenge since I haven’t been able to use my usual routes to get there. If I have extra calories I need to burn at night, I’ll queue up a yoga video or stream a quick HIIT workout, and it makes all the difference.

I’ve been working out in the morning, which I find helps my mentality in the early part of the day, but come evening, my body forgot that it ever moved at all. If you have a fitness tracker, setting a goal is a great way to remind yourself you have to move. If you don’t, set a reminder on your phone every few hours to tell yourself it’s time to do some sort of physical activity—no matter what it is.

6. Stay away from the news (and social media)

I am a journalist at heart; I majored in editorial journalism and respect journalists and all of those producing high-quality work to inform the country about what’s really going on with COVID-19 every day. But while living alone, the constant stream of COVID-19 content is overwhelming, and quite frankly, unbearable. Every time I open any social media platform, I’m reminded of new developments in the country that are important to hear but spark a lot of panic when you only have you and your thoughts to entertain you.

Instead of spending time on social media, I’ve bought a few books on my Kindle to turn to when I feel the need to scroll. It allows my mind to escape for a while, rather than diving deeper into a frenzy of “what ifs” that all forms of media are causing.

7. Keep up with your usual routines

Since none of us are leaving the house, it’s easy to work all day in what you slept in and never wash your face or do your hair—but still doing those things makes all the difference.

I’m never going to be a wear-jeans-while-I-work-from-home person, but I do make sure that no matter what, I change out of what I wore to bed. Generally, that means leggings and a sweatshirt, but it still helps me transition into a workday mentality.

While I’m not here doing a full face of makeup, I do like throwing on a little mascara and bronzer in the morning to feel good and put-together throughout the day—even though it’s just for me. Putting that sense of normalcy back into my days has changed how I feel all day long.


Do you have any special routines that you are using to get through this crisis ?

How to protect your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic

white and green paper

Photo by Michelle @designedforadventure


Article By Kelli Duncan
Shaw Media

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most people have spent a lot of time worrying about their physical health, leaving less time to consider how the pandemic may be impacting their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, “the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as important to address as are the physical health effects.”

The anxiety surrounding such an unprecedented pandemic can feel crippling and the lack of socialization that comes with self-quarantining gives us plenty of time to dwell on that anxiety, said Brian McCallum, a licensed clinical professional counselor for Samaritan Counseling Center of the Northwest Suburbs.

“Not only do we need to consider the COVID-19 pandemic, we also have to consider that there is, in effect, an emotional pandemic of anxiety, worry and fear,” McCallum said.

“Anxiety, worry and fear thrive in environments of ambiguity and uncertainty,” he added. “In short, emotions are contagious as well.”

Luckily, just as hand-washing can help protect physical health, there are a few simple exercises that can be done at home to protect your mental health too, McCallum said.

One of the easiest ways to begin calming an anxious mind is to practice breath regulation, which helps bring balance to the body’s nervous system during times of heightened stress, he said.

A good way to practice this skill is through a breathing exercise called “box breathing” or “square breathing,” which McCallum said is often used by U.S. Navy SEALs in the line of duty.

Square breathing gets its name from its emphasis on breathing deeply by counting to four for a total of four steps, he explained.

“Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose to the count of four, hold for a count of four and then exhale slowly through the mouth to the count of four and then hold to a count of four again and repeat the cycle,” he said.

For those who may find themselves consumed by worries of the future, mindfulness exercises can help focus the mind to pay attention only to the present moment, McCallum said.

“That keeps our mind out of the future,” he said. “Often the future can be a source of worry, anxiety or dread.”

The most popular mindfulness exercise is known as the three senses of mindfulness. For this exercise, try to relax and breathe deeply as you name three things that you can see, hear and feel in the present moment, McCallum said.

“For instance, I can feel my left heel on the floor and I can feel my elbow touching the armrest and I can feel my glasses on the bridge of my nose,” he said.

McCallum said he encourages folks to try this exercise as a family as it provides a release from thoughts of the future and an opportunity to connect together in the present moment.

“The other concrete tip is simply just to remember to move whether that is walking outside or walking on a treadmill or stretching or following along with a video instruction on Pilates or yoga,” he said.

Finally, McCallum said he recommends people try to limit media consumption to checking in to a few trusted sources around three times a day at most.

While it is important to stay informed, “constantly monitoring the news, constantly scrolling or refreshing your browser can feed into the anxiety and worry cycle,” he said.


Get Yourself Out of a Rut

By Maggie Winzeler


I’ve noticed that a lot of people get stuck in a rut at the end of a season. The exciting anticipation of the holidays and snowflakes dwindles. The refreshing warmth of the summer becomes overbearing. Anyone else feel like August’s humidity can be relentless? The enthusiasm for a workout program fades. It can be hard to refocus or start fresh with goals and plans. So, how do you get out a rut? Here are just a few simple ways you can get back on your feet (metaphorically and literally).

Move in New Ways

I’ve blogged about moving in all three planes of motion to enhance our body’s circulation, strength, flexibility and balance, but what does that look like in a workout routine? Now’s the time to shake off the stagnation and try a new workout (see below). Maybe it will inspire you to try some other new moves? Nothing like a good sweat to feel better…


20 squats

12 alternating lunges

30-second straight-arm plank

Repeat 2-3x

Circuit #1:

14 alternating lunges with single dumbbell twist across front leg

V-sit with overhead single dumbbell press (total 30-45 seconds)

20 lateral squat jumps

Single dumbbell wood chop with side lunge (10 per side)

Repeat 2-3x


Circuit #2:

14 alternating backwards lunges with dumbbell lateral raise

Plank position with single dumbbell alternating arm row and body twist (8-10 per side)

15 lateral box jumps or step ups

15 sit-ups with oblique twists

Repeat 2-3x


Circuit #3:

14 alternating curtsy lunges with dumbbell bicep curls

12 double leg lifts with scissor open/closes at top/bottom

20 “speed skater” side-to-side jumps

10 prone back extensions with breaststroke arms as lift

Repeat 2-3x

Commit to a Daily Routine

The simple daily actions we can take towards better health and happiness are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They may feel like the journey but they’re the destination.  Enjoy your journey.


11 Secrets to Speeding Through Airport Security

By Alexa Erickson and Readers Digest

Navigating airport security can be one of the biggest challenges you face when traveling. These tips will make the process as painless (and speedy!) as possible.

Get TSA PreCheck

Pre-check System sign

Emily McNutt, news editor at The Points Guy, says the number one tip for getting through airport security faster is to enroll in the TSA PreCheck program, which she says provides access to a faster security lane. PreCheck passengers don’t have to take off their shoes or remove their approved liquids or electronic devices, so there are fewer hold-ups.

Sign up for CLEAR

retina scan

CLEAR is a relatively new biometric technology that sounds creepy but is super-helpful. It allows members to scan their iris or fingerprint in order to clear the identity part of security. “There’s no need to take out your license—all you need is your boarding pass to hand to the TSA agent,” explains McNutt. “Once you’ve cleared the ID check at the CLEAR kiosk, a rep will escort you to the front of the security line—either PreCheck or the ‘regular’ lane. Essentially, CLEAR is a way to make sure you never wait in line.”

Get airline elite status

Travelers wait in line for security screening

There’s a reason frequent flyers choose the same airline each time if possible—it earns them elite status. With elite status (which you can earn with most major U.S. carriers after flying a qualifying number of miles or meeting a certain spending threshold), you automatically get a number of perks and benefits, including access to priority security lines. “It’s worth not waiting in the ‘regular’ lane if you can,” McNutt says. Having airline elite status will really save you during the holidays, when airports are jammed.

Plan for the security steps

department of homeland security sign

It may sound like something you should already know, but how many times have you gotten to the security line only to realize you’re wearing shoes that are difficult to remove, plus a belt and jewelry? Oh, and you forgot to empty your water bottle. “By having your belongings already organized, you can speed up the process for yourself and those around you. While you’re waiting in line, take off your coat. Get your liquids in a clear bag ready to place in a bin,” says McNutt.

Have your documents in hand

Security Administration employee

McNutt suggests that anyone without CLEAR have their documents—including both a photo ID and a boarding pass—ready in hand. That ensures you won’t hold up the line sifting through your pockets or purse to find them. Did you know about the new rule that certain state drivers’ licenses are no longer valid forms of ID?

Carry the right bag

Woman Scanning Tag On Luggage At Airport Check-in

To get your belongings onto the scanner belt faster, bring the right type of carry-on bag, travel expert Dara Continenza of Hopper, an airfare-predicting app, told Southern Living. “Choose a lightweight carry-on bag with four wheels that handles easily and can be lifted onto a table with little effort.” Bags with an outside compartment for your laptop are helpful for expediting the process, too.

Upgrade to a premium class

security check area

It’s not a reason to pay hundreds more for airfare, but if you can fly business or first class, there are security perks. “Many airlines offer passengers access to priority security lanes if you’re flying in a premium class of service,” McNutt says. “The airlines differ, however, so be sure to ask when checking in.” If you’re in coach, though, you can still improve your situation with the very best airplane seat for every single need.

Fly at the right time

Public Clock In Frankfurt Airport With Copyspace

That might mean off-peak or even off-season. “Everyone knows that flying on peak dates can make security a nightmare, so try to avoid traveling on the days immediately before and after major holidays,” McNutt says. If you can’t travel off-peak, leave yourself extra time to travel, especially during the peak summer travel season.

Monitor wait times at the airport

security checkpoint

Technology has come a long way in the world of travel, so use your smartphone to your advantage and download apps like MiFlight, which help you determine just how early you need to leave for the airport and the ideal time to arrive.

Avoid making yourself a target

TSA agent searches bag

Certain things drastically increase your chances of getting TSA’s attention—and not in a good way. That includes mentioning weapons in any capacity, even as a joke; carrying wads of cash; traveling with coffee, which is a classic way to mask the smell of illegal substances; not checking your kids’ baggage (what might you be trying to hide in this seemingly innocent package?); or carrying unusual items that could look suspicious during your luggage scan, like a long-armed stapler or a large candlesticks. They’re among the things most likely to get you flagged by the TSA.


Photo credit: Michael Reynolds; Jim Lo Scalzo/Epa/Shutterstock; David White/REX/Shutterstock; Ted S. Warren; Kathleen Foody; David Goldman; Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock; Tyler Olson; TonyV3112; GQ; Carolina K. Smith MD/shutterstock

The Pillow Method

Rewire your subconscious thoughts just before falling asleep.

Image result for sleep memes zzzzz

No !  Not that !   This is The Pillow Method:

The pillow method is an expansion of your traditional affirmations. The idea is simple. You write what you desire and put it under your pillow. Every night before you sleep and when you awaken, read the positive message. This is one out of 13 manifestation techniques that actually work! For the rest make sure to see the full post below!

Another tool to use to remove the negative and let the positive shine in.


Credit:  sleepeducation.org; modernmanifestations.com