One story my mom will tell is how she entered me into a diaper race when I was a baby, and once they said, "On your mark. Get set. GO!" all the other babies started to crawl towards the finish line. But not me!! I was too busy groovin' to the music that was playing! LOL
Like music, dancing and movement has always been a huge part of my life. I started formal dance training at the age of 3, and continued performing throughout my life into college with the Spelman Dance Theater. I had a dream to be a professional dancer, but after injury and learning more about myself, I realized the Universe had other plans for me (that's a post for another day)!
Dancing can benefit our physical and mental health. To match our movements to the rhythm of the music, requires focus, concentration, flexibility, and adaptation. Dancing is a great way to exercise our brains! Studies show that dancing can positively affect our cognitive flexibility. This can help us better adapt to changes in our daily lives. Click here to read more about the benefits of dance in a recent TIME Magazine article.
Or better yet, turn on some music and dance!
It's a new year! If you plan to make some New Year resolutions, take time to tune in and listen to all the messages your body and your mind are sending you. Diet, exercise, sleep, stress level, work-life balance, and relationships should all be considered when working to maintain emotional wellness. Take all aspects of the self into consideration. The mind and the body are connected. Click here to read more about how the mind AND the body are connected to our mental health.
Music!! Oh how I LOVE music. I listen to music throughout most of the day and limit watching TV. This is really important for me, because it limits my exposure to negative vibes that I seem to absorb easily. I am an emotional sponge! I have a pretty eclectic collection and I am drawn to strong rhythms, emotional and thought-provoking lyrics and anything that makes me want to dance! Part of my self-care regiment is to listen to music as a way to keep my mood in a positive upswing. I created a playlist and I want to share it with you! It's called "New Mindset"! I hope it brings some positivity into your day and gets you into a new and upbeat mindset! Remember to smile and dance along! If there's a song that really connects with you, share your thoughts and the song below. I also love to hear your recommendations on songs you love. Click here to get my New Mindset playlist on Spotify. Enjoy!!
The first book I ever read about art therapy was by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT. I always enjoy reading her works. In her article about visual journaling, she reminds us that many of our experiences cannot be expressed in words. Through images, we are able to gain self-awareness and better make sense of our thoughts and feelings. So, next time you reach for a journal to decompress and let it all out, reach for one without lines and try doodling or drawing, It just might surprise you!
In the past few weeks the news has been quite depressing . . . and kids are seeing it, hearing it, and feeling too. Talking to your children about what is happening in the news and the world is important. I encourage you to make art too! One idea is to have your kids draw a picture about how they see the world and another about how they want the world to be. This article from CNN is a great summary of the best ways to engage children in a discussion about racism and diversity. Helping the world's youngsters become culturally sensitive is key to the change we all desire.
Let's start talking!
I despise clutter. I've always been one to get rid of items in my apartment I no longer need. I especially notice this need to get rid of stuff when I'm stressed. Purging and organizing my living space seems to reduce my stress, and maintaining a clutter-free home helps me maintain a care-free attitude. This article gives 15 really great steps for pairing down clutter in your home to maximize your life.
When I tell people I'm art therapist, I get one question and two responses. People, ask, "What is art therapy?" And then, they say, "Oh, I need that!" followed by "But I can't draw." Many adults and even kids feel like they have no artistic skill. Yet, you don't need any artistic skill to reap the benefits of art-making.
Here's an article that sums up why you should draw despite feeling like you can't.