Ask your palliative care team if they provide art therapy classes or if they know of any local organizations that sponsor “art for healing” programs. If there are no programs available in your area or you and/or your loved one prefer not to be involved with an organized group, then get started on your own.
YouTube has hundreds of short tutorials by both amateur and professional artists that teach techniques and display their artwork. There are magazines devoted to the creation of art. Listen to music, visit a museum or just take a walk through your neighborhood. Everything around you can inspire you to create something for yourself. It’s the creating of the work that is important – not the finished result.
Creating art should be relaxing and enjoyable. Research studies have shown that the benefits for cancer patients and their family caregivers – reduction in stress, anxiety and depression, alleviation of pain and improved feelings of overall well-being – was significant.
So, the next time someone asks what they can do for you or how they can help, ask for drawing paper, colored pencils, paints, brushes, canvases or watercolors. Try creating to unlock your “inner Stewart”!
DID YOU KNOW?
“Wool therapy” is becoming very popular. Studies find that knitting alleviates stress levels, enhances self esteem, combats social anxiety and depression. Knitting exercises both hemispheres of the brain and can be a distraction for those suffering from pain. Stroke victims have regained motor skills in their fingers and hands with knitting and crocheting.