I’m thinking about the Fourth thing that I am grateful for this week and that is Creativity.
I am so grateful that as an artist creativity is a part of my daily life. The impact creativity has on mental and physical health cannot be underestimated. What brings you joy? What is so satisfying that it makes you smile and ultimately calm and happy?
Creativity presents itself in many forms, art, music, dance, drama, creative thinking, writing, photography, design…I could go on. It is something that we are empowered to use in any given circumstance. Creatively using the ingredients you have in the fridge to cook a delicious meal or creatively thinking through and solving any number of problems. It is something to be nurtured and encouraged for its own sake. But should creativity be encouraged for our health?
I’m going to start by sharing a story from my good friend Lynda from Rookery Creations. As well as being a wonderful friend and a great listener she is also a fabulous artist. Way back, eleventy billion years ago, in March 2020 she set up an exhibition at the Peggy Greenfield Art Gallery based on D floor in the QMC hospital here in Nottingham. Due to the pandemic her exhibition of work is the longest this gallery has seen. As a result Lynda has raised almost £1000 to support the league of friends charity to improve the lives of patients, visitors and staff at the hospitals by purchasing much needed equipment. (click here if you wish to donate to this amazing cause x) One of the most amazing things that has also happened are the lovely messages from patients, visitors and staff during this time sharing how visiting the gallery and looking at Lynda’s amazing work has provided a space of calm and solace. I think that impact is priceless.
For my own mental and physical health I noticed a very strange occurrence indeed. At the start of the pandemic we all struggled to figure things out and manage the changes that were taking place and I have to say sleep was not something I did very well. So you can imagine how surprised I was when my smart watch which tracked my steps, heart rate and sleep patterns said that I was getting plenty of sleep each day. Time to delve deeper, did I need to buy a new one? Did it need resetting or was is faulty? Nope it was perfectly fine, the glitch in the system was me. Apparently when I am painting and creating my heart rate dips. Sometimes as low as 40 bpm! So my watch thought I was asleep when really I was in a meditative state brought about by painting!!! I was amazed and figured that if that wasn’t evidence enough that creativity creates calm then I don’t know what is 🙂
What do you do each day to help you to stay calm? Think creatively x