Since the pandemic, with borders closed and mobility restricted, we find ourselves spending more time at home (hello, cabin fever!).
Taking care of our mental health has become paramount to our wellbeing. There has never been a better time to take care of our mental health than now.
While many have espoused the benefits of meditation for mental health, I, for one, have not yet mustered the art of sitting still. I simply cannot stop myself processing the myriad random thoughts and ideas racing through my mind. On the other hand, as a pastel artist, art trains me to be focused on the task on hand and during those moments of intense focus, it almost feels like a mindfulness practice where my mind and body are aligned and connected as one. Very often, when I get into this intense “flow” of creative focus, I totally lose track of time. I could go on for 5 hours without getting off my creative space, only to be amazed at how fast time has flown during those pleasurable hours of creation. In that aspect, art is my form of meditation – it can be equally calming and helps lower cortisol – our body’s stress hormone.
Art is often thought of as something non-essential. If you think about it, art has existed since the beginning of civilisation, way before languages were created! Just think of all the cave drawings and hieroglyphs found in Egyptian tombs!
Here’s why I think art plays an important role in our lives (both young and old inclusive!)
is subjective and has no limits. It is a liberating and expressive activity
that is so welcoming in today’s world of information overdose and high
achieving standards. I still remember the time when I had an overly anxious
parent hovering around her child while she was trying out pastel art with me.
Every colour the child used had to be “approved” by the parent. When I
suggested that the child was free to use whatever colours she enjoyed, I could literally
sense a huge burden off the poor girl’s shoulders as she happily blended away
at the rainbow of colours she had been holding back to experiment.
Art allows us to trust our instincts and be more confident of ourselves. Think that blue sun goes well with the orange sky? Go ahead, trust your instinct and JUST BE! When we create, feel free to let go of all logic that impedes your imagination and creative process. Learn to trust your instinct through art!
Very often, adults forget how to be imaginative as we get lesser time to play (adulting is hard work, isn’t it!) We were once that child who was lost in our “flow” of pretend play – those precious moments of imaginative play were actually important neurological milestones in our childhood. Art allows us to be imaginative and that helps project hope even in the darkest of situations. I’m sure all those hand-drawn “thank you” cards that were sent to express gratitude to our frontline workers during this pandemic definitely put a smile on their faces!
Art is also a great bonding activity that can be enjoyed solo or in groups. I particularly enjoy colouring with my two daughters while we deliberated over the colours to use. Having a great playlist in the background is definitely a huge bonus! This activity is a quick treat that calms us down on hectic days and everyone emerged satisfied even after a short 30-minute colouring session. If you are running out of ideas on what to do with your children, do give colouring a try!
today’s technology, art jamming sessions can be organised with people from all
over the world to increase connection during this pandemic period of social
disconnection. During this period, there has been an increase in arts related
Facebook groups, YouTube videos and online lessons. So, join a Facebook group
and get connected with people of similar art interest! Save your favourite
YouTube art tutorial and paint along with the video! At the click of a button,
you can easily purchase any necessary art materials and get you and your family
started on a creative journey.
Let’s get artsy today!
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