Several weeks ago, I spoke with a woman who was caring for her elderly Mom who had memory issues, was reluctant to leave the house and most likely was depressed. Consequently, Emily (not her name) was beside herself trying to figure out what to do with her Mom.
Among the things I suggested was creating a "take a break" area for Mom, where she could do some simple arts and crafts projects, puzzles etc. but still be with the family. While I made other recommendations to help Mom, the one that Emily was able to easily implement was creating a craft area for her Mom in the family room. The results were dramatic. Not only did memory improve, but Mom was now staying up longer, engaging with the family and spending many happy hours drawing, working on puzzles etc. She was so inspired she even managed to make dinner for the family one night.
Taking a break and using your hands is very healing Having an area where things are organized just makes it more likely that you will take a break and make something.
My husband became tired of my stuff being spread out all over the place, and my constantly saying, “Have you seen my scissors (substitute just about anything).” He made me an area, with lots of shelves, to store all my “take a break” stuff.
I find that it’s not only very helpful to have everything in one place, but other members of my family can be found there periodically working on their own projects.
Not only is a “take a break” area suitable for home, but think about it for your office, waiting room, hospital, staff lounge, health center or business.
Location: Who uses the “take a break” area will determine its location and how you equip it. If you are making it for an elder living with you, or for kids, create it in a corner of an area where the family naturally gathers. If you want privacy, pick a place with little or no foot traffic, such as your bedroom, attic or basement. However, try to place it near a window for natural lighting.
Organizing the area: You will want a flat surface to work on, a chair, lighting, electrical outlet, electric strip and storage. While shelves are great, a desk with drawers underneath, or even an old door laid on two saw horses, with boxes on the floor and peg board on the wall are also fine. Work with what you have. Mason jars; tins and even yogurt containers are great for stashing paintbrushes, colored pencils etc. for both storage and easy access.
Stocking it: While you’ll want the basics of things like colored pencils, markers, paper, tape and scissors, depending on what interests you, stock it with what the person likes to do. While I do a lot with fabric, I tend to keep my fiber and sewing area separate from my general supplies of paints, glues, beads and other things that don’t necessarily mix well.
If you are creating a “take a break” area for someone else, things to consider include:
• Different types of paper, colored pencils, markers, paints (tempera, water colors, acrylics, fabric) scissors, brushes and tape. I have a shelf dedicated to different colors of Duct Tape.
• Clay-Model Magic is terrific for creating items that can air dry. For finer detailed work, such as jewelry, use polymer clay. This will require baking.
• Ribbons, colored string, wire
• Glues of various sorts including a glue gun
• Mandalas to color or paint
• Check out Archives 8/09-10/12 for hundreds of “Take a Break” ideas.
Looking for a different “take a break?” I was exploring Indian head and neck massage and came across Wings of Knowledge website. Lots of free videos and instruction on massage techniques, including self-massage, yoga, meditation etc.