I have a lot of friends who went to graduate school to obtain degrees in art therapy. I’m not up to speed on what they actually learned or what they actually do in their profession, but I do know that therapy that utilizes art is valuable.
Back in March, I decided to learn a new instrument. Rather than capitalize on my already-honed piano skills and try something similar (like an accordion, for example) I opted for something else.
So I’ve been strumming on those little nylon strings for about seven months now, and while I’m not anyhing special, I can at least jam out on a few of my favorite songs (like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, an instant ukulele classic).
I was gifted a handmade ukulele by a coworker of mine, and so I keep one at home and one at my desk, and whenever I’m feeling upset or stressed I pick it up and pluck at it.
Almost magically, the stress disappears. I don’t know why, but playing this instrument is extremely therapeutic for me. Maybe because it’s just such a silly little thing, making the sweetest little sounds, but regardless it melts away the blues.
I’m curious — what helps you unwind? What takes away your stress? Do you use art to channel your emotions? Painting? Writing? Cartwheels?