Recently, I had occasion to put the following question to our favourite childhood hero: “Bosco, when people grow up they sometimes forget to play and sing and draw pictures and dance. I think it helps to keep people happy. What do you think? (To hear Bosco’s advice on maintaining your sense of fun as a grown-up you will have to come along to an exciting arts and wellbeing event in the Balor Theatre on Jan 11th.)
As any parent knows there is no quicker way to bring joy into a child’s eyes than to invite their creativity out to play through music, art, drama or dance. We bring our wee ones to every class going to nourish this joy, but unfortunately, us adults, and most particularly us women, tend not to give ourselves a licence to play or be creative. Juggling for us doesn’t involve balls, fun and quick reflexes but rather the responsible balancing of child care, housework and work or community life. In the mix, our own inner, creative child can sadly be forgotten.
Einstein, one of the world’s most extraordinary minds had a profound respect for play and creativity. “Creativity is intelligence having fun” he said. “Creativity is a form of play that […] builds new worlds and constructs new realities. Creativity is our superpower.”
Creativity is certainly a key tool to promote wellbeing. Studies show that engaging in creative activity improves motivation, increases social engagement, enhances self-confidence and increases resilience, producing a more relaxed state of mind. It also fosters better concentration, increases self-expression, self-understanding and a stronger more positive sense of self. Letting your inner artist play is therefore a potent form of self-care. As a bonus prize, when our children see us modelling the positivity creativity brings, they learn by imitation.
First Fortnight the national, and European festival for Arts and Mental Health puts the arts and wellbeing front and centre. It is coming to Co. Donegal for the first time this New Year. Come along to ‘An Céad dul Síos’ at the Balor Arts Centre on January 11th to learn more about how the arts can boost your wellbeing, with an array of snappy, informative talks, music, singing, drama, comedy by Kevin McAleer and a video-link with the legend that is Bosco. Leabharlann Ghaoth Dobhair, (supported by Healthy Ireland) is also hosting a FREE event on January 9th involving drama, song and an arts workshop called ‘Percussion, Play, Positivity’. Come on out to play!
(Post written for Donegal Mammy as guest blogger, Jan, 2019. Image of Bosco, courtesy of Bosco)