Do you dread the dark nights, cold days and grey skies of late autumn and winter?
Do you have a tendency toward Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? If this is you, I've a beautiful book to share, some info. on SAD and an art video I've made...
I've just purchased this inspiring book (see left) that's just recently been published called Making Winter - A Creative Guide for Surviving The Winter Months by British designer/maker, illustrator and naturalist Emma Mitchell for a dear friend - I instantly fell in love with the projects and nurturing words and wanted to share it with you.
Also, this really got me thinking about the topic of SAD. For sufferers, symptoms can start anywhere from September to November and last until Spring! Occasionally, symptoms are reversed and can commence in Spring. SAD is more prevalent in countries where there is dramatically reduced light and big changes to seasons and weather.
What follows are just some of the numerous symptoms people endure every year - for example, lack of concentration, sleep problems, panic attacks, lethargy, anxiety, overeating, relationship difficulties etc. Approx. 8% of us can experience a 'transient depression, known as SAD' (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as per Emma's book in her introduction.
According to MIND 'SAD can also worsen symptoms of existing depression that you experience throughout the year'.
Treatment options include lightboxes (light therapy) as well as various other treatments like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), medication, specialist SAD services etc. However, I believe creativity can also play a helping role and this is what my video below is all about.
Emma (and I) has personally found (and research often backs up), that by including creativity into our daily lives whether it be using yarn, collecting treasures from nature on walks, colouring in, baking or painting etc. can bring numerous benefits to mood, stress and anxiety levels etc.
Autumn leaves - real or found images
Sennelier soft pastel - bright, vibrant autumnal colours
Caran Dache pastel pencils
Ingres pastel paper Daler Downey
Blenders or a tissue (not paper kitchen roll)
15 mins and a willingness to try this out
Benefits For You...
- bring vibrant colour to life right in front of your eyes even though it might be grey outside
- get lost in the creative act whilst leaving room for self-expression
- leave other thoughts to one side
- enjoy a new medium and creative technique - this can help improve self confidence and fill you with a sense of achievement
- decrease feelings of anxiety
- potentially increasing serotonin (the feel-good hormones in the brain)
I really hope you find the above resources helpful and that you give soft pastel a little go.
If you have a favourite creative activity that you turn to in the winter months, please share - I'd really love to hear.
Note: If you are having difficulty with any of the above symptoms, please consult your doctor.