self care

The Link Between Art, Life and Our Mental Health

If I asked you - 'Do you think of yourself as being creative?', how would you answer, honestly?

The answer inevitably reveals just two camps: 'Yes, I've always been a creative' and 'Nope, not a creative molecule in sight!'.  

At the risk of being a broken record and shouting to the rooftops, WE ARE ALL CREATIVE, we just forget...

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Beginning March of this year, I am going to be attempting something pretty darn big after having taken antidepressants for many years - I'm going to try to come off them gradually and document this journey using art and video diaries.  You can read more on this here.  

Anyway, in an attempt to 'prepare' I'm learning a lot on this topic and I feel we underestimate the mental health benefits of tapping into our creativity in a more conscious and deliberate way.

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Below is a quote from an article I read from the Guardian - 'Art and Soul how sparking your creativity helps you stay well':

We need to remind ourselves that creativity can be as simple as playing or doing things differently, so that we give ourselves permission to open the door to other activities and usher in all the benefits that come with this – from time to reflect or overcoming perfectionism to communicating or simply having fun.
— https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/05/art-and-soul-how-sparking-creativity-helps-you-stay-well

Below is another snippet of an article from the Guardian...

So, whether you are picking up a paintbrush, a piece of clay, kneading bread, planting Spring bulbs, writing a journal, don't underestimate the power of your creativity - the many benefits to your soul, physical health and your mental health.  It's not a luxury, it's a necessity.

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So, I hope you would now think of yourself firmly in the 'Yes' camp to thinking of yourself as creative and just a quick thought - how can you make your creativity a priority?  I'd love to hear from you. 

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Vulnerability and Depression - Heads Up - New Project for 2018!

Self expression, art, vulnerability and depression

And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
— Anaïs Nin
Instagram  - most popular posts #bestnine2017

Instagram - most popular posts #bestnine2017

Fact:

According to Mind, a UK mental health charity:

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

New Project Introduction

If you receive my 'Confessions' Newsletter, then you'll have already received a heads up about a new project I'm undertaking.  Today, I want to share this news with you, dear reader. 

For the last nine years or so, I have swallowed an anti-depressant daily.  This medication has done a really good job of removing those horrific symptoms of clinical depression that I (and my close family) endured on and off for the previous 20 or so years.  

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I turned 50 in December - I know, I can't believe it!  Maybe that has something to do with all of this, I'm not sure but I do know that I'm curious.  I'm curious about who I am without these tablets.  

I've of course talked this over with my Doctor and husband and per my doctor's advice, I'm going to begin decreasing my medicine in March when there is more natural daylight. I really don't know how this will all go for me but I certainly want to try.  

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As for the personal artwork that l'll be creating, it seems only fitting to create 50 pieces of artwork to represent each year of my life.  There will be a journaling element to this work too and I see it being ongoing until at least Autumn.  I'm calling the project - HeadsUp.  

This isn't just about me though.  I want to explore the stigma behind mental health, share others' stories, shed some myths and get some honest conversation going.  

From a positive perspective, I want to look at what can help.  I'll explore how art, creativity, nature, self-care and slow living can potentially help someone who is experiencing depression as well as any personal/practical insights that I encounter along the way.  

If you feel you might have something to share, please get in touch - I'd love to hear from you. 

I do hope that you stick around to see these artworks and this project emerging over the months to come.

Jane xo

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