At its core, art therapy is about getting to know yourself through art! Making art allows you to express your feelings, lose track of time, connect with yourself in new ways, and use more parts of your brain. Preparing for the arrival of a new family member is stressful and staying in touch with your own identity and processing your feelings as they come is incredibly important during these stressful times! Whether you’re mom, dad, or anyone else involved, A LOT is going on! Taking an hour out of each week to express your creative side can make a huge impact on your stress management skills.
Right now you might be thinking, “Oh I can’t make art. I’m not good enough.” WELL we’ve got two truths for you:
- No art is bad art! Maybe you’re no Van Gogh. But then again, Van Gogh is no Picasso! And Picasso is no da Vinci! If those artists had chosen not to draw because they thought they wouldn’t be as good as their predecessors, we’d all be missing out on some stellar art. If you choose not to make art because you don’t think you can stack up to the greats, you too will miss out on an incredible opportunity!
- No one has to see your creations if you don’t want them to! If you really are self-conscious about what you’ve made, make it for your eyes only! Sharing your art is great, but the real value lies in its creation. Express yourself, get your feelings out, spend an hour alone, and then hide your work in your dresser! You will still reap the benefits and feel much better, regardless of where the art ends up.
If visual art really isn’t your thing, consider pregnancy journaling! Writing out your thoughts and emotions can have a lot of the same meditative benefits of making art without any of the pressure you might be feeling to make something muse.m-worthy. Writing can still feel strange at first, but it comes naturally after the first few entries! Take your thoughts and get them on the page!
Connecting to yourself is incredibly important and art is just one of many ways to reach that end. Keep up with your hobbies, open up to your friends about your experiences, and set aside regular me-time in order to stay in touch with who you are and who you’re going to be. Take the best care of yourself so that you can take on new challenges with less stress and more success!
Information from this article was provided by Caroline Tye, owner of Dandelion Art Studio in Chicago. Dandelion offers multiple classes specifically geared toward new and expecting moms on top of their myriad of general classes. Caroline is a registered art therapist and uses her creative talents to help moms and teens with a broad range of needs. She brings an enthusiastic, passionate, and a nurturing approach to all of her clients and students.