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A Mental Break   
By Trine Holmvard

A Mental Break   

A lot of the time we are too focused on the product instead of the process when being creative. It actually takes practice to let go and float into creativity.  

Creativity and a little therapy 

With this in mind I’d like to inspire you with a little DIY which can hopefully give you a small break and improve your mental health.

We all need a break at times. Especially from the mental storm we face every time we open up a digital device. The world is complicated as an adult and in order to stay sane you have to take a mental break now and then… enter: creativity.

Do you remember what it was like to be a child with no sense of time? When you started playing a game did you try to calculate how and when it was going to end? Probably not and that’s exactly how I want you to play with creativity.

Really, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you let yourself get caught up in it. When you use creativity to take a mental break it is not the time to get all serious, plan the end product and set a deadline. It is a time to let go and get caught up in the process; experimenting, playing, having fun with it.

Yet it is not an easy thing to give in to creativity and forget about the outcome. That is why I’ll suggest this little activity to ease into it and eventually maybe even trick your brain to jump right into it.



You are going to decorate something as simple as an empty jar or several actually. The good thing about using empty jars, is that you were going to throw them out anyway; there is no pressure.

You did not buy an expensive canvas or any other item for this specific purpose. You just took something that you were going to throw out anyway and decided to play.


If you only have a certain amount of time I urge you to put on an alarm so you don’t have to think about it while you’re in the process. Just like you would if you were going to meditate. You might feel you are done before the time has even past but the clue is not to have to think about time and be interrupted by looking at the clock.



The idea is that you have something specific to do so you don’t have to ponder. You start by cleaning the empty jars and preparing your workspace so the tools you need for decorating is within reach. Try different things like covering one with betonpaste, painting one, using decoupage on a third and so on. You are just playing.

Maybe you’ll like one of them and consider it done or maybe you will keep going with the little project over some time.



Once you have a jar that you actually like to look at you are ready to make a little mixture using water or oil (find a recipe suitable for you and what you already have in the house) and ad a soothing smell by using essential oils. Find some thin long wooden sticks (maybe you have some leftover skewers from your last barbecue) and voila; you now have your own customized jar with incense sticks.

But why this DIY?

From now on every time you take a break using creativity, you turn the sticks to make a connection between the soothing smell you chose for yourself and the mental break you get when getting lost in the timeless space of creativity.

A lot of people use a certain position or smell every time they meditate so that in time the mind automatically knows what is going to happen whenever meeting the special clue and so the mind tunes in much faster.

Hopefully in time just turning the sticks may set your mind on “creative mental break mode” and bring you a small breath of mental health.

More about art and mental health



All about the Zentangle technique