How can art and creativity help society emerge from lockdown?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have turned to art to ward off the boredom and isolation of lockdown. Maybe you’ve picked up a paint brush for the first time in years, danced along to a YouTube video to keep fit or simply binged a box set.
With theatres, galleries and cinemas closed due to social distancing, there has been a limitless amount of digital content to keep audiences entertained, whether it’s revisiting artistic experiences you have always loved or broadening your horizons with something new and unexpected. The lockdown has shown how powerful the contribution of art and creativity is to health and wellbeing in times of crisis.
But as restrictions relax and you take your first step outside again, how can art help you make the transition?
Banishing the blues
These dark times are the perfect breeding ground for depression and anxiety. Being trapped away from the support of those you love for long periods will take its toll. When the immediate health effects of the virus have subsided, the mental health fallout could continue for years to come.
Creativity can help you process these feelings of fear or sadness and come to terms with the upheaval you’ve experienced. It can offer you an outlet to share things that are too difficult to say out loud, or to show your family how much you care.
Whether it’s expressing yourself through music you made in your bedroom or dancing like no one is watching, art can help you escape negative thoughts.
Bringing people together
Millions have experienced loneliness during this pandemic, particularly the most vulnerable in society. Feeling isolated can have a negative effect on your mood and encourage mental health problems to take root.
Technology has offered a lifeline to help keep families and friends connected. But now that doors are beginning to open once again, art can help give you a feeling of community.
Now might be the time to show off all that you’ve achieved from home by putting together an art show for your friends and family. You can reconnect with those around you by sharing your lockdown story through writing, drawing or singing. Share a new interest with someone you’ve known all your life or meet new people by taking that pottery class you’ve always wanted to.
Helping you heal
The virus has affected everyone. Whether that be the psychological strain of avoiding infection or the physical effects of recovering from COVID-19, the recovery period will be long and difficult.
Sharing your experiences with each other, particularly through the outlet that art provides, can be a helpful way to process the difficult emotions associated with a traumatic experience.
But it isn’t just the mental health benefits. Art therapies can help bodies heal by relieving stress and keeping you active. Easing the pressure on health and social care services already stretched to breaking point.
When society emerges from the shadow of COVID-19, it will do so into a very different world. To understand it, you’ll need to find new ways of communicating and connecting with each other. Art and creativity can help you achieve this.
Without your traditional support networks, you’ve already shown how creative and resilient you can be. This creativity will be key to tackling the challenges of the post-pandemic world.
Post courtesy of Unified Purchasing Group (UPG).