Thought of the Day: Art & Wellness

Hi everyone,

How is everyone doing? I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. Today’s post is going to be a long one, so sit back and relax with a nice warm drink. I have subscribed to the Art Pass for about two years now and because I am able to get discounts to exhibitions, it has meant that I have ended up visiting many more museums and galleries than ever before. The Art Fund has conducted a wellbeing report, which I want t share with you today 🙂

Stress and Anxiety

From the research, it has been found that people in the UK are anxious about their workload, financial situations, health issues, and social isolation etc. To be fair this is not a surprise and something I think about more often than I would like. It is also not surprising that many people struggle to find time for themselves and/or pursue activities that positively contribute to their own wellbeing, such as visiting museums and galleries.

Wellbeing

This is a topic I care passionately about, but I realised that if someone asked me – what exactly wellbeing is? I would not be able to give them a concise answer. This is probably something I should delve into more in the future. However, for the purposes of this post, I will use the definition from the report.

Wellbeing covers our happiness and our satisfaction with our lives, but stresses and anxieties are also central to our overall wellbeing.

It is too simplistic to believe that wellbeing is just absence of anxiety. It also encompasses how we feel about our lives in general. This would change depending on whether we are focusing on the present or the future.

Anxious society?

I think we can agree that we need a bit of stress in our lives. This just keeps us moving and helps us get things done, however, if is long lasting and persistent then this can have a negative effect on our wellbeing. I have certainly experienced this myself when my personal needs conflicted with my career. From the survey, it turns out that 45% of adults in Greater London say they feel anxious at least some of the time.

How do you de-stress?

I am really going to try and work out what my best ways are to de-stress this year. I have touched upon recovery, previously. During the early stage of my career my wellbeing was what I neglected the most and did not realise the impact it had on my mental health. For someone who likes to say yes to everything and do things that stretch me, it is an easy trap to fall into.

While it is not easy to do, the report recognises that making time for ourselves or taking time out with others can help build resilience against stresses and anxiety. Having my best friend return to London has done wonders to my wellbeing as I have someone to engage in deep meaningful conversations. I am grateful that I have a wonderfully supportive boyfriend who has helped me cope with whatever life throws at me/us. Having time for myself is very important and I really appreciate it. My favourite things are visiting museums and galleries; as well as reading and travelling – basically, anything covered in this blog!

Do we use our time wisely?

The survey found that when we do have time to ourselves participants use over 3 hours watching TV and nearly 2 hours a day on social media. Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it works for you. However, in the survey, these were not activities chosen by respondents to relax or deal with anxiety. In fact, 39% said staying away from social media was a way to de-stress!

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Art and Wellness

We all understand the benefits of our wellbeing comes from doing the things we love. This really isn’t rocket science! The survey found that most of us (59%) understand the power of our leisure activities and we consider them as an important part of our lives as well as helping us feel more positive about life in general.

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What I found fascinating was that over half (53%) of adults say their leisure activities help them deal with life’s up and downs, rising to 74% among those who specifically make time for these activities. Though especially for art, the survey responses found that 63% of participants have at some point used a visit to a museum or gallery to ‘de-stress’. However, only 6% of them had visited a museum or gallery at least once a month.

This is one of the reasons for my blog. I have seen the benefits of seeing art for my wellbeing and it seems like others feel the same way! (It’s nice to know I am not the only one.)

screenshot_20190120-083159Per the report, they described museums and galleries as places which can offer an oasis of peace and tranquillity or an array of stimulating new ideas. I really agree with this, I find them such conducive environments – you learn so much and it is something we can share with others. I have definitely had more interesting conversations and the report said that it could potentially give one a sense of purpose (I have yet to experience this).

What do you think though, do you agree with the findings of the report? I have personally experienced the benefits of visiting museums and galleries and would love to encourage you to try the same and see whether you felt a bit better after 😊 Regardless, of whether you like art or not, be kind to yourself and make time for yourself to do something you love – you know you deserve it!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

 

 

 

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