Soothing art over the Holidays

#MondayWithAimée

Christmas is right around the corner and I thought it was the perfect time to pause my usual program to cook you an artistic list for the winter break. I don’t know how you take time off. We all have different methods of relaxing and unplugging. My advice to you is simple: just do it. Whatever it is that you do that makes you so happy that you feel refreshed afterwards, do it. Go out, spend afternoons outside walking in the snow, chat with your family, play games in pjs (if by now you haven’t noticed I have a deep love for PJs, you’re fooling yourself.) Take the time to do it. Embrace the time off and let it heal you back to life, so you’ll be a refreshed soul for the beginning of the New Year.

I know holidays can be tricky. It’s a lot of pressure, it’s a lot of social to do, and not everyone feels 100% comfortable in these situations. Not every family is stable, sane and safe. It’s not because it’s a time you’re meant to spend with your family that you want to or feel good doing it. I love holidays and the happy spirit, but I want to acknowledge the fact that it’s not always joyful and easy. So in this article, I also want you to have something to focus on, something to do to put your mind at ease with, something to escape reality with. At least for a moment, you’ll have a fictional friend to support you and calm you.

My brain has simple needs: solitude + art = happy aimée.

My personal way of recharging is being alone. Well, doing things on my own. I love friends and hanging out with my family, but at the end of the day, my brain needs solitude to refresh, recharge and calm myself. Art, no matter the form, has always been a way to soothe and to thrive for me. Sometimes, I must create it, other times, I simply must enjoy other people’s work.

I also wanted to point out the fact that no art is useless. Some of it might sound and look overly cheesy, but if you like it, what the hell. It’s not stupid. Its point was to make you feel better for a given time. As long as it soothes your soul, why not? The key is balance. A time where you’re productive, thriving, creating, analyzing, but also some time where you’re unplugging and giving yourself the freedom and the space to enjoy the peace of a quiet, seemingly useless moment. But it’s not useless. If you are bold in your productivity, be bold in taking the time to soothe yourself.

So, in the spirit of recharging over the holidays, here’s my list of soothing art. The art I can always go back to to feel better. Either by laughing, by crying or by dreaming.

( I also included my to be read/seen pile, I thought I could tell you what new content I’m planning to consume and tell you if any of those making the big list.)

Movies

( disclaimer: handsome actors make me feel happier, brighter, lighter. Therefore, they’re a huge part of my reasons. Whooooopsy daisies. I swear I’m not that superficial.)

note: you can find a lot of these on streaming services.

Ø  All Marvel movies (especially Captain America or any movie where Steve Rogers appears.)

Steve Rogers always finds a way to make me feel better.

+ Chris Evans is my personal go-to for everything. (you’ll understand that very quickly)

Ø  La La Land

need I say more? It became a classic instantly.

Ryan Gosling + brilliant storyline + great songs/lyrics + dreams

Ø  The Spy Who Dumped Me

This movie is associated with such great memories of plane movies and me laughing out loud while everyone is sleeping.

Sam Heughan + funny lines + action

Ø  The Man From U.N.C.LE

I once watched this movie 5 times in 4 days. I was on a weird vibe, obviously, but this movie was there for me, so I owe it, eternal love.

Armie Hammer + Hugh Grant’s accent + witty lines + old school action + romance tension

Ø  The Greatest Showman

It’s a tie with La La Land for best musical of the decade.

Zac Efron + Hugh Jackman + catchy songs + dreamy plot

Ø  What’s Your Number?

This movie cracks me up, it’s a perfect mix of fun and romance. Just a great feel-good movie.

Chris Evans (shirtless, a lot of hehehe) + romance + many brilliant actors + wit

Honourable mentions:

Ø  Love Actually (Christmas + Hugh grant classic movie)

Ø  He’s Just Not That Into You (classic rom-com, perfect to forget reality)

Ø  Christmas Prince Series (example of cheesy and bad in every way but makes me feel Christmas-y.)

Ø  Catch Me If You Can (so good in every way, Leo especially)

Ø  Where Are The Morgans? (so funny I cried laughing)

Ø  Crazy Stupid Love (the revelation scene is probably the funniest I’ve ever seen)

My to-be-seen pile:

o   Knives Out

(lie, I’ve seen this, but will rewatch it and for real, it’s so totally worth it.)

Chris Evans (yes, again, he’s my fave okay?) + sweaters + whodunit at its finest + brilliant cast ensemble

o   Marriage Story

Apparently, it’s very moving.

o   Midway

Tv shows

Ø  Sherlock

Do I know every line of every episode? Quite possibly. Am I still laughing at every witty comment? Totally.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s accent + mystery + cinematic masterpiece + friendship goals

Ø  Toute la vérité

I watch this series every year, just because I know the characters like my friends and love them so much. I’ve always said we make great tv in Québec, and this is an example of a show that makes me proud of my people.

Romance + drama + Québec people + good acting + great storylines

Ø  Supernatural

A mix of funny and weird and mysterious and thrilling. I love this show even more for the characters than for the plot.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles + brotherhood + fun

Books

Ø  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Ugh, this book. I don’t think there’s a book where I relate to the main character and love the main guy as much as this one. I have to read it every year just to remind myself who I am and how amazing it is that other people are like me.

all the fangirling + Levi

Ø  The Third Twin by Ken Follett

Love this writer to pieces, he’s immensely talented. Also fell in love with the main guy in here. That happens a lot.

Steve + thriller

My little Québécois/Literature student pride cannot talk about books without mentioning local artists as well.

Ø  Hiroshimoi by Véronique Grenier

Ø  Chauffer le dehors by Marie-Andrée Gill

these are two poem books that have a similar style and that touched me deeply.

My to-be-read pile (yes, this is too much for 2 and a half weeks)

o   Comic Books Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

o   Ghetto X by Martin Michaud

o   Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull

o   Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

o   Frankly In Love by David Yoon

o   & A bunch of comic books!

I’d love to hear what you guys have as a fictional support group and how you deal with your holidays. Tell us down in the comments what are your “soothing art pieces”! J As always, sweetheart, I’m looking forward to chatting with you and until then, don’t forget to like and go check out our facebook page as well! J

-aimée.

Photo by Hert Niks

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