There is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to relaxation. What is relaxing for one can cause serious stress and panic for another.
Whilst trying to recover from my low mental state and get my life back in order I have plenty of alone time to do what I enjoy although it is taking over the lounge (which is stressful if I allow myself to think about it).
I recently got my sewing machine and box of fabrics sent down to me from my childhood homes in Yorkshire. When I have the energy to be able to seriously focus and do something constant I am making squares towards a patchwork quilt. I have to be able to focus deeply enough on the material though to forget I am sitting on the sofa, with people staring as they walk past or stop at the tram stop and to pop something on netflix without having to have the volume blaring to drown out the traffic outside. I wish I could just buy the ones in Hobbycraft that are already cut up, the same size, a pretty pattern and ready to go but they cost £s I do not have and therefore I’m sticking to my old fabric needing a bit of love and care. It might take some time to do but when I am able to focus on it the motion and feeling of success afterwards is a really rewarding one.
Art is always something I have loved and enjoyed. It is the thing that I am able to channel my energy and emotion into and sometimes get that onto the page. From colouring art therapy or vintage pattern books to drawing whatever pops into my head to illustrating my emotions in my feelings diary. The main reason I find art relaxing is because it involves calming my body and leveling off my breathing before I can start doing whatever it may be. Colouring books are good because it means I do not need to feel quite as creative and can instead just use the colour choices to express myself. Though recently, as anybody that follows me on Instagram will know, my materials situation is getting into crisis. I love using bright, bold and blending pens like the Stabilo fine ones but they are running out and I do not have any other good pens. I attempted to do some things in colouring pencil but they are cheap and standard pencils so they do not show up well, look smooth on the page or give the effect I desire and will be forever dreaming of some Faber Castell pencils. I have a basic set of pencils from 6B to 6H which I am happy with so may need to focus my time on using those more. And whilst I have a boxful of different paints, oil pastels and brushes my art never comes out looking okay after using them.
But whilst my materials are far from perfect and I could just use that as a reason to stop I enjoy art too much and rely on it as a method of expression that means I’ll keep making the most of what I have and using the techniques and methods to relax even if I cannot use the product at the end for anything worthwhile.
I know for some other people that they focus on trying to get the art perfect, find getting the right colour or shade frustrating and struggle to focus on it for long periods of time. And I can understand why. Art is something that can quickly become a chore and a stressful prospect to just pick up a pen, pencil or paintbrush but it works for me and I am grateful for that (I just wish I was good at it).