HomeCreativity3 activities to calm the mind

JEMINA WATSTEIN has taught art all over the world, including Thailand, Germany, and the United States. She encourages all her students, and now us, to lean into our innate creativity, sharing three simple activities that will help us connect with our inner artist and feel more connected to ourselves.


All too often I hear people say, “I can’t even draw a stick figure,” and my heart hurts a little because yes you can! And when you do, you probably smile and laugh a little at what you drew. That is the power of art-making: you feel good even if you aren’t an artist, although I would argue we are all artists in some capacity. If you give yourself the grace of taking a break from the daily grind, even for five minutes, to dabble with some art-making, you will feel good inside.

I know what you are thinking: “This author is crazy. I’m not an artist.” Sorry, my friend, you are sadly mistaken. You are an artist and it is time to embrace your growth mindset and give it a try. Be curious!

Here are three simple creative activities you can try at home:

Start the journey

Pick up a pen and paper. Keep it simple. Start with a spiral. Around and around you go. Take a mindful breath while you do it. Not so bad, right?

Now make another spiral. Try overlapping them or use a different colored pen. You don’t like it? Throw it away and try drawing circles tomorrow. Be persistent. Set a timer. Five minutes every day and you will feel the positive benefits.



Embrace those mistakes

Get yourself a sketchbook and a favorite pen. Perhaps you will have to buy a few pens to find out which is your favorite. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them. After a few days of spirals and shapes, you will be ready to kick it up a notch. It’s time to bust out of your comfort zone.

Draw what you see. Where’s a great place to start? The cup you are sipping from as you read this article. Is it terrible? Turn the page and try again tomorrow. You will improve with practice and having all your sketches in one place will prove this to you over time.



10 for 10

Along with drawing from observation, there are many prompts to kick up the creativity and have fun. One is 10 for 10—10 drawings for 10 seconds—each using the same object or random shapes. How does each drawing change? Which one do you like the best?




There are numerous drawing prompts on the internet. Channel your feelings, experiences, and dreams for inspiration. Ready to tackle your self-awareness? Draw something that makes you smile whenever you think about it. Self-management? Draw a worry dragon that holds your concerns. Want to be silly? Draw yourself with your superpower.

Drawing is meditative and great for the brain; you will also feel good inside. So many other media will too. My current favorite is weaving. I recently taught a fiber arts class and all the students commented how much they enjoyed the relaxing qualities of weaving. It is fun, and the fibers feel so soft in your hands. Weaving fosters mindfulness; through the repetition-over under, over under—you will feel calm and focused. It is easy to fix mistakes, or perhaps you will embrace them and consider them happy accidents.

Making art is good for the soul. It gives us the opportunity to understand ourselves, our thoughts, and our actions.



Jemina Watstein

Jemina Watstein

JEMINA WATSTEIN has taught art all over the world, including Thailand, Germany, and the United States. She encourages all of her students—and now us—to lean into our innate creativity, sharing three simple activities tha... Read More