Ideas for how creativity can improve our mental health
Nowadays, there are more ideas around than ever about how we can care for our mental health. Sometimes, the challenge can be finding one that works for you and your lifestyle.
There is much written now about the benefits of Mindfulness. You may even have heard of Mindful colouring in? Immersing ourselves in some creative pursuit is a way of learning to switch off too.
This can be knitting, baking, painting, flower arranging, a bit of DIY, woodworking, gardening, working on an old car or motorbike, upcycling, doodling and more.
It's as if the repetitive nature of what we are doing becomes its own form of meditation, plus the feel-good hormones released when our creative endeavour is complete are good for us too.
Engaging our brains in creative pursuits can help reduce anxiety as we distract ourselves from anxious thoughts.
Being creative may also help lift our mood if we feel low, as there is an increase in the feel-good hormones. Sometimes what starts as an activity to pass a wet Sunday afternoon can evolve into a new hobby or interest.
Perhaps even joining a class online could lead to new connections with other people if this is something which matters to you.
If you have decided you want to make some tangible changes in your mental health and wellbeing, why not introduce some creative time in your day? Even 10minutes to begin with it's worth a go?
We have been delighted to partner with Garry from Mind and Draw to offer workshops both in person and then online during the lockdown and are excited to see the work Garry is doing and it continues in many more places. For more information, this is the Facebook page
"His kindness caring understanding shines through in the way he facilitates the class. He is so considerate and always willing to explain offer ideas suggestions and so encouraging. This class is the highlight of my week. I so look forward to Gary's session."
"Garry has so much patience, kindness and understanding for ALL the participants and treats us all with so much respect & dignity whilst also recognising that participation may be through active or silent engagement in addition to drawing. Every class have been so enjoyable, fun, and beneficial for my wellbeing, no query or question is ever an issue."
Garry also has made and shared videos on ideas to tap into your creative side, so please visit his Facebook page. We are also grateful to Garry for sharing a workbook he put together with lots of ideas for you and the family, which we were delighted to be able to share in this article.
Please visit the Mind and Draw Facebook page for more information on all they are doing and details on how to get involved.
It's important to know when we are not in a good place that, things can change and sometimes, making a wee bit of space in our lives to reconnect with our creativity can help make a big difference. You Matter, and people care, and again thanks to Garry for allowing us to share his work.
Why not visit his Facebook page when his classes are on? The following is feedback from workshop participants, demonstrating how helpful they have found them and how kind Garry's approach is as a facilitator.
"I didn't think I would like a session like this, I don't like the way I look on the screen, but I actually really enjoyed it and it felt like Garry was in the room."
Links to videos of exercises.
- Blind drawing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=j57Dp38Uv20&t=87s
- Still Life: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bJbST4zq4k
- Sensory Drawing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ywoTx9Oe7U&t=2s
- Link to more videos from Garry: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaraL9wr9JINfdtGTlcfVNw