This year the Craft loft is supporting World Mental Health day on 10th October 2019.  It’s as important to exercise our mental health as it is to go out for a run, or popping down to the gym. However, if you are suffering from a chronic illness and therefore unable to do exercise, then you may have to consider carefully what amount of energy you do have that you can give to looking after your mental health.

My outlet is my artwork, I have never been able to run, cycle or go to the gym due to my complicated medical history, and complete lack of balance! But I do however use my time wisely when it comes to my mental health. Its why I set up The Craft Loft.

 

It’s great to see so many people that come to the Craft Loft, and its lifts me out of any difficulties I am having on that particular day, by sharing with them and teaching them what I know I am good at. But over the years, like many people, from an early age, and through high school, friends have always found it difficult to cope with my abilities to expend energy on going out, and it’s still a hard balance when they do invite me out as I find it hard to stay the course. Pay back is always the following day, hence, I don’t have many friends! And as they say I don’t get out much! 

Family is an important part of my life and my support network, and a great way to share how I feel.  I don’t have work colleagues being a small business, so have to combat loneliness myself. It’s why a lot of the workshops that I have set up and the initiatives like the Creative Power Hour have come about. People can still be lonely even if they are surrounded by people at work. So, offering just an hour’s session that fits into a lunch hour is important as it’s creating that space to step into and learn something new and offers that opportunity to chat to someone over a cuppa. Great for a work environment, and ideal where ever the location. Great for me too as I get to come out to you! 

It’s also why I offer one to one session, as sometimes people need the comfort of a safe space to be creative. The best example of this is my Zentangle workshop. Zentangle is often compared to meditation. It’s so simple — like yoga — yet so freeing. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself an artist or believe you can’t draw. The difference between Zentangle and sketching or painting is that it’s supposed to rid you of the anxiety often felt about creating works of art. Instead, repetitively creating lines is so calming. There is no wrong way to tangle; that’s what makes it so mentally reassuring.

We have a great rural location and a lovely garden to relax and inspire people, and a babbling brook by the side of the studio. So, it’s not surprising people open up about their worries when they are lost in the patterns they are learning and drawing, but listening is a skill that not many people realise they have. A problem shared is a problem halved and I see people go out of the door in a much lighter mood than when they came in. But sometimes people don’t talk at all, that’s fine too. One thing that is common is that the time fly’s past quickly and before you know it 2 hours gone have passed! But the beauty of this workshop is you can take it home and carry on your learning, and create your own space.

So that is why World Mental Health day is so important to shout about, and share, and if it strikes a chord with people, for them to look around them and help create space for those that need it most. 

This year I want to be able to make a difference. If you think this could help you, or anyone you know find their quite space,  please like and share the date on your page, or whatever platform you use on social media, so everyone understands one thing they could do to make a difference to someone who could be suffering in silence .  If you want  to  find out more about my quiet space at the Craft Loft then come and drop by on 10th October, I am sharing my space with to you offering cuppa and a chance to have a look around at what I have created with the help and support of the Princes Trust, and find out about all the new ways you can create some time and space for yourself.

The Craft Loft will be open all day 10am -4pm demonstrating the world of Zentangling is come down and have a go.