My son developed a recurrent cough when the first lockout started in March.
I was nervous, and I wrote about when I couldn’t sleep.
I poured my anxiety to the side and lost myself in my novel, inspired by author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose calming Instagram I pulled up during godless hours, and reassured by her realistic approach to artistic pursuits. As it turned out, my son’s cough wasn’t Covid-19, but writing about it helped me to control my pandemic fears and give me guidance. Now it’s New Year’s Day, and while most of us wait for the vaccine, lockout, in one form or another, is still a reality. We were really excited at the start of the pandemic; it was terrifying, but it was new, and many of us also appreciated the slower pace of lockdown life – despite more trauma – and the freedom to work from home. We’re more drained and listless now that it’s been almost a year, grappling with financial worries and whatever else could come our way. Under these circumstances, taking up a new artistic pastime could provide the tangible sense of accomplishment we’re looking for and add some much-needed variety to an otherwise bleak January. During the first Lockdown, psychotherapist Josh Hogan started drawing landscapes He says, “It gives me a sense of peace and calm,” “When I focus on this one activity, I don’t worry about things that might happen in the future; it brings me back to the present moment because I have to pay attention to what I’m doing. “There’s a sense of satisfaction, and I can feel like I’ve really said something,” he says. “All my life, I’ve used art and imagination to express myself and make sense of the confounding vagaries of life.
But it wasn’t until I started my training in therapy that I knew that art could be used as an effective therapeutic instrument. In counseling, communicating oneself and making sense of life are two significant processes. I noticed when I started the training, that without knowing it, I had been doing several therapeutic activities. Knitting and crafting provides us with space to think about stuff.
Hogan also suggests participating in innovative practices for clients who are distressed by anxiety.
Art is commonly known as a valuable tool for enhancing well-being in so many different ways: promoting communication, relieving stress, exposing hidden meanings and conflicts, but in order to have therapeutic effects, it does not have to be a great cathartic expression of inner turmoil. As a study led by Dr. Daisy Fancourt, UCL Senior Research Fellow for BBC Arts, found, engaging in something new and imaginative
A cost-benefit analysis showed that the number of doctor visits decreased by 37 percent and hospital admissions by 27 percent when patients participated in artistic activities, according to one study that explored the correlation between art and health. Similar findings were found in other studies. For example, when people were asked to write about trauma for 15 minutes a day, it led to fewer subsequent doctor visits.