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3 Art Therapy Activities to Help You Explore Self-Love

You’ve probably heard the topic of self-love come up in the past, but it can be difficult to know where to start. You might have some ideas that come to mind such as self-care activities, finding ways to relax, or maybe something you're passionate about. Other times, we might feel so out of touch with ourselves that it can be hard to imagine what loving yourself would even look like. 

Let’s talk about what self-love means and how art therapy can help you in building a more loving relationship with yourself. 

“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” ― Rupi Kaur

A woman in a yellow shirt is hugging herself while looking off in the distance to demonstrate art therapy and self-love

The Meaning of Self-Love

I’d like to invite you to consider the question, "What does the warmth of my embrace feel like?" See if you can put that feeling into words. Does it feel soft or strong? Or maybe, it reminds you of a special person or place? The practice of being with yourself and intentionally focusing on your relationship with yourself may feel unfamiliar or even uncomfortable for some. If you're feeling this way, that is okay! Take this moment to remind yourself that all your feelings are valid and that this is part of the process of building self-love.

Self-love means that we accept ourselves fully, treat ourselves with kindness and respect, and acknowledge that we are worthy of our love. Self-love can sometimes be challenging. The ability to open ourselves up to seeing all parts of ourselves without judgement but with full acceptance–that’s easier said than done. However, this personal journey in building a stronger relationship with ourselves is fundamental for our well-being and growth in so many ways. The more we love ourselves, the more we can understand ourselves, care for others, and live a life we feel connected with. 

Why is it Important?

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important in our lives. It’s about valuing yourself as a human being who is worthy of love and respect.

Self-love can be achieved in many different ways, such as:

  • (a) self-contact, defined as giving attention to oneself;

  • (b) self-acceptance, defined as being at peace with oneself; and 

  • (c) self-care, defined as being protective of and caring for oneself.

This practice is associated with improved mental health, overall happiness, healthier relationships, and decreased stress.

Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. It’s through self-love that we gain self-knowledge, which is the ability to reflect on how we see ourselves in the context of our relationships with others and how we might rationalize our behaviours. We try to remember that in the process of gaining self-knowledge, building a greater relationship with yourself also requires warm and gentle kindness. Sometimes when we are feeling down, lost, or unsure of ourselves, it's the love you offer yourself that gives us the strength to not only be aware of your thoughts and actions, but also the capacity to breathe, to reflect, and to allow ourselves to be curious about everyday experiences in a way that feels safe. 

A person is using crayons during a free flow drawing session to demonstrate an art therapy for self-love technique.

Art Therapy Can Help You Explore Self-Love

Many people may find it hard to carve out time for themselves or do things that feel good and are good for them. Art psychotherapy provides that designated space and time to focus on your needs and what works best for you, along with the support of a professionally trained psychotherapist and the incorporation of creative elements. You might find that creative therapies can help you by inspiring reflection, validating your uniqueness as an individual, and promoting feelings of self-worth when words are not enough.

Below are just a few examples of how art psychotherapy can support you in building a greater relationship with yourself! 

Body Mapping 

Body mapping is a form of expressive arts therapy that focuses on the body as a way to explore narratives of lived experiences. Body mapping can promote better physical, emotional, and spiritual awareness, but also strengthens your ability to soothe your mind and body and invigorate recuperation. 

Inner Wisdom

Self-love can also be explored in art therapy by using creativity as a way to recognize your inherent wisdom and innate capacity for healing. This self-work practice in art psychotherapy seeks to foster a creative dialogue with your inner knowing promoting self-discovery, self-regulation, and overcoming challenges you might be faced with.

Energy Sketches

Energy sketching is a creative therapeutic practice that uses the spontaneous, expressive process of drawing a visual representation of your intention or inner energy. In doing so, this practice helps to enhance your sense of individuality and celebrate who you are with love, pride, and expression!

Ready to Start?

If you're ready to see how art psychotherapy can help you deepen your relationship with yourself and create time for self-love, we're here for you! Book your free 15-minute consultation with any of the CreativePsych art psychotherapist team!

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