Stress relief activities to help you escape from your worries for a little while. Modelling in any medium requires deep concentration of the task at hand. The modelling process is deeply satisfying and rewarding.
Any hobby can help you escape from the world for a while whether it's knitting or gardening.
When we are absorbed in doing something we enjoy, that requires concentration and/or physical hard work, our minds will let go of the things that it's worrying about and give us a much needed break.
Kneading dough or clay is a great way to release tension and stress. It is physically hard work to do by hand but the process can help you to release any pent up frustration.
Stress relief activities are often physical, you can't think too deeply about anything if you are actively using your body. To think deeply we usually sit still and allow our bodies to rest while the mind works. If you are unable to be physical for whatever reason then it can be difficult to stop the mind from thinking and worrying.
This is where the creative process can help even if you have never been creative in your life, it doesn't matter.
It is the process of redirecting your mind to think of something else that will help you gain control.
As you focus your mind on the task at hand you can't think about your worries or troubles for a while and you can allow yourself a break.
Sometimes just not thinking actively on your stresses can help you to deal with them. Don't worry about the finished result that's not the point, the whole idea of the these activities is to release some of the stress you are feeling in your day to day life.
Young children will play for hours
with modelling materials, they create their own realities and populate
them with their own characters, they don't worry about what others think
as long as they can continue to play. We can learn a lot from watching
our children play.
Don't worry what others think, learn to play again and for a little while lose yourself in a world of your own making, where you are in control and your worries are left behind for the moment.
As a child I always remember my Mum making bread if she had a bad day, she always said the kneading made her feel better.
As an adult I also found that making bread dough is one of the best stress relief activities I've ever tried. After a bad day, instead of lashing out at my family or friends I would take all my frustrations out on a lump of dough.
You can thump it and twist it, pull it apart and throw it on the table. The more you abused it the better the bread would be. Even after I bought a fancy mixer that kneads the dough and makes perfect bread, I would still do it by hand after a bad day.
If you have a disability that effects your shoulders, arms or hands the sheer hard work of kneading dough for bread making can be too much. You really do need to knead the dough well or you will not get a nice light and airy loaf. I get a lot of pain in my upper body, arms and hands even if I do nothing so I rarely knead dough for bread anymore.
I have found other stress relief activities that can help to release that pent up frustration that are just as effective as making bread dough.
Kneading any type of modelling clay or dough is a great way to reduce stress. You don't have to be so physical as the finished result does not depend on how much you knead the material.
In most cases the simple mixing of the ingredients is enough but you can pound away with out damage if you need to. I now use my fancy mixer for making bread and keep my strength for modelling crafts.
Once you have removed your tension by squashing, kneading, squeezing, thumping, pulling apart and throwing around your chosen material you can actually then get absorbed in the creative process.
There are lots of different modelling materials you can try until you find the right medium for you.
Plasticine makes a great stress reliever and you can make some great models with it, they will last quite a long time if you keep them cool and don't squash them.
You don't even have to make a finished product to feel the benefits.
Take a piece of Plasticine, big enough to fit nicely in your hand and just squash it and squeeze it.
It will get quite soft the more you play with it but you can always put it in the fridge to harden it again.
Make a simple model like the dog in the photo. Just escape for a while, as long as it relieves some of your stress it doesn't have to be an artistic masterpiece.
It can be re-used over and over again to make as many models as you like. The ready made version is softer than Plasticine and is a lot easier to work, my homemade version is even softer. As with the other stress relief activities you don't need to make anything just play with it, squeeze it and pull it apart.
You can make things, though it tends to be too soft to make larger models. If you would like to have a go at making your own go to my play dough page for step by step instructions.
If you have children you could make up a batch for them to use, it will not only help to reduce your stress it will keep the kids occupied too.
Making things from salt dough is now one of my favorite stress relief activities. Not only can you have fun making the dough you can create something beautiful. The basic materials are really cheap and you don't need to have lots of fancy equipment.
Go to my salt dough page to find out how to make the models in the photo above. Like all my tutorials you will find step by step instructions and lots of photo's.
Oven baked clay is a fantastic medium for small detailed modelling pieces.
If you enjoy working with plasticine but would like your models to be more enduring then oven baked clay is the perfect progression.
You can make some really intricate and detailed models using it and once baked they will last for a long time.
It requires kneading when you first use it to soften it and to make sure that the chemicals within the clay are thoroughly mixed.
The stress relief comes from the attention required to create your models and the feeling of accomplishment when you have created something beautiful from a boring block of clay.
On my polymer clay pages you will find lots of tutorials to help you get started.
You'll find several to choose from on my Coloring Pages, from intricate geometric designs to simple patterns.
If you enjoy these check out Mia's Coloring Ideas book below.
Stress relief activities often require you to do something with your hands.
Make yourself a set of worry beads to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Use them as an aid to meditation, just counting the beads can help to clear your mind.
Having something to do with your hands is often helpful in times of high stress.
Worry dolls are easy to make and the process itself is relaxing.
The dolls were made for children originally.
The child would tell the doll their worries, then they would put the doll under their pillow and in the morning it would be gone taking the troubles with them.
Once you've made the dolls there's no reason why you can't tell them your own worries. Sometimes just talking about it can help even if there is no reply.
Playing with paint is a great stress relief activity.
We have lots of paint ideas for you to try, from splatter or rag painting to glue arts.
As adults we tend to keep things tidy and organised but occasionally making a mess can be a great source of fun.
Splashing paint onto paper without trying to create a masterpiece is a great way to lighten your mood. Do it with your friends or the kids, make a mess and have a laugh. Preparing the area for easy clean up will keep your stress levels down once you've finished painting.