More than a decade ago, I quit my job at the school where I taught kindergarten, to stay at home and care for my mom-in-law and my pet dog. MIL suffered from schizophrenia and my pet dog was one hyperactive little guy who needed constant attention, and of course, MIL couldn’t manage him.
Staying at home can take its toll for someone who is used to working a 9 to 5 job. It keeps the mind that much more busier and you get a break from your domestic life, mingle with your colleagues and experience life outside the four walls of your house.
So, yes, I did begin losing my mind. Caring for a mental illness patient is, as it is, a tough job and it can have its effect on the caregiver if the caregiver has no source of recreation or entertainment. And, so I took up drawing to fill in those hours and keep my mind occupied.
Initially, it was just scribbling and doodling, but then one fine day, as I wondered what to draw, my eyes fell on my pet Chikoo, who was sitting beside me, staring into nothingness. I decided to sketch him.
Of course, he would never have posed for me for as long as it would take me to sketch. So, with the help of his photo, I made a pencil sketch. My very first dog sketch, which I felt, came out almost perfect!
I was ecstatic!
And, thus began the artful journey of this eccentric artist! Being a crazy dog lover, I sketched almost every dog breed I could find, with black and white pictures from Google. There are also other animal sketches in my drawing book, but I will always be partial towards my dog sketches. Those I love the most!
Some years ago, my mother encouraged dad to start drawing as he had now retired and was wondering how to keep himself occupied.
So, dad took up drawing and created some really beautiful artwork. I did a post on his art journey some time back and received an encouraging response to it.
The reason I am doing this post is to encourage people to take up art – in any form – especially if you think you are not a “born artist”. For each one of us has an artist hidden within. All we need to do is give him/her a nudge, and some encouragement.
Also, art is therapy. It can take your mind away from the world and refresh you just the way books do.
Art helps you focus on the work at hand, forget your worries and manage your stress better.
It helps your restless mind relax as you draw and helps keep your anxieties at bay.
You never know what you are capable of unless you try!
So, if you think you don’t have it in you to draw even a straight line, then I suggest you go ahead and draw that line!
Begin with something simple, like a glass placed on your table, or even a flower.
Look at it closely and draw it.
it will not come out perfect, I promise you. But, at least you will have made an attempt.
Your kids’ storybooks will have many cute pictures to draw. Copy those in your books. Draw an easy picture every day, and at the end of the week/month, you will definitely notice a difference.
Most importantly, you will notice how your mind will be focused on the activity. The hundred ugly thoughts that cause you distress will vanish as you work on your picture.
Visit this link to learn simple exercises for beginners.
Any art form helps us achieve mindfulness – a state of being present in the moment, being fully aware of it, which, in turn, helps relieve us of our stress. Our everyday battles with Life leave us exhausted, our peace of mind ruined. If we are to survive in spite of it all, we need to find ways to restore our peace of mind.
And, what better way to do that if not through art? Any kind of art.
So, go ahead and give it a try.
And, do share with me your experience, I am waiting to hear from you!
My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.
You will find all of my A to Z posts here.
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