Ways to calm your mind...
Taking care of one's own mental health is absolutely crucial to our overall sense of well-being. That's not always easy to do. Sometimes, life can get hectic, chaotic and frankly, messy. This can lead to moments of high stress and anxiety. No matter how much I try to prevent it, sometimes I can work myself into a tizzy and get completely stressed out and overwhelmed with things. When this happens, I have a few techniques I like to use to help me get into a better headspace.
One of the big things I find helpful is to focus on my breathing. Sometimes taking a step back and taking a few deep breaths really helps. In fact, my daughter and I have this thing we call a ‘redo’. When things get a bit crazy or one of us is getting really upset, or the other one is really stressed out, one of us will say “let's do a redo”. Together, we take three long, deep breaths and then we start the day over (sometimes we'll have to do it twice for it to kick in!). The idea is to erase everything that was said and done on that day up till that moment. This way we can turn the page and start fresh. Our 'redos' are a way to press pause and restart in a better more positive frame of mind.
Exercise has always worked wonders for me too. I love going to pilates class because I become so focussed on what I'm doing, I completely forget about all my troubles. Walking is a great tool I like to use too. Sometimes, removing myself from the situation and getting outside to reconnect with nature is just what I need to refresh my mind. Often times, I listen to some music, while other times I just focus on the sounds and sights around me.
When it comes to feeling overwhelmed to the point where you don't even know where to start, I've found time blocking is a great way to clear the clutter from my brain. Instead of mentally cycling through my to-do list for the day, I like to schedule things in my calendar. This way, I’m not multitasking my day away, I’m focusing on one thing at a time. Yes, I even schedule in time to make phone calls or check my email. I’m a busy mom and there is only so much time in a day! It's almost like my calendar has my back. It's a relief to know that as long as I stick to my calendar schedule everyone and everything on my to-do list will get my attention.
Lastly, my favourite way to relax my mind and get into a great headspace is by drawing. Creating artwork is so relaxing! The process of focusing on what my hands are doing and thinking about colour and shapes takes me away from that incessant spiralling that can happen in your brain, to a place that's calm and clear. It's gratifying to watch a design take form or even to add colour to shapes. I love to create while listening to music, I just grab my iPad pen, turn on the tunes and I’m off in my own little world.
At MADE WITH YOUR ART, we take your artwork one step further and create jewelry and accessories to keep with you always. The first necklace I made with my daughter, when I wear it and look at it, it takes me back to that time, brings me joy and a sense of peace. I was once asked by one of my museum clients if there was a cost for the design development process. I told them no. I don’t charge because that’s my favourite part of the job. The creative process, whether it's me working on a piece for a client to or me doing it for me, is what makes everything worthwhile.