The Creative Mama welcomes Renée Yemma who shares a fun and inspiring idea that could help all mamas get their calm on.
You’ve had a long and stressful day. All you think about is getting in the bathtub to unwind. Once in, your body feels amazing, but your mind keeps playing the day over and over again in your head. And not only that, your mind has already jumped to what you need to do tomorrow… and the next day… and the next…
If so, I’m happy to help!
There are SO many ways to relax from the stresses of the day, but there’s one way that’s rarely talked about when it comes to calming our thoughts (and our body). It’s doodling! This mindless-creative activity has a special way of giving us a break from the hectic to-dos of the day. It requires no thought, no how-to’s, no figuring out, no grades and no rules.
Many of us doodled as a child, and many of us still doodle now (on hold on the phone, waiting for an appointment or while listening to a speaker that isn’t that interesting).
But, did you know that doodling is the easiest and fastest way to calm your thoughts?
Because we live our lives in a very left-brain dominated world (worry, doubt, achieve, pay bills, go-go-go) our right-brain, the side that represents the present moment, creativity, calm and all is right in the world, doesn’t get the much needed attention that it deserves.
Neglecting our right brain causes our thoughts to stay in constant “to-do list” chatter mode, leaving us feeling exhausted, depleted and stressed.
In order to reap relaxing mind-body benefits after a long and stressful day, we’ve got to balance out our left-brain thought and activity with right-brain thought and activity.
Had a day filled with lots of errands to run while carting around your kids and a huge diaper bag filled with bottles, snacks, diapers, wipes and toys which left you feeling exhausted and unmotivated to do anything else the rest of the day…like cook dinner? Doodle!
Had a day filled with screaming kiddos calling for your attention 24/7 that leaves you wanting to scream and run away for days? Doodle!
Just like we need to work out our bodies so we can stay fit and trim, we also need to work out our right brain so we can stay calm and relaxed no matter what the day brings.
And it doesn’t have to be loaded with craft materials and tons of steps, either.
It’s actually so, so easy to get your calm on in a fun, creative way.
Here’s what you’ll need: (you can use all your kids’ materials, too!!)
- Drawing paper or a sketchpad
- Crayons, colored pencils or markers
Here’s what you do:
- Find a nice quiet place where you can be alone (or even sitting with your kiddos will work too!)
- Look at your crayons and observe the colors. Pick one color that’s calling out to you in that very moment.
- Take your paper and place your crayon on it.
- For 5 seconds, move and swirl your coloring tool all over the paper without lifting up (this will create many circles).
- After making your first swirls, trace the same line over and over, if you’d like. For me, the more I trace, the calmer I feel, but if you don’t want to trace, you don’t have to. No rules! Just fun!
- Next, pick more colors that FEEL good to you and start to color in the circles with anything your heart desires. You can do polka dots, color each circle with your favorite colors, fill it in with hearts, flowers, lines…anything that feels good to you.
- If you’re still craving more after all your circles are colored in, you can trace around the circles and add more fun around the finished doodle as well.
- And then for the grand finale, choose another color that FEELS good to color the white background. I chose pink.
It may seem silly, but it really is that easy!!
Every time you take a mindless-creative activity break, like doodling, your thoughts will calm more easily and you’ll feel more refreshed and ready for the rest of the day.
But you’ve got to do this for longer than 5 minutes, because your left-brain will have a field day at first.
You might hear:
- “I’m not creative. I’m not artistic. I can’t do that.”
- “How stupid. I’m not a kid anymore. I’m NOT doing that! I’ll just leave coloring to my kids.”
- “Coloring? I’d rather knit!”
It’ll voice itself loud and clear (you might have already heard its voice while reading this).
Once you give it some time, you’ll switch over to right brain land and you’ll start reaping the benefits of calming your thoughts in a very, left-brain dominant world that has us drowning in constant to-do’s every day.
So take the much needed break and relax your thoughts.
Your body, mind and soul will thank you (and so will your family!).
And, just remember, this isn’t about doodling something that’ll look professional and artistic. It’s all about just playing with color to relax your mind.
No rules! No certain outcome! Just fun!
If you don’t like, just start over and play some more.
The more you play, the more you’ll connect with doodles make YOU feel calm and have you saying, “this is SO fun!”
Renée grew up never, ever thinking she was creative. Once she became a mom, all that changed and she now not only believes that she is creative, but that everyone is creative. She has a deep, deep love for using her camera to slow down and savor the FEELING of moments that make her stop, smile and fill her with happy tingles. Renée loves using her crayons, markers, colored pencils and paints to calm her mind, soothe her soul and help her connect to her true loves; motherhood, family, photography, doodling, delicious food, music, yoga, mediation and nature. Keeping creativity alive in kids and reviving creativity in adults is her passion. Renée is married to her college sweetheart (GO GATORS!), Coast Guard lawyer, husband and currently lives in the New Orleans area soaking up all the music, food, festivals and culture the area offers. You may find Renée at her blog and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.