Friday, March 3, 2017

Calligraphy: An Anxiety Reducing Activity

Calligraphy: An Anxiety Reducing Activity

I've always envied naturally calm people and have always wanted to be the 'chill' girl... but no. That's just not me. I think I am just naturally a high strung person. I'm anxious and am a ball of energy. I am a planner, I always have a backup plan, I make lists for lists and I am always neat and organized. I definitely suffer from anxiety from time to time and get stressed somewhat easily which makes it even worse. This is always something I have really had to work on. I've gotten better as I have gotten older. I'm more flexible and go-with-the-flow, but I'm always working towards being better at this. 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about trying new things and how I just started learning to play tennis (I just added in a second weekly lesson last week!). So when my friend Aly asked if I wanted to take a calligraphy class, I thought, 'why not?!'. For my first job out of college, I worked at an event planning company so I was familiar with the art of calligraphy-- and boy is it an art. It's truly amazing how you can turn ordinary letters into truly spectacular works of art.

So three of us signed up for Judith Browne's class in Pittsburgh. It was scheduled in a 4-hour block and I was secretly thinking to myself, what on earth are we going to do for four hours?! In hindsight, I could have sat there for 10 hours just practicing.

The workshop was so much fun. Judith is the sweetest and so good at what she does. Not to mention, she was a wonderful, patient teacher. The four hours flew by and at the end, I felt confident enough to practice on my own.

Do you know that that block of 4 hours was the most calming experience? I really had no idea what to expect but it was therapeutic almost. Calligraphy is slow, not rushed, very fluid and really takes all of your concentration.

I'm now a true believer in practicing calligraphy in order to reduce or relieve stress. Seriously, when I pull out my notebook, pen, and ink, and turn on some classical music and just focus, it's almost as good as getting a massage! I'll carve out about 20 minutes to practice and that goes by so quickly, I often extend the time!

It's kind of similar to the idea behind adult coloring books. But the thing with calligraphy, that I think is much more beneficial, is that you are actually practicing an artform/a learned skill. Everyone knows how to color, but to learn calligraphy is a new skill and something that you could potentially use. I am all set to do everyone's wedding envelopes ;).

It's also so refreshing to be doing something that requires absolutely no electronics/computers/social media. While I'm practicing, the TV is off and my phone is set to 'do not disturb'. This is about as 'vintage' as you can get in 2017. The first time I saw all of the pens and inks laid out, it totally reminded me of Harry Potter!

Even just watching others write is truly mesmerizing. Plus, when I'm done practicing, it's satisfying because practice really does make perfect. You can actually see your progression from the beginning of a page to the end.

So basically, the point of today's post is to try out calligraphy if you have the opportunity. I guess 2017 is kind of the year of trying new things for me, and this was another thing that I have fallen in love with and could not recommend more.


hannah g said...

I had this experience a few years ago, but with flower arranging! I was able to take floral design classes (semester-long) at a local community college and it was relaxing, but also got my creative juices flowing, as they say. I recommend it to everyone I know!

Kayla Pelletier said...

Oh boy, how I wish I had you to do my wedding invitation envelopes 4 months ago!! Had to do "fake" gel pen calligraphy, some times you need to be frugal in some parts of your budget!

Stephanie C said...

Your lettering looks great, I've seen more on Snapchat too.

Cheri B. said...

Thanks for an interesting idea. I probably would never think of Calligraphy on my own.


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