You Don't Have To Be An Artist To Be Creative
Lockdown has been on everyone’s minds now for 10 weeks, and it is still the topic that we all talk about. Questions like, "How has it affected you?" "How will it affect our children?" "What is going to happen next week, next month, next year?" With so much to talk about and to worry over, it is no wonder this is having a devastating effect on our society and mental wellbeing.
How can we look after our mental health both during and after this pandemic?
A lot of people have found solace in creative activities during this unpredictable time and it is fantastic to see. We are reverting to traditional ways to fill our days such as making bread, #gardening, #cooking and of course #drawing. We are reconnecting with our basic human instincts to grow, create and do things for ourselves again. After the collective hardship and stress of the pandemic, we can certainly try to take some positives from this experience and take them with us into the future. Being creative, engaging with our senses and spending time doing mindful activities really allows us to slow down and listen to our bodys and our minds more thoughtfully and maintain a more peaceful #lifestyle.
Things to Look Out For
If you just scroll Instagram or Tik-Tok, there are thousands of videos of entertainment and humorous content. But we all know that scrolling social media can be just as bad for you as any other addiction. Social anxiety will start to build when we begin to see peoples perfectly snapped shots of their life, and naturally they become destructive benchmarks for us to compare our lifestyles to as we reconsider what is ‘normal.’ The thing is, there will be no 'normal'. We all have to adapt and change and find our new means of the day-to-day. I can personally say from my experience that lockdown has made me appreciate what I have, including time and freedom and my skill as an Artist. Having this #craft has filled my days and being able to share it with so many people has reminded me how important and beneficial drawing can be to people.
At ArtistAnd, we want to encourage people to consider keeping routines and partaking in clean activities to help maintain a healthy mind and explore productive and calming methods to get us through tough times, even after #covid. Finding a craft or a hobby that gets you lost in the 'element' where time can pass you by and you have something to be proud of after is a simple reward that we can all give ourselves.
Remember back to those first few weeks and remember those things you showed to your friends and family. Remember how they made you feel. It is important that we don't lose sight of those achievements and we continue to make time for them after lockdown is fully lifted. Begin to take notice of when we are in that moment and be present with yourselves, embracing the gentle joys these actions brought you. Being creative is the easiest way to find the '#element' and you don't have to be an artist to practise it.
Why are creative hobbies important?
1. Expression – Doing something creative allows you to express your feelings, your ability to create, design and also your powers of expression as an artist. Expressing yourself through things such as music, dance, cooking and art help to relieve some of the frustrations in our daily lives.
2. Mindful – Using your time to explore creative activities helps to focus your mind on a single action. They say time flies when you are having fun, and there is a reason for that. Getting lost in the action means that you are present and, in the moment, a true act of mindfulness.
3. Achievement – When you bake a cake, build furniture, or draw a picture, you have a goal and you want to achieve it. Reaching the end of your task and seeing something that has been created by your own hands boosts endorphins and gives a great sense of achievement and pride. ArtistAnd's name comes from the meaning #artisan - 'a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.' There is a reason why these actions have their own title.
4. Affordable – Usually creative ideas and activities can be easily affordable. Don’t get me wrong, as with any hobby you can rack up a hefty bill pretty quickly but there is always a cheaper way to trial an activity and test to see whether or not you enjoy it and want to invest more. If you like art, pick up a pencil and draw on the back of an envelope, if you want to learn to bake, start off with a simple Victoria sponge and then experiment with flavour, if you want to start gardening, get some seeds from you own fruits and veg and research into growing them! We all have to start somewhere, so just start and improvise.
What types of activities can we choose in order to maintain a healthy mind and a creative output?
Here are 7 activities that you can try at home and help out other fellow freelancers stay creative:
1. Drawing – Obviously we have to start with one thing that is close to our hearts. Drawing. You can draw from home, in the street, in the park, anywhere! There are lots of online lessons out there but most importantly, we offer live group classes every Tuesday 7:30pm and Friday 8pm. Come along and trial a class for absolutely nothing. Visit www.artistand.co.uk/virtual to book your slot.
2. Music – Whether it is singing, the ukulele or just playing some spoons, spend 30 minutes a day or a week and practise your scales, strumming or banging to help you learn something new. Check out these top websites for free lessons. www.joytunes.com.
3. Cooking – Not only does cooking have an amazing outcome (delicious and necessary food), but cooking also gives you a chance to experiment and explore with what nature has grown for us. I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from #OATKitchen where you can explore plant based recipes and look like a 5 star chef all at once. https://www.oat-kitchen.co.uk/e-book
4. Gardening – Growing your own #food, #herbs or #flowers give a sense of responsibility with a day by day visual sense of achievement as you watch them grow and mature into adulthood. We recently grew peas and watched their tiny curly hands crawl up the trellis, this has been the closest feeling to parenthood I've ever felt. It's probably what dog owners and parents feel like all the time! Follow @Jamysjardin for all your gardening inspiration or any questions you may have..
5. DIY – How long have you been wanting to improve something in your house? Redecorate the stairs, build some new furniture or just rearrange your room? Your environment is extremely important for your wellbeing, just look at Feng shui! Our favourite interior designer, Heather K W, shows us how to upscale the everyday and think creatively with our already owned household item. Check out here website www.heatherkwstyles.com for more inspo and see how she turns lifeless rooms into modern and inspirational spaces.
6. YOGA – Yoga has been a key feature in many people’s lives recently and hopefully one to stay. Yoga is great for the body and mind and allows people of all abilities and levels to get involved. No matter who you are, you can access classes and ease your way into this art form at your own pace and start to feel great about yourself. We have been following the amazing Ashtanyoga so check her out if you are looking for online classes! You'll be able to touch your toes in no time. www.ashtanyayoga.com
7. Fitness – A lot of people have been restricted with their social sports, their fitness community and group classes but that doesn’t mean we have to stop moving. Keep exploring your local area, cycling to different places or even running 5k, 10k, 20k!?!?! (madness) Fitness is important, be creative, mix it up and get moving. I like to follow Halftime Fit who offers very affordable classes online. www.halftimefit.co.uk.
8. Learn a new language – Now it’s not easy, and it takes time but learning a new language is like anything you try to do. It is thought provoking, creative and beautiful once you get the hang of it. Accents are everything and helping to widen your cultural knowledge and understand is not only an amazing achievement, but also very useful when abroad. Seeing as we can't travel this year, there is no reason why we cannot prepare for the year after! You can’t beat Duo Lingo. Sign up here, its #free! www.duolingo.com.
Hopefully there is something here for everyone and by just including one in your life, I promise it will make a huge difference.
Stay strong, and stay creative.