10 Art Therapy Activities for Self-love

Materials for downloading and gifts inside!
Art therapy is a method that involves using Art as a form of treatment. It is a branch of psychotherapy, relatively new but rapidly developing, which has already proven its effectiveness. The method includes numerous art therapy activities, among which there is always something to suit individual preferences. Professional art therapists assure that through simple and enjoyable exercises, we can not only relax but also overcome many complexes, understand our inner selves, improve mood, and find harmony with the surrounding world. All we need for this is a piece of paper, pencils or paints, a little time and our desire.

The main thing to know about art therapy

How do I give myself art therapy?

There are hundreds of Art therapy activities to suit any taste. You can simply paint your emotions. Or pick a color to match your mood today. You can doodle around your own photo with markers. Just paint with your fingers. Or depict on paper what you would look like as a house. What kind of fruit are you right now? What kind of flower are you? And if you were a fantastic creature? You can always paint your dream. Or you can paint your fears. Or you can switch to a child mode and draw squiggles, abstractions and something incomprehensible. Any creative process will become a healing, soothing experience for you. And if you also take your favorite warm drink and play your favorite music, you can create an unforgettable memory for yourself. So now let's consider specific art therapy activities that will be useful for deepening your self-love.

Art therapy activity "I am a natural phenomenon"

One of the most wonderful art therapy ideas is to paint yourself as a natural phenomenon.
  1. Begin by gathering drawing tools such as pencils, markers, or paints, along with paper or canvas.
  2. Then think: what natural phenomenon would best describe your current state? Perhaps you're a sunny spring day? Or maybe a stormy sea? A rain cloud? Or a bright lightning bolt? Maybe you're a warm breeze, or perhaps you're an endless, mighty desert...
  3. Paint it, enjoying the process.
  4. And then spend some time with your artwork, reflect on it. You can write down some thoughts and insights in your journal. Finding that same image and depicting it on paper will help capture your current state.
  5. And when you give space to your mood through such a metaphor, you'll immediately feel better and see yourself in a new light.
Art therapists sometimes advise to repeat this art therapy technique and compile a whole album of your phenomenal states.

In-app art therapy activity "My inner monster"

If you would like to try guided art therapy but don't want to see a therapist – there are already several convenient applications that allow you to experience all the benefits of art therapy using your phone. One of them (Art & Color therapy: LINA) offers a wonderful practice called "My Inner Monster". The essence of the exercise is to get to know your shadow and make it your ally.
  1. Take your time to think of what kind of monster is inside you.
  2. There may be several, choose the strongest one. If you can't imagine it – just wait, give yourself some time.
  3. When you finally manage to visualize it – grab a pencil and paper and capture this image. Then contemplate it.

In the LINA app, there are a series of questions to help you understand your feelings and gain deep insights from this art therapy activity. There you can also receive personalized recommendations for your mental health from AI.

Click on the image to open the app in the AppStore

Art therapy activity "Shield of Strength"

An art therapy activity called the "Shield of Strength" possesses a very powerful healing effect. The essence is to create for yourself a protective reminder, a personal talisman that will assist you on the path to your goal.
  1. You need to draw a circle, oval, or any round shape that will remind you of the shape of a shield.
  2. Then you decorate this shield with your favorite colors and reinforce it with symbols, words, and positive affirmations that are important to you. For example, if you are working with self-love, you can write in the center of the shield: "I am a calm and confident person. Every day I discover myself better and love myself stronger."
  3. Then hang your magical shield in a prominent place and let it fill you with strength every time you look at it.

Animal and Plant Masks

Another exercise that will help you better understand your inner world is creating a mask of an animal or plant with which you currently associate yourself. What animal came to your mind now? Or perhaps you feel closer to a specific tree or flower
  1. Draw a mask of this animal or plant for yourself, and then try to play with it.
  2. Put on the mask, move around, make sounds.
  3. Then think: why did you choose this particular image? What do you have in common with this animal (plant)? What emotions and feelings arose for you during playing with the mask? What new things did you learn about yourself through this art therapy technique?
Each such exploration enhances your connection with your inner world and allows you to express yourself more brightly in your life.

Self-Portrait Exploration

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space to work.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to center yourself.
  3. Then, visualize how you perceive yourself in this moment.
  4. Begin drawing or painting a self-portrait, focusing on capturing not only your physical features but also your emotions and inner essence.
Creating a self-portrait allows you to find out what your actual emotional state is. By engaging in this art therapy activity, you can gain insights into how you perceive yourself and explore any underlying emotions or insecurities. As you reflect on your self-portrait, you may experience a deepening sense of self-awareness and acceptance, leading to increased self-love.

Dream Journal Collage

  1. Gather magazines, scissors, glue, and a journal or paper.
  2. Set aside some time in a quiet space where you won't be interrupted.
  3. Close your eyes and think about your dreams and aspirations.
  4. Flip through the magazines and cut out images or words that resonate with your dreams.
  5. Create a collage in your journal or on paper, arranging the images and words in a way that reflects your aspirations and goals.
The process of creating a dream journal collage allows you to visually express your deepest desires and aspirations. By bringing awareness to your dreams through creative expression, you can gain clarity on what truly matters to you and what you want to manifest in your life. This art therapy technique can help you align your actions with your aspirations, fostering self-love as you pursue your dreams with intention.

Positive Affirmation Coloring Book

  1. Purchase or create a coloring book filled with positive affirmations. Alternatively, you can write your own affirmations on blank coloring pages.
  2. Set aside some time each day to color while repeating the affirmations to yourself.
  3. Choose colors that evoke feelings of warmth and positivity as you fill in the designs.
Coloring in a positive affirmation coloring book provides a soothing and meditative experience. As you immerse yourself in the creative process, you reinforce the affirmations through repetitive action, helping to reprogram your subconscious mind with positive beliefs. This art therapy exercise promotes self-esteem and self-acceptance by encouraging you to focus on uplifting and empowering thoughts, ultimately deepening your love for yourself.
You can download beautiful visual coloring affirmations for free, designed by specialists from the "LINA" app, and try this gently transformative practice right now.

Family Relationships Sculpture

Gather a variety of mixed media materials such as clay, wire, fabric, and found objects. Find a spacious and well-lit area to work. Reflect on your family relationships and the emotions associated with them. Begin sculpting a representation of your family relationships using the materials at hand. Allow your intuition to guide you as you shape and mold the sculpture. Creating a sculpture that represents your family relationships offers a tangible way to explore and process complex emotions. As you engage in this expressive arts therapy technique, you may uncover insights into the dynamics of your family relationships and gain a deeper understanding of your own role within the family system. By visually expressing your emotions and experiences, you can release pent-up feelings and foster healing within yourself, leading to greater self-acceptance and love.

Favorite Fairy Tale Collage

Gather magazines, scissors, glue, and a journal or poster board. Think about your favorite fairy tale or story and how it resonates with you. Flip through the magazines and cut out images or words that relate to the themes and characters of the fairy tale. Create a collage that visually represents the story, incorporating elements that reflect your own life experiences and emotions. Crafting a collage based on your favorite fairy tale provides an opportunity for self-reflection and exploration. As you immerse yourself in the imagery and symbolism of the story, you may uncover parallels between the fairy tale and your own life journey. This art therapy technique encourages you to connect with your inner child and embrace the magic and wonder of storytelling. By visually expressing your personal narrative within the context of a fairy tale, you can gain a deeper appreciation for your own resilience and strength, nurturing self-love and compassion.

Art therapy activity "Emblem of Self-Care"

Set aside a special time to create your emblem of self-care. Gather art supplies such as colored pencils, markers, or paints, along with paper or canvas. Reflect on the activities and practices that bring you joy and relaxation. Begin designing your emblem, incorporating symbols and imagery that represent self-care and self-love. Focus on creating a visual representation of your commitment to nurturing yourself. Designing your emblem of self-care serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of prioritizing your well-being. As you engage in this art therapy activity, you reaffirm your commitment to self-love and self-care. Your emblem serves as a personal symbol of empowerment and resilience, reminding you to honor your needs and cultivate a nurturing relationship with yourself. By visually expressing your dedication to self-care, you deepen your sense of self-love and create a foundation for emotional healing and growth.