Exposure to various forms of arts is ideal mind medicine. Creating art influences your cognitive behavior, which leads to improved memory, reasoning, alleviation of stress, and better management of emotions.
Depression, anxiety, and disturbing thoughts are the major causes of an unstable state of mind; the conditions must be absent for you to achieve a good mental health state. Additionally, positive thoughts are integral in establishing a stable state of mind.
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Using Prolific & Artistic Skills to Empower Wellbeing by Cynthia L. Schneider
Cynthia L. Schneider, a New York-based award-winning author who specializes in epic and urban adult fantasy novels, shares terrific tips on using creative energy to manage mental health. In a recent interview, she commented on the following, ”Your creative energy isn’t limitless. It needs care and attention. So find what works for you.”
C.L. Schneider is influential; her personal life and creativity are very admirable. She advises you to tap into your creative energy, useful in self-care and establishing a state of flow. There are numerous artworks; you can either indulge in drawing, scribbling, painting, music, literature, ceramics, architecture, modeling, design, or sculpture. Identifying what works for you is the first step in stimulating your brain while establishing a state of stable mind.
Lastly, it is impossible to control external stressors in life. But, artistic methods help with combating the heightened stress levels in an individual. Crafting art is one of the best therapeutic approaches for relieving stress and other mental problems. Most therapists use art as a method of helping a patient connect with their inner thoughts and emotions.
How do you cope with days When you are mentally-drained, vexed, and anxious? How does it affect you being the author extraordinaire?
I’ve always been someone who’s sensitive to the emotion of others, and this year has been difficult for me. There’s so much tension in the world, so many people are hurting. Some days, it’s hard for me to focus. I’ve always been a big believer in writing every day, in pushing through even when the words aren’t coming, or when I’m distracted with life. And, as a rule, I do that. I treat writing as I would any job. I flex my literary muscles even when I’m not feeling it one hundred percent. This year, though, I’ve had to step away from the computer more than I’d like, which has put me behind on all my projects. It’s disappointing, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Self-care is more important than word count, especially during such a turbulent time. By taking the days off when I really need them, I can clear my head and come back refreshed.
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How do you keep your creative juices flowing when dealing with a mental illness? What helps you bounce back?
Do you feel there is any relationship between Art (in any form) and mental health? Does being associated with Art help you stay mentally healthy?
Absolutely there’s a connection. We put a part of ourselves into our art, whatever the form, which allows us to release emotion as we create. Through art we bare our souls to the world, we cut open a vein and let our emotion bleed onto the page or the canvas, or whatever the medium. Whether we’re communicating happiness with a depth words don’t allow or conveying what we’re afraid to speak aloud or acknowledge; art can be an emotionally cleansing experience. Even the simple act of viewing art has an affect on your mental health.
Being a wife and an amazing mother to two lovely boys, how you keep your personal life healthy? How do you manage to be a fantastic author while juggling with all that?
Working from home can make it both easier and harder to juggle family and work. I’m here if the kids need me, if errands or something around the house needs to be done. But because, I’m so accessible, and not off at work in an office somewhere, there’s no buffer for interruptions.
When I was younger, before I published and before I had children, I mistakenly thought I needed large chunks of time to write. There was no point in sitting down to work, if I didn’t have hours to get lost in the story. Why bother if I couldn’t immerse myself? It was the only way to make any real progress.
Then our first child was born. I left my job to stay home with him, which was important to me. But, of course, becoming a mom didn’t make the itch to write go away. The desire was just as strong as before, yet those blocks of time I thought I needed to devote to my craft didn’t exist anymore. I quickly realized, to keep writing (with an infant on my hip), I had to steal the time. I had to write in much smaller increments. Sometimes, all I would have is ten or twenty minutes.
Writing a few lines between stirring dinner on the stove, leaving a sentence unfinished because the baby woke up early or the laundry needed folding; it was frustrating at first. But I quickly learned, all those years, I was looking at it all wrong.
Being a writing-mom taught me something extremely important: how to fall in and out of my character’s head at a moment’s notice. It made me realize, I didn’t need large chunks of time to write. I didn’t need the perfect set up at my desk or my favorite coffee mug. I just needed my characters, and my passion to bring their story to life.
Flipping the switch between writer and mom, without missing a beat, is a learned skill I came to greatly appreciate over time. And I still use it to this day.
So when my youngest bounds downstairs, already talking before he reaches my office, I shut off my character’s voice like I hit the pause button on the TV, and give my son my full attention—confident that, when he leaves, I can drop right back into the story where I left off. I’m not saying that initial moment, when I’m pulled away mid-sentence, isn’t still frustrating sometimes. But, I let it go. Knowing, I can slide right back into character makes it easier for me to tackle the expected (and unexpected) daily tasks that pull me away from my laptop.
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On a concluding note, what is one piece of advice you have for your admirers struggling with their mental health? Feel free to share tips to feel better and write better.
Your creative energy isn’t limitless. It needs care and attention. So, find what works for you. Find your schedule, your relaxation techniques. Know what grounds and refreshes you. Know when it’s time to push through and when it’s time to step away. The world needs your story, your voice. No one can write it like you. So take the time to recharge your batteries however (and whenever) you need to. Your body, and your writing, will thank you for it.
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Every person owns a set of creative skills; it’s just about believing and exploring your inner self and to use those skills to achieve what you want. But, If you face day-to-day stress or any unusual distressful feeling, depression and anxiety memory loss, then get treatment from a mental health specialist and an experienced healthcare provider.