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Ideas for how creativity can improve our mental health

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It seems nowadays there are more ideas around than ever about how we can care for our mental health, the challenge sometimes can be, finding one which works for you and your lifestyle. We are all different, and different things appeal to different people and that's okay, one size rarely fits all. So, if you haven't found something works for you, please don't give up, there are many other ideas out there.

There is much written now about the benefits of Mindfulness. You may even have heard of Mindful colouring in? Immersing ourselves in some creative pursuit is a way of learning to switch off too. This can be knitting, baking, painting, flower arranging, a bit of DIY, woodworking, gardening, working on an old car or motorbike, upcycling, doodling and more. Its as if the repetitive nature of what we are doing, becomes its own form of meditation, plus the feel-good hormones which are released when our creative endeavour is complete is good for us too.

Engaging our brain in creative pursuits can help reduce anxiety as we distract ourselves from anxious thoughts. 

Being creative may also help to lift our mood if we are feeling low, as there is an increase in the feel-good hormones. Sometimes what starts out as an activity to pass a wet Sunday afternoon can evolve into a new hobby or interest, and perhaps even joining a class even online could lead to new connections with other people if this is something which mattered to you.

If you have decided you want to make some tangible changes in your own mental health and wellbeing, why not introduce some creative time in your day? Even 10minutes to begin with, it's worth a go?

We were delighted to partner with Mind and Draw to offer workshops at the local Community Hub in Drumchapel www.facebook.com/mindanddraw We met Garry at a meeting at The Space in Glasgow, of liked minded individuals twitter.com/music_feelz?lang=en keen to see what could be done to help build a kinder world, through art, music and sharing ideas.

We would also invite you to read Garry's story www.alliance-scotland.org.uk/blog/humansofscotland/garrys-story-building-confidence-through-art/ as it is very inspiring and we are grateful to Garry for sharing it. During lockdown, Garry continued to offer online workshops and made several videos which share ideas on being creative. 

He also put together this super booklet with lots of ideas for you and the family, which we were delighted to be able to share in this article. 

Please visit Mind and Draw Facebook page for more information on all they are doing and details on how to get involved.

It's important to know when we are not in a good place that things can change and sometimes making a wee bit space in our lives to reconnect with our creativity can help make a big difference. You Matter and people do care and again thanks to Garry for allowing us to share his work.

Links to videos of exercises.

Blind drawing:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=j57Dp38Uv20&t=87s

Still Life:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bJbST4zq4k

Sensory Drawing
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ywoTx9Oe7U&t=2s

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