Finding Calm in Creativity

Happy Tuesday! Here at Pearl Street, we’re thinking about how to support our mental health by tapping into our playful and creative sides. Grab a coloring book, turn on your favorite music, build a fort, or take a virtual tour of the world’s most iconic art museums. Dr. Chinara Tate shares some of her favorite ideas with us in this week’s Wellness Letter. 

Create a self-care toolkit. Everyone’s idea of self-care is different. One common thread among many is engagement of one or more of the seven senses : touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (balance and spatial orientation) and proprioception (body awareness).

Here are a few ideas for each: 

  • Surround yourself with soft pillows or lie under a heavy blanket

  • Drink a cup of hot aromatic herbal tea 

  • Try out a stress-relief coloring book or some free-hand drawing

  • Play comforting music or soothing sounds from nature 

  • Infuse your home with the smell of lavender or eucalyptus oil

  • Sit in a small swing or rocking chair

  • Engage in daily yoga practice or meditation, no matter how brief

Children can also engage in self-care and self-soothing by creating a comfort kit (eg. an emptied cardboard box or bin they can decorate) containing crayons, Play-Doh, bubbles, arts and crafts or a stress ball that they can store at arms reach when feeling overwhelmed. 

Design your own sanctuary. Space is an invaluable resource right now, particularly in densely populated cities. To whatever degree possible, try to create separate spaces for working and retreating to relax. You can make your sanctuary space more comforting by adding soft and cozy pillows, blankets and cushions. It is important that children also have a place to retreat to for calming difficult emotions that may arise from feeling isolated from peers, online classwork difficulties or other stressors. Knowing everyone in the house has their own designated space to connect with peers or simply be alone and recharge will help alleviate household tension, generate greater calm and provide children with lifelong tools for emotion-regulation.

Some indoor respite ideas include:

  • Having kids build a temporary hideaway fort out of sheets and other household materials to separate shared spaces with their siblings

  • Creating designated work spaces that are as far away from sleeping areas as possible - a dining table, a kitchen counter and chair, or a hallway desk set-up.

  • Giving your bathroom a spa retreat makeover by adding a few minor but ultra-soothing elements like muscle tension releasing epsom salt, fragrant bath bombs, an essential oil diffuser, relaxing music, scented or electric candles, indoor plants, a bamboo bath mat or super plush, over-sized, and absorbent towels.

A private museum visit. There’s no jostling and you don’t have to struggle to read the interpretive label with the tourists pushing in front of you. Set aside an hour, turn off your phone and social media, make yourself a hot drink, and embark on one of these surprisingly enjoyable online tours:

Last but not least, our upbeat internet find of the week: John Krasinski’s SGN (Some Good News) YouTube show, featuring the cast of Hamilton.

-Team PSC