Art Journaling and Self-Care

Meredith gets in on the painting action

Spring break for the kids this week but hubby and I still had to work.  They did come along with us early in the week for the KMHCA conference where I presented on self-care.  This meant they had the chance to swim in the hotel pool.  I remember how much fun it was to spend the night in a hotel as a kid.  My parents used to do this with my sister and I as a way to combat the cold Iowa winters.  As part of the conference, the

Appalachian Play Therapy Center

sponsored a Stress-Free Zone.  I brought along all sorts of art supplies, simple games, blocks and there was even line dancing.  My kids definitely enjoyed hanging out here and were so proud to be given their very own name tags.  I found myself painting a beach scene out of watercolors.  Perhaps I am really needing a break.  Hearing about others I know who've gone to Florida isn't helping but I'm happy for them.

Here are my art journals I have done over the span of a couple of weeks based on a workshop for



Shannon Kinney-Duh

.  I incorporated a focus on self-care.

Of course, I think a great way to engage in self-care is through PLAY!

Here are a couple of the first ones I did.  I was going to have the first one say

Be Like a Child

but I ran out of letters.  Maybe that's a good thing.

This last one I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my painted background.  Just felt like incorporating the shapes which then reminded me of my son, the solar system lover.

Art journaling is another method of self-care.  One key to art journaling is to just let go, play around, and have fun.  Try not to have expectations.  Can be quite hard to not listen to those voices, the Inner Critic as

Kate Swoboda

calls it, but if you allow yourself it can be quite fun.  I think I can do okay with letting go of my Inner Critic as long as I say

I'm playing. 

But if I say

I'm making art

, then I can hear them louder.  And putting my art on my blog is even harder, because I'm making myself vulnerable especially to what others might think of me.  BUT SO WHAT!