Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being Hub

The Smashing Times Resource and Advice Service is implemented by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality and consists of:

  • European Arts and Human Rights Network
  • Artist Professional Development Programme
  • European Resource and Advice Service on the Arts for Equality, Human Rights and Diversity – Multi-Media space providing information, resources and services
  • Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being Hub
  • European Arts and Human Rights E-Learning and Training Space

The Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being Hub will be a key part of the Smashing Times Resource and Advice Service. Smashing Times are in the process of building an online digital arts platform to house key elements of the Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being and we will be launching a new on line gallery with a range of artworks on the arts for health and well-being.

The Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being Hub will provide information and resources on the use of the arts to promote positive mental health and well-being and a list of support services. We aim to provide arts and health talks, workshops as well as an online counselling service.

Self-Care for Artists and Cultural Operators

Self-care has always been vital to metal and physical well-being, for all of us. With the outbreak of Covid-19, looking after ourselves has become even more important. Self-care can be as simple as ensuring you get a good night’s sleep, but it can drastically effect your outlook and provide a much-needed positive boost to your mental health. We are creating a Creative Arts for Health and Well-Being Hub to provide self-care ideas, resources, and tips.

Art based Inspirational Ideas for Self-Care

If you are interested in self-directed learning tools take a look at the Heart Erasmus+ project that has developed a series of reflective art-based exercises you can carry out for self-care. They are a series of holistic and experiential exercises directed at adult educators but are suitable for everybody.

We enjoyed the Map of Life experiential exercise and ‘The Team inside’ exercise. The Map of Life is an interesting reflection on your life’s journey reflecting on your past, who you are today, your visions and dreams for the future, things that you cherish and care for and your inspirations that motivate and inspire you.

‘The Team inside Me’ is a self-reflective exercise to explore all the different characters inside you, your ‘inner team’. For the latter exercise you find a quiet place where you can draw and write, you then draw an image of yourself based on the idea that inside us we all have a collection of different ‘characters’ such as the teacher, the activist, the mother, the lawyer, the counsellor etc. These are roles you may play depending on what is happening in your life and they guide your behavior and decisions at different times. You draw yourself as a self-portrait containing all the different characters and can be as creative as possible using imagination and creativity in whatever way you need to. The reflection question after the exercise asks you to think about how your inner team would respond in difficult situations and how can you ‘train’ some of the inner characters to become more influential. A very interesting exercise.


Self-Care Tips for Artists and Creatives

Informative Article on how to write an Artist Statement

Rules for surviving and thriving in the real world by Gary Sheng

Recommendations include spending less time on screens, and documentation or writing it down – writing down your goals for the day, week, month, year, next few years; writing down decisions and actions from meetings and writing down what you have accomplished at the end of each day, as well as journaling and writing down your good ideas and your thoughts especially when you get anxious which can help with your mental health.

Smashing Times Newsletters

Smashing Times creates and distributes a monthly newsletter on different themes including newsletters on the theme of self-care. We’ve accrued a number of Art Connects: At Home with Smashing Times newsletters at this point. We thank all of the wonderful contributors, as well as those who read each edition. A number of the newsletters cover themes of self-care including The Art of Self-Care, Empathy and Recovery, Nature and Reflections on change.

See links to past newsletters below:

‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’ by Emily Dickinson
Commentary by Mary Moynihan, Writer and Artistic Director, Smashing Times
The following seven-line poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) has no title and is simply called by the first line ‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’. Emily Dickinson lived in Amherst, Massachusetts and is one of the world’s major poets. Her recognition only came after her death when her younger sister began to share the enormous work that Emily had created. She wrote over 1,800 poems, yet only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime. This poem speaks to us of love and kindness and is dedicated to all those who care.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

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