arte & terapia

how to deal with anxiety in moments of social isolation

August 4, 2020

[ leia este texto em português, logo aqui :) ]

practices and testimonies related to art, to inspire you.

Anxiety is something that lives in our urban modern daily life, it’s inevitable. If we’re not working in a project already thinking about how we’re going to solve the following problem even before it starts, it seems we’re not being productive enough.

Anxiety makes us think that we know what we need to have a balanced life at the same time we fight to not let our heart accelerate imagining the next moment. Nowadays it’s extremely hard to ignore the storm of information that falls over our heads without even asking. It’s even worse during this social isolation moment, right?!

So I ask myself, what do I need to do to live in the present? Meditation, yoga, pills, sports? All the good-vibes rituals that I can find online?

Speaking as someone who goes through therapy and some more to deal with this goddam anxiety, believe me, I don’t have the right answer. I’m sorry for letting you down.

However, it’s common sense among health professionals that taking moments to turn yourself off from this exceeding information, connecting with yourself, and slowing the rhythm down - even breathing slower - can contribute to reducing anxiety levels. 

To inspire you to have a moment for yourself, I invite you to try three practices that have been helping me a lot during quarantine, and that connect with messages we receive in the studio and are completely related to art:

paint, draw and take a chance

Flora Chiarelli from @aondesblog, on Kaju’s workshop in 2019.

Either it is taking off the dust from your color pencils and using them to paint a coloring book or filling a paper with uneven and curious lines, we all can - and must - explore ourselves as artists. Leave the fear aside and use the same courage you have for singing alone in the shower and start to experiment yourself as an artist. Without any pressure, just allow yourself to flow in that moment of expression.

taking a closer look

Rahel Papis, client, and partner, about Kaju’s art. 

For a long time, I was conditioned on doing a lot of things at the same time and I feel it has become more frequent during isolation at home. It was common for me to have dinner in the living room, watching a TV show while scrolling my Instagram feed. Terrible, I know.

The small habit that has transformed my days is actually very simple: stop, breathe, and observe. One step at a time. Enjoy the moment. Feel the pleasure from that pause.

Now, I try taking a few moments from my day to practice it using art. I stop everything I’m doing to listen to a song and feel each note, I observe a painting and dive into each stroke, and so it goes...

surround yourself with art

Adriana Guerra, on Kaju’s Instagram profile.

Just like jazz is much more than a waiting room sound, art is much more than a doodled spot in the living room’s decoration, but for art to become the artist’s intention, we need to connect with them as spectators.

During moments of agony for being away from the family, friends, routine, and basically a social life, accessing new emotions and stories can be a portal to better days.

That’s why I try to surround myself with art, and also getting to know the artists I like the best. So, I’ve moved a couple of paintings that I already had to walls where they can be in focus, I’ve started watching different movies from what I usually do, I’ve started taking online dancing classes, I’ve bought also different books and even my phone’s wallpaper is now art related.

The last gifts I’ve given my family and friends? Art. The last gifts I’ve given myself? Art. The last projects I’ve invested time and money? Art.

Being deep in pure art brings an unexplainable joy to us. This way days have been better and more colorful.

It’s not easy to avoid anxiety, but we need to live one day at a time and allow ourselves to enjoy each second. Definitely, our best friends right now are the artworks in our routine, because they allow us to relax, experiment, dive, absorbe, learne, live and anything else we imagine.

Cheers to arts of any kind!

This text is part of a series of content that unites art and the process of assuming sensibility, art, and creativity as an occupation, written by the creative and project assistant of the studio Heloisa Vilicic


This post was written by Heloísa Vilicic. She is a storyteller. Tells stories of people, brands and places trough design, writing, photography, and art. She's passionate about off-road adventures, so she uses to design days that allow her to live like this. She's always worked with communication focused projects, either for companies like the business school Conquer or as a freelancer for companies like OnLine press. As a student, she's been trough Universidade Belas Artes and Melies and is now a student at a graduation course of languages.

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