Last week on the #HealthyHabits2017 challenge was to spend some time being creative. Being someone who works in the creative industry this challenge is something I sort of tend to do all the time but there’s a difference between creating work for others and then spending some time creating something just for you. I decided to spend some time drawing because while I make things I’m usually on a computer and the physical act of creating something is missing from my daily life.
Art or creativity, like music, has a lot of health benefits. Creative acts have a similar effect on the brain to meditation and can decrease your stress (possibly from being in a state of flow - I’d really recommend watching this TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) - which can impact your health in the long term - helping things like heart disease, depression and Alzheimer’s. Even just witnessing creative acts can be calming - think of visiting a concert or going to see pieces of art work in a gallery.
Being creative encourages creative thinking and problem solving skills. There is no one correct answer when being creative or when making something. It helps your form and build your own solutions and encourages the two sides of your brain to work together and communicate. Due to this exercise in thinking, different parts of our brains than normal are used and these acts promote production of new neurons which are super important for keeping up a healthy central nervous system.
Making and creating improves your emotional health too - creativity increases our control over emotional pain and depression. Self reflection happens through creating and you can gain a better understanding of yourself through this process. Being creative can build your resilience to stress. Just doing a small thing daily that’s creative, can benefit and build a more positive state of mind.
SO HOW DID IT GO?
Really well! I love drawing I just never really have the time for it and recently I worry that because I don’t have the time all the time I’ll be really bad at it. I sat down on the sofa and tried to think of something I could draw. I can’t draw from my imagination - some people can but I need references. Each to our own, right? I decided to look through my phone and found a photo of Piggy that I liked and settled on that. I think sometimes just deciding what to do can be the hardest part as you don’t want to draw something that you’re not comfortable drawing incase it ends up terrible. But the fact is, this is just about making something, it didn’t matter what, so I just let myself get lost in the process and this was the result. It’s not the most perfect drawing ever but seeing as I haven’t picked up a pencil and sat for a few hours away from my computer for a while it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever made. Mentally it was nice to get a break from normal creative work, even just regular life and focus on something else quietly. Like the music challenge the other week, it’s one of those things I wish I had more time for. I suppose if it’s something you want to do regularly it’s something you need to set time for to dedicate to it but it’s very worthwhile in the long run! Lets see how we do trying to do more of this. I think days out drawing with friends are probably the best thing to plan. This week we have to clean with only natural things! Let’s see how we do and we will report back next week!