What are the stages of Alzheimer’s Disease?

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Dementia

Curious to know more?

Interested in learning how to engage your person with dementia using the arts? Click that button and schedule a time to chat.

If you are anything like me, you have trouble sitting still this is where using an activity to engage in mindfulness can be a big help. You can practice mindfulness skills during any activity, but we are going to focus on art for today.

In the post What is Caregiver Mindfulness, we went over the basics of mindful practice and how it can be applied to life as a caregiver. Here we are going to expand upon that and discuss how we can use art with our mindful techniques.

mindful art exercise for caregivers maryland

Why use art for mindfulness?

At its core, mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment, acknowledging thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. Art provides a unique opportunity to practice this mindfulness, as it encourages us to immerse ourselves fully in the creative process. When we are creating art, we are invited to set aside worries about the past or future and instead focus our attention on the here and now.

One of the key principles of mindfulness is non-judgmental awareness – accepting things as they are without labeling them as good or bad. Similarly, when creating art, we can release the need for perfection and simply allow ourselves to explore and experiment without self-criticism. Creating art mindfully is about the process of making art, not the finished product.

When engaging in mindful art exercises I invite you to approach it with curiosity and even playfulness. We observe the color, and how it looks and is placed on the page but do not judge our brush strokes or if we even stay within the lines. We are just practicing being present and seeing what happens. It invites us to look at situations with new eyes.

No special skills or materials are needed to practice mindful art. Whether it is doodling, coloring in a picture, or arranging leaves outside, it is all valid and beneficial.


Here is an exercise to get you started:

Materials:

  1. A piece of paper
  2. Markers, colored pencils, crayons—whatever you have

markers and paper on desk for mindful art exercise caregivers

Exercise:

  1. Start by taking a few slow, deep breaths. Thank yourself for showing up to nurture yourself.

 

2. Pick a color and slowly draw looping lines and scribbles all over your page. Slow is the key as we are trying to slow our minds down.

markers and paper for mindful art exercise for caregivers

3. Now, look at your markers (or whatever) and pick the first one your eye lands on. Just trust it. Plus, there is no WRONG in this.

4. Look at your paper, pick a space to color in. As you color in that shape, instead of letting your mind wander, try and focus on paying attention to how you are filling in the space. Small strokes or long ones? Which side do you start at? Just notice.

5. When that space is filled, repeat the process with another color and another space. Try not to plan it as you go but just let it happens as it wants to.

partially done mindful art exercise for caregivers

6. When your mind wanders away, just gently acknowledge that, set the thought aside, and return to the paper.

7. Take as long as you need. This is a good exercise to stop in the middle of and then come back to.

There you have it.
This is one of my favorite exercises because you can do it any time, anywhere. Even on the back of a receipt.

Curious to know more?

Interested in learning how to engage your person with dementia using the arts? Click that button and schedule a time to chat.

Start working with Sivan

I’m an online art therapist for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. I am located in Salisbury, MD and provide online art therapy to clients living all over Maryland and Delaware.

Get started in online therapy for dementia

You do not have to lose yourself to the disease–as an individual with the diagnosis or as a care partner. I believe that with guidance, art can help you intuitively reconnect, or even discover and reclaim, those parts of yourself that were set aside to make room for others. All you have to do is make the first mark. Or follow the four easy steps below.

Take the steps to get started in therapy. Here are four easy steps to get you started:

  1. Book the Consultation: Schedule your free 20 minute chat on a day and time that works for you.
  2. Complete the Questionnaire: Within 24 hours you will recieve a short questionnaire that will help me make sure we make the most of your 20 minutes
  3. Be Ready for the Chat: You will recieve a zoom link when you schedule. I will log on at the time you chose and will have reviewed your completely questionnaire. This is a time for us to get to know one another, have your questions answered, and set up an intake appointment to get the therapy going.
  4. Your Intake Appointment: Meet with me to get started in therapy