Updated: May 27, 2020
As we are all too aware, life is currently rather challenging for many of us. Weathering the Covid-19 storm can really take its toll on our mental wellbeing. It is important for all of us to understand what assists our mental health and wellbeing. What we can turn to that helps us keep calm, mellow and happy. For me there are a number of things that help, my dogs, walking, gardening, but also art - creating something unique that speaks of my values.
Five ways to wellbeing
According to Mind, the better mental health charity, there are '5 ways to wellbeing'. For me 'art' speaks to all five of these:
Connect - social relationships are great for wellbeing, and developing new connections through art, is fun. Finding out about a mutual appreciation of a piece of art whether it is the latest creative social media advert from a well known brand or an old master - it is still great to chat and connect. Connecting with others also helps us to reframe our thoughts by listening to other perspectives.
Be Active - doing things is vital to keep ourselves focused. Mind might have been referring to physical exercise with this, however, art keeps the brain engaged and helps to ease anxiety. You can also include some great yoga moves as you create! Doing something for yourself, something you love, is always an important part of being happy.
Take Notice - being more mindful and aware is integral to creating art. Developing that heightened awareness of detail, and thinking in different styles really helps you to focus on the moment. Being in the present helps us to gain a better perspective.
Learn - continuous personal development enhances your self-esteem. I have had to learn new digital techniques and gain a deeper understanding of PhotoShop, this comes with a great deal of pride once I have achieved my goals.
Give - individuals who take interest in helping others often report to be happier individuals. Research has shown that committing an act of kindness increases wellbeing. I give away pieces of art - what the individual does with it afterwards is not my concern! But the act of giving certainly helps me.
Bring yourself joy
The NHS has some top tips to improving your mental wellbeing but the most important thing is this should bring you joy. It should be something that fills your heart - find your thing and be patient with yourself, be kind to youself.