Stressed out? Can’t stop worrying? Can’t focus? Sometimes we just can’t seem to escape the whirlwind of emotions we are caught up in, no matter how much we try. Fret not. Enter the Paperbox and some mindfulness!
With 150+ coloured sheets of paper and a dash of playful imagination, the Paperbox is a platform that can help you unlock your true potential and access the inner reaches of your mind. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present, non judgmentally and open-heartedly. Practising mindfulness helps clean the cobwebs of our minds. Like taking a breath of fresh air and opening the windows on a beautiful spring day. So that when you do a task with mindfulness, you do it with 100% of your attention. With that, we enlist 10 creative solutions for your Paperbox to bring out the best in you.
1. The 5 senses game
This is a mindfulness activity to calm the mind by using the 5 senses to focus on the environment instead of your thoughts.
Take sheets of color that you love. Go and sit in your favourite place.
– First, notice 5 things you see. Look around you and become aware of your environment. Try to observe carefully. For ex: the curtains moving with the breeze etc.
– Second, notice 4 things you feel. Bring attention to the things you are currently feeling such as the surface of the couch you are sitting on, your feet on the floor etc.
– Third, notice 3 things you hear. Listen for and perceive sounds in the background that you normally don’t pay attention to. It could be the birds chirping outside or an appliance buzzing in the next room.
– Fourth, notice 2 things you smell. Bring your attention to scents and smells that you usually filter out. Catch a whiff of the mangoes in bloom or the spices from your kitchen.
– Finally, notice 1 thing you taste. Take a sip of a drink or notice the last taste of the morning cup of coffee you had in your mouth.
The goal of the game is to practise being aware in the present moment and more attuned to the 5 senses. It reduces anxiety and helps one acquire focusing skills. It is particularly helpful in stressful situations.
2. Motivation wall
Choose the sheets of colour you love and pick one to represent particular attributes that you cherish. For eg. Red for love/ bravery, Blue for commitment/ honesty, Green for brotherhood/ friendship, Yellow for strength/ patience, Purple for intellect/ talent etc. Get your friends and loved ones to write what qualities they like best about you or inspirational quotes and words of advice for you on bits of paper and stick them on the relevant colour on your wall. This way you can know your dominant traits and work on the qualities you choose.
Apart from a beautiful wall, this serves as your bigger picture reality check ready with its own words of advice for you before you step out into any difficult situation in life.
3. Wall of fame/ Junk Collage
Choose the sheets of colour you love and stick them up on your wall. Post things of special note on little pieces of paper. This wall can be used to write, draw, record memories, thoughts, ideas and inspiration in separate frames of colours. You can also adorn it with bands and photos of special moments. Or glam it up with special belongings like flowers or gifts like jewellery from your loved ones. Make it as colourful and artistic as you can!
This wall can be gifted to someone close if you know them well enough to craft a wall out of their memories. The best part is every wall will be absolutely unique. You can maintain a theme such as destinations or landscapes or an aesthetic such as nature or music inspired or go completely eclectic!
4. Mood board/ Feeling board
Make your own mood board and cheer yourself up when you are at your lowest! Pick one sheet of colour to represent a particular mood. For eg. Red for angry, blue for low and gloomy, green for jealousy, yellow for boredom and purple for anxiety etc.
Write your favourite quotes related to each mood and get your friends to add their choice of quotes on small pieces of paper and stick them on the colour of the mood its related to. Depending on your frame of mind, you can look at any of the frames that represent your mood and watch it change before your own eyes! For eg. Next time before quitting read the words, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”
5. Photo Booth Collage
Make a photo booth collage in your room with pictures of your loved ones and the moments that truly matter on different coloured sheets! This unique wall will serve as a photo booth apart from a beautiful decoration for your room as your friends can pick and pose with different backgrounds of their interest. Use string lights or colourful paper strings made from your Paperbox sheets to jazz it up!
6. Gratitude journal
Gratitude journaling is the habit of recording and reflecting on things that you are grateful for on a regular basis, rewiring your brain to focus more on the positive aspects of your life. Make your new Paperbox gratitude journal by writing down 3 things you are grateful for today or an act of kindness someone did or you did for someone. Do this everyday. By keeping a gratitude journal, you are accountable to developing appreciation and enjoying happier days.
7. Bucket list journal
Inspire yourself to dream big, set goals and note down your daily achievements into your own Paperbox bucket list journal. Jot down all the things you want to do before you die and tick them off your list once you’ve completed them. Writing down your bucket list on paper acknowledges your desire to experience these things and you are more likely to tick them off your list. So go on, make that list!
8. Letter to a friend
Revive the dying art of writing letters with your new Paperbox. Remember that familiar tingling feeling every time you saw an envelope with your name on it? Right from the era of tiny notes tied to birds, letters carry with them a thrill like no other! So take some of your favourite colours of sheets and get writing! Write a letter to your childhood best friend or your next-door neighbour. After all there is nothing as personal as a letter and as eternal as the written word. You don’t even have to post it! All that matters is you found a voice within yourself.
9. Mindful doodling
Zentangle is for anyone who needs to just slow down and chill. It is in simple terms meditative drawing or meditative doodling. It is a method of drawing easy to learn, relaxing, structured patterns which are called tangles. Zentangle art is spontaneous and free flowing. So you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result as there are no mistakes in Zentangle!
Designing and colouring mandalas can help you focus your attention. That’s why they’re a great exercise for calming down when you’re stressed. They help with balance and concentration and make it easier to be mindful and let your creativity flow. Mandalas are designed to help you become free from your worries. This is because they make it easier to focus on the present moment. It’s also why they’re such a powerful relaxation tool.
What does one do with all those remaining bits and scraps of colourful paper left behind from all your various Paperbox projects? Just get a pair of scissors or a hole puncher and go crazy! Collect all the tiny shapes and pieces of colourful paper and fill confetti balloons for your next celebration or even sprinkle it in gift bags and boxes for a fun surprise! This simplest of tasks can go a long way to de-stress and unclutter your mind. Cutting tiny bits of paper is extremely relaxing while it results in something productive. Watch your troubles vanish as you snip at all the anger within and chop away all your worries and cares! And have only a blast of colour to show for it.