Art projects that help reduce stress

5 Art Projects To Inspire Creativity And Reduce Stress

Get a little messy, and see what beauty comes from it.

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Art can be therapeutic and healing for so many reasons and is being widely used as a complement to mental health services and substance abuse recovery programs. Research shows that art helps to reduce stress and anxiety and is correlated with higher levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy. Not only does art give us a creative outlet, but it can also help us connect to what we're feeling, and recognize what feelings we may have been ignoring or pushing away. Here are 5 projects to try when you need a break and want to un-wind - best part, you don't need to be "good" at art!

1. Color a mandala

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtglYMSANnW/

"Mandala" in Sanskrit means "circle" and is seen as a representation of the universe for several spiritual and religious traditions. Mandalas are colorful and balanced, yet simple. The act of coloring these in is proven to be meditative and calming for those with anxiety or stress. You can purchase a mandala coloring book or print out individual sheets online.

2. Make a vision board

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuKs9YPFSvn/

Creating a vision board is something most typically think about making at the start of the New Year, or before embarking on a new life transition or project. However, doing vision boards can be a fun way to explore your creativity without having to color or be the one to "make" the art. Grab a stack of magazines, a pair of scissors, and a glue stick, and allow yourself to cut out whatever draws your attention.

3. Finger painting

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuK288WHb29/

If your first thought that came to mind when reading this was about what a giant mess finger painting is - then all the more reason to try it! Make whatever you want: shapes, designs, color blocks, pictures. Pretend you're back in pre-school. Get a little messy, and see what beauty comes from it.

4. Create an "I am" collage

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfH8my0lOx7/

Create a collage of words that describe you. The layout can be whatever you want, but most of these look like "I am" in the center, with all of the words branching out. Color or paint the background to your heart's desire!

5. Create an intention stone

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp7a5eBBp4v/

This requires picking stones out of a garden or buying stones specific for art purposes, as well as a colored sharpie or paint to create the word on the stone's surface. The best part of making an intention stone is that you can take it anywhere with you; keep it at your desk, in your bag, or in your car. Write whatever first pops to mind, but here are a few ideas: resilience, peace, joy, healing, acceptance.

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

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Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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