Seasonal self-care through Art and Nature ❄️🤗🎍🖍️🎨☀️
December 2022, we are reflecting on several years of disconnection and change which has willingly, and unwillingly shifted us. Winter months are often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year”, but is it for everyone? What makes this time of the year so special for you?
For some, holidays and winter months are met with shifts in health and emotional well-being — from getting ill to missing loved ones, both distant and passed on. Let’s acknowledge the difference. Let’s acknowledge the loss. Let us acknowledge each other. Let us acknowledge ourselves.
Quick tips to leading a Stress-Free Family Holiday!
- Find gratitude. Be Kind. There is a lot going on. Yes. AND. What do you have to be grateful for? How have you shared kindness today? Even with yourself? A kind word can warm three winters.
- Write it down. We said it, there is a lot going on. Give yourself a break. YOU ARE NOT A COMPUTER! Make a plan. Share it. Give your brain a break.
- Invest in yourself. It may be physically going to the gym, eating healthier, going to therapy, finding a hobby, recreating your space, exploring the world, learning a new language… You are limitless.
- We’re all healing. No, We didn’t forget that it says family. One thing we have learned through the pandemic — get your oxygen mask before tending to others. Healing looks different for everyone. Allow grace. Give space. It’s at your pace.
Get Your Cray-On
(Coloring isn’t just for kids)
Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve cracked open a box of Crayola’s — here are some good reasons to indulge in childhood’s favorite activity, plus original holiday art to get you started. Find Exhibit A’s illustration in the center spread of December’s Local paper, or download the pdf here to print & color now.
Five Ways Coloring Improves Wellness for Adults
- Stress Reducer. Coloring can bring on a meditative state (and calm restless thoughts) by relaxing the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. This mindful, quiet state can tune out distractions and worries.
- Improve Motor Skills. More complex designs with smaller spaces for coloring require you to hone your hand-eye coordination and motor skills, skills you don’t use when you’re just scrolling on your electronics.
- Improves Brain Function. Coloring requires different regions of the brain to communicate. When you choose what colors to use, your creativity is activated. Coloring forms and shapes activates the frontal lobe of your brain, the source of logical thinking.
- Turns our attention outward from ourselves to the physical act of making something new.
- It’s fun! There are no rules when it comes to coloring. If you want the sun to be green and the trees blue (or even color outside the lines) it’s up to you.
Let’s Hunker Down Together
Nature provides another quiet remedy to all this hub-bub: winter solstice. It’s the shortest, darkest day of the year, marking our time in the earth’s orbit when we’re farthest from the warmth and light of the sun. Humans worldwide have been honoring this occasion for millennia, finding hope that everything will soon improve if we all resolve to stick it out. This simple faith can help ground any holiday tradition; after all, the same sun rises and sets for everyone no matter who we worship or what we believe in.
❄ Winter Solstice 2022 is Wednesday December 21 at 4:47PM ❄
May you find peace in the promise of the longest night,
That each day forward is graced with more light.
Let the cycle of nature, unbroken and true,
Bring faith to your soul & well-being to you.
Rejoice in the darkness, in silence find rest,
May the days that follow be abundantly blessed.
Follow your truth with mind and heart
And merry ye meet, and merry ye part.
Wishing all our readers a most cool yule.
Exhibit A (AKA Alisha Laws) is a self-taught artist, mother, licensed clinical therapist, muralist, and photographer who captures creative impressions and expressions within at-risk communities. Her art can be found across the city of Philadelphia and beyond. Learn more @linktr.ee/ExhibitAArtDesign