Art, Mindfulness & Lockdown 3.0
Author: Will Schmit.
20th January 2021.
The story goes that when Churchill was asked to cut funding to the arts in order to support the war effort in World War II, he responded, “Then what would we be fighting for?”
Now there is plenty of debate about whether Churchill actually uttered those words but this juxtaposition of hard times with art and creativity is never more relevant. People, more than ever, now want to turn to creative projects to help take their minds off 'R rates', 'vaccinations' and 'tiers'.
In the first lockdown people wanted to use the time to learn a new skill; it almost became a pressure to do so. Now we have 'settled' into Lockdown 3.0, there seems to be something more natural about our creative projects. They are less about a grand plan to achieve something and more about naturally finding some mindful moments to keep spirits up and give our mind a break.
I've lost track of the number of times I've directed students towards art during my career; in my opinion, its ability to relax and focus the mind is infinite. Just the other day, I received this wonderful piece of writing from a pupil in Year 2 (L2).
Hi my name is Anika (L2) and you know it is Lockdown at the moment? You can’t do anything outside. But inside we can do anything you do for fun and some relaxation. Therefore I have started drawing and some painting. Over the last couple of weeks I felt sad not seeing my friends at school but drawing and painting has helped me to relax and calm down when I am feeling lonely. So drawing and painting became one of my hobbies.
It was a message that needed sharing. Not only because of the incredible ability it showed for pupils this young to be so self-reflective but also how it is so important that we all find some time at the moment to do something mindful.
Being a parent of 3 young children, my mindfulness sometimes happens for a swift half an hour in between bathtimes and evening wake ups. But the point is, I find that short time to completely focus and relax my mind.
Overall, I guess the point I am trying to make is that whatever your interests, find time for them now more than ever. Whether it is art, music, running, games or reading. Prioritise your mindful moments. They will do you the world of good.
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