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Vitamin Z

Vitamin Z

United States has been observing Mental Health Awareness during the month of May since 1949. Each year, businesses, organizations, schools and individuals dedicate this month to acknowledge those effected by mental illness and present innovative ideas, events and programs that support the treatment and prevention of Mental Illness.

Many individuals that suffer from mental health symptoms have found that creating art can be used as a therapy and have very positive effects on their condition. Even those not suffering from mental illness have found that a regular practice of creating art can be nurturing for relieving stress, increasing confidence and supporting general mental health wellness. The Zentangle Method is a simple and powerful way to access creativity. The Zentangle Method creates doorways to access our creative abilities and the artist within all of us. Using simple steps and basic strokes, anyone can create beautiful images using the Zentangle Method.
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A special Zentangle friend wrote me a thoughtful letter recently. She detailed so many lovely thoughts that warmed my soul, but there was one part that made me smile and then made my mind go into a tailspin of curiously wonderful thoughts.

Her words were, “Zentangle has been a vitamin for my Soul! A lot better than regular vitamins!”
It really made me think about our “regular” vitamins and some of the other routines we prioritize to stay healthy. Many of us put a lot of energy toward keeping our bodies healthy by making sure we eat healthy, to make sure we get all the vitamins. Some of us also exercise regularly to keep our bodies strong. And, don’t get me wrong, those things are very important. However, what about the health of our minds and even more importantly our hearts and our souls? How many of us make sure that each day we do something to keep our hearts and souls healthy? Are there vitamins for the soul?
If you think about it, if our hearts and souls are in a good place, it makes the task of keeping the rest of our body healthy a little easier. If our hearts and souls are under nourished, no matter how much effort we put into our physical bodies there will still be an imbalance and perhaps, an emptiness.
Each one of us is unique in what nutrients and vitamins our specific body needs. For instance, some of us might need a little extra vitamin C or D while another person might need extra zinc. We also might consider the time of year or time in our life as to what our bodies need.
What if we brought that same intention to keeping our hearts healthy by nourishing our souls? What if there were specific things that we thought of as vitamins for our souls. Perhaps these things don’t come in pill form or things that we eat but rather these are things we experience.
For instance, perhaps you enjoy fishing. You might enjoy the preparation, the calm, the time with nature, the quiet, the whole experience. It warms your heart and nourishes the soul. It makes you full and more equipped to do all the other things you need to do.
There are so many things in life that may seem like extras or things that we get to do only if you have the time, but they are important and vital components to keeping our “whole” bodies healthy. They are things that deserve priority. They are not extras.
Think about taking your daily or weekly doses of smiles, laughter, slow walks, coffee with a friend, phone calls with family, gardening, playing cards, candlelight dinners, reading, singing, painting and for us tanglers out there … Zentangle. What if we recognized the effects these things have on us and prioritized them as integral parts of a healthy lifestyle. What about taking a regular doses of “Vitamin Z” right along with all your other healthy habits.
Like anything it is easy to slip from taking care of ourselves. But, there is always today to make little change. So, the next time you make a choice to eat better, get more exercise or remember to take your regular vitamins, remember to also acknowledge the other things that bring you joy.
I know that creativity is important to me. I need it in so many ways. I have learned in my life I can get it various ways. Sometimes I draw, sometimes I build, I sculpt, I cook, I garden, almost anything I can get my hands on. But a lot of times, when life gets too busy, it is hard for me to access those things. My Zentangle practice seems always to be there. It is my go-to. It’s small, simple, portable, and accessible. I don’t need a ton of time, but I can get lost with it for hours if I do have the time. My tangling time fulfills my creative need. It calms me. It inspires me. It allows me let go of the day. So, for me taking a regular dose of Vitamin Z does warm my heart and nurture my soul.
I encourage you all to take a moment to acknowledge what warms you heart and nurtures your soul. Perhaps today you will take in a little vitamin Z and whatever else it is that you need to honor your whole body.

Thank you, Annie Rocha CZT, for inspiring this

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Thanks for joining us on this Zentangle Journey. We are ever so grateful for everything that Zentangle brings to each individual artist, and we know that is unique for everyone. We open up the comments for anyone that wants to share how Zentangle and creativity is part of your mental health wellness practice.


Molly Hollibaugh


  • Such a delightful daily reminder to Zentangle every day! I don’t know how I could ever have made it through the Pandemic and my surgery in the hospital nine months ago without tangling every day!! I would like to thank all of you at Zentangle@ for all that you do to guide us through difficult times. My heart is full of happiness, gratitude, appreciation and Love…Thank you so very much!…Julie Crosby CZT-32

    Julie Crosby on

  • Absolutely! Love this and wondering if we are able to bounce off your wonderful idea and use the icon of a “bottle of Vitamin Z” to help promote our journey in Zentangle to present this idea to schools, after-school groups, teachers, or anyone in the community to help get the Zentange message out there? I appreciate your feedback and love to read your blogs. You are all so inspiring and calming for our own health and Zentangle journey. Happy Mother’s Day here and I just loved reading this and hope as a CZT we can use the great idea? Thank you!

    Veronica Hodges CZT #37 Australia on

  • Vitamin Z – ring me a bell 🛎 Thanks Molly and Annie for your kind words and reminder! I have to admit Zentangle plays a Vitamin Z role on my daily life. It keeps my soul, my heart and my health positive energy which is a crucial vitamin to me. Love it! Coincidentally, it’s Mother’s Day. I hope that all mothers can also take appropriate vitamin Z do their body and mind can also enjoy the peace and happiness❤️

    Mimi on

  • Thank you again for reminding us of Vitamin Z. A daily dose of “Vitamin Z” along with taking time for our own mental health is so important, particularly in these challenging times. I believe it’s all incredibly important to do things for the mental health of those around us. (Whenever I have a choice of being right or being kind, I always try to choose kind.) We need to treat the world like our family. Rick, Maria, etc., etc. Thank you for making us part of your family. And what a great idea to creat “Wellbeing” videos. I can get my daily dose of Vitamin Z just by watching Maria tangle any day!

    Claire on

  • I gravitated toward Zentangle as a welcome treatment for pain management and can spend hours espousing its tremendous benefits there. Not to sound like a box full of crazy, but in addition to my health challenges, I am also chronically depressed, and we’re talking medication resistant depression. Although I take 5 different prescriptions for depression, I still need intervention. Now I only mention all this because Zentangle is a critical element in my efforts to achieve a positive mental state. If I could internalize the Zentangle Method to such a degree that I began every action I take with gratitude and appreciation, I would save a lot of money on therapy! Instead, I embrace the approach daily during my Zentangle time, and that brings me one step closer to balance. Overall, the mental state we achieve while tangling is a healthy addition to everyone’s psyche. It also teaches me important lessons about being enough and that even though my drawing isn’t perfect, it is enough. I am learning the lessons that Zentangle teaches, and it is helping me become much better in my mental health. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

    Elizabeth Peters on

  • Love this post and all it’s content❤️

    Leslie Mahon on

  • Been using Zentangle in mental health treatment since I learned about it. I’ve been so fortunate to become a CZT and implement it fully as a compliment to all other treatment modalities!

    Randi Padover on

  • I discovered Zentangle in 2012 when my partner was battling Cancer. Zentangle helped me deal with the stress of everyday trauma. His battle lasted 5 years and I’m sure if I didn’t have my tangle books and journals my mental state would have been a sorry state. Worse than it finally was when he was finished his fight. My sister in law still says we both have PTSD from the trauma of what we all went through. Last year I was finally able to attend the on line CZT36 seminar and I loved every second of it. I’ve been trying new things with my tangling and actually sharing the gift of Zentangle. Thank you so much for bringing Zentangle and Art into my life.

    Deanna Conlon CZT36 on

  • I’m a “newbie” yet I’ve been ogling Zentangle for several years. Once I took a class (online with ZenJo-Joanna Quincey), I was quite certain that this method of creativity without judgement was what I’d been seeking. It is a great way to learn about oneself and learn to be patient and kind with myself. Thank you for this post and this methodology!

    Cathy Kurvers on

  • All days start with Z! Zmonday, Ztuesday…..

    Ginny Lockhart on

  • All days start with a dose of Z-vitamins. 🌺 And when I cannot sleep I give myself an extra dose by focussing on tangling with my eyes closed. And soo I drift off to zzzzzzzzzzz-land. Namasté.

    Karin Godyns, Belgian CZT living In Spain on

  • I found Zentangle a couple of months ago and I’m so happy I did. I only now realise how much I’d missed doing more creative things. I used to do more arts when I was younger and the last couple of years I’ve done less of other hobbies too, just feeling busy and sometimes stressed and trying to fit schedules together. Besides loving the method and what it looks like, I also love that it’s quite easy to pick up and you don’t necessarily have to find a whole bunch of materials to do it, and you don’t have a lot to clean up after either like there’s sometimes with painting for example. So there’s not a lot of things that end up in you thinking, maybe I do it tomorrow instead. It’s also a great thing to bring joy now when we have had to stay at home so much more.

    Annina W on

  • I have always thought of vitamin Z as the best gift that could be received. How appropriate of a reminder just now. Thank you Molly, well said!

    Marjorie Goosen on

  • I try to do or watch some form of zentangle daily. It helps to calm me since I am a hyper person. It even helps me to sleep! I like thinking of it as vitamin Z.

    Bev Davy on

  • Vitamin Z ! I don’t think I could survive without my daily dose! I was introduced to this beautiful art form in 2019… just in time to be prepared for the next year in isolation that we’ve all experienced! In July of last year my grandchildren moved 1500 miles away and 10 days later I began a 3 week vigil with my mom in hospice. It was only my faith and my Zentangle notebook and pens that got me through that period. I even keep a small 4×5 journal and micron in my purse that I have at the ready for any opportunity while waiting for appointments, etc. I can’t even begin to imagine my life without this transformative art form that we all love so very much. I am forever grateful to Rick, Maria, Martha, and Molly for sharing their incredible gifts with us! Our gratitude can best be expressed by sharing what we’ve learned with someone who needs this life changing art!

    Bonnie Johnson CZT36 on

  • My goodness what a beautiful and inspiring post this is! The Vitamin bottle is beyond awesome! Yes those of us who have the gift of getting to Tangle each day are blessed beyond measure! Zentangle is a friend and companion in my life! It is part of my daily regimen! So looking forward to the next Project Pack!

    Donna Lee Wynn, CZT 13 on

  • It’s so nice to hear about this concept and funny to see that spreading this vitamin all over the world has been even easier than getting a vaccine against Covid. My mental health definitely depend on what happens in the world first and then what I can make happen. Extra dose for today after a medical checking yesterday… Everything is perfect and I can tangle. Thankssss🌺🌺🌺

    Os Burbano on

  • I love this! I found zentangle after a breakdown left me unable to create or even hold a pen creativity is so healing and zentangle was my path back into an art that can heal my soul. I’ve always been surrounded by people who struggle with there mental health and this year zentangle has got us through i shared it with my nan and it helped her through her SAD this winter my best friend used it to get through a very difficult time and now uses it to help her find a positive focus and distraction from her cronic pain. My sister even uses it to help with the kids quiet time my niece loves it and its a nice break for my sister too even my mum who is severley depressed and didnt think her mind could take in anything has managed this and it has inspired her to take on things in her life on step at a time the change is amazing. I knew i wanted to share Zentangle from the moment i discovered it i knew it could help so many im on my path to become a CZT but i am and will be forever grateful to Maria and Rick,Molly, Martha, and all a Zentangle Hq for this amazing gift to the world. The transformation so far has been awesome you are lifesavers thank you x

    Dawn on

  • The calming, supportive, well-being effects of creating Zentangle have been literally a “life saver” for so many in dealing with the challenges of life but even more so over this last year of world changes.
    I have always approached my own tangling and how I share and teach Zentangle with this understanding of the very special magic that happens with the simplicity of drawing beautiful lines.
    I started a weekly online Tangle Club in April 2020, an extension of my small local group. Little did I know how very important this weekly meeting would become for so many who were isolated at home, across the world. They have been able to cherish the opportunity to experience the regular calming, nurturing, mental health well-being benefits of tangling their way through a troubled year.
    The connections and friendships that have blossomed from this group are an added benefit of the joy of tangling.
    The mental health benefits of creating Zentangle are huge.
    Thank you for sharing this Blog.

    Joanna Quincey on

  • Yes! Vitamin Z is crucial to my spiritual and mental health. Since I discovered Zentangle drawing about six years ago it has been a key practice for me. It has restored my confidence, in and reconnected me to, my creativity. It’s why I love sharing it with others-that they might also connect with their creative gifts.

    Diane Harpster on

  • How appropriate for my life right now! I was just talking to my husband that I thought my Zentangle practice should be just as high on my list as my yoga practice! I will start referring to it as my daily Vitamin Z. Thank you Molly, for your insight!

    Laura Perelman on

  • Just used your illustration of Vitamin Z to tangle one of my own then posted it inside my medicine cabinet. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Linda Dochter on

  • Vitamin Z…what a wonderful post! I started tangling to help me cope with all the negativity and worry surrounding this Covid 19 pandemic, staying at home all the time, not seeing my family and friends, etc. It was a life saver for me and so much better than a handful of multi vitamins! I almost never miss a day of tangling…if I do, it’s like part of me is missing. Thank you for creating/teaching/sharing such a wonderful outlet for those of us who are feeling the pressure of everyday life. It’s been a Blessing.

    Dianne Riva Cambrin on

  • Has Zentangle ever considered a monthly subscription kit? I know I would want to subscribe to it!

    Karla Oliver on

  • The bottle alone makes me smile!! yes, a daily dose of Vitamin Z is a must! thank you Molly for the great art and blog post!!

    Jennifer Cottrell on

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