Like many of you, I binged all of Tiger King in one sitting. I watched Joe Exotic chase a multitude of career paths: exotic animal park owner, country music star, and president of the united states, among others.
Similar to Joe's ambitions, I've recently felt pressure to pick up new hobbies, adopt new skills, and complete every item on my never-ending-to-do list. I quickly realised that isolation is overwhelming enough and it's okay to take this time to prioritise self-care and try to relax.
I've decided to focus on one activity that is both creative and relieves stress--making art. My mom is actually a brilliant artist who (more quickly than I'd like to admit) transformed my childhood bedroom into her studio. I've luckily found myself quarantined in my family's home and have taken advantage of using her easel after work and on the weekends. I wouldn't consider any of the paintings I've created to be museum-worthy, but I've felt a sense of complete calm and relaxation while painting. Putting paintbrush to paper helps me concentrate on creating something new and takes my mind off of the current headlines.
Even if you don't consider yourself an "artist," making art is proven to reduce anxiety. Girija Kaimal, assistant professor of creative arts therapies at Drexel University, led a study
that found 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.
The beauty of art is that it comes in many forms. It can be an adult coloring book, your kids' Play-Doh, or trying your hand at a Jackson Pollock look-alike (just make sure you're wearing old sweatpants when you do).
And although I personally have access to art materials at home, it doesn't take a lot of effort or expense to let your inner artist shine. I've included a number of tips and links below to help you get started:
Paint By Number
If you're a novice painter like me, check out these paint by number kits
created by independent artists on Etsy. You can send a letter to a loved one by using these paint by number postcard kits
. This website
even allows you to upload your own image and convert the picture into a paint by number template.
Whichever art form you choose, I hope it helps calm your mind during these challenging times. If all else fails, you can always watch (or re-watch) seven hours of incredible Tiger King entertainment.
Megan Woolbert is growth director StrawberryFrog