Studio Meeting Reflections: Self-Care

July 8, 2020 By joshua-with

The topic of self-care has taken on increased importance in a time of stay-at-home orders, disrupted routines, and witnessing and challenging injustice. 

Here at Arts of Life we have aspects of self-care built into our programming including meditation, breaks, art-making, and relationship building. With daily life looking different at home, artists shared their personal self-care practices during the June studio meetings.

When asked what self-care means to them, several artists focused on bodily self care. Nikole Heusman answered, “Good hygiene. Keep your hair and your nails clean, your body too.” Brian Reed echoed this, saying, “Take a bath.” Marathon athlete Guy Conners emphasized physical activity, “Got to stay healthy. Running, yes.”

For Aria Carter, following safety and social distancing measures is a key aspect of self-care during this season, “I have to take care of myself, not getting bumped by accident. Not bumping into others by accident. Wearing face masks and stop and turn back and then walk away. Step away and stand back.” She also emphasized relaxation, “I just relax on the couch.  Relaxing on a sitting bench with my mom at Lake Michigan.”

Aria Carter poses in front of one of her pieces holding her award at last year’s North Shore Award Show

Alysha Kostelny shared several calming activities in her self-care practice, “When I’m trying to relax, I have some adult coloring books in my room. I also have a stress ball and I’ll use that sometimes. They help me get back to my right place again. Just take some time to myself til I’m feeling better.”

Dave Kreuger and Steve Harhaj discussed the importance of creative outlets for them. “It is so hard to make a painting. To me it is like anger and frustration, take it out of you into art. And if you don’t know what you’re doing – ask someone to help you,” said Dave. Steve shared about a writing activity he participates in, “Heart Words is something where you write and talk about what you have on your mind and stuff like that. It makes me feel like I can do…I feel like I’m accomplishing the things I want to do on my own.”

(left to right) David Kreuger, Stefan Harhaj, and Alex Scott practice yoga at the Chicago Studio

Self-care practices can help us address feelings of frustration and discouragement that may seem ever more present in times of isolation and stress. To that end, Steve shared these words of resilience, “If there’s something going on, you could be sitting on top of the world, and you fall down and say to yourself, I tried. I tried so hard. I do encourage myself, especially to do what I want to do.”

We hope these words encourage you and spark a renewed emphasis on self-care in your daily life.