"Mental health, a necessary right. Tomorrow you can be you" is the slogan for World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated every year on October 10th. It is of particular importance this time due to the psychological impact that the COVID pandemic has left on all of us.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community," a generic definition adaptable to any social trend, country, or culture in the world.
When we talk about mental health, our preconceptions often lead us to envision mentally ill individuals in disarray in a hospital with barred windows reminiscent of the 1930s. But no, it's not like that. Mental health, its monitoring, and care concern all of us without distinction, and this day is meant to remind us of the significance and importance we should attach to the matter.
Stress is the illness of our time, and reducing stress levels involves reducing distress, anxiety, and, therefore, the risk of physical symptoms: headaches, hypertension, muscle pain, digestive disorders, loss of concentration, memory issues, palpitations, insomnia, and a long list of symptoms associated with this condition, which can sometimes be irreversible.
The stress-inducing problems exist in all aspects of our lives: family, work, health, or social, and dealing with them daily is a demanding task that takes a toll, whether we are aware of it or not.
It's impossible to control each of the stress-inducing causes, as there are too many fronts. But we can mitigate their effects by taking care of our physical and mental health. Self-care is an essential obligation, both for ourselves and our surroundings. People around us suffer or enjoy us based on our mood and level of positivity at any given moment. A relaxed and friendly demeanor is the best travel companion we can have.
At Canvas by Numbers, we make a strong commitment to healthy hobbies that contribute to the well-being of those who practice them, and painting is one of those healthy hobbies, specifically adult paint by numbers. Did you know that painting is akin to meditation? Like meditation, painting helps relax the mind and disconnect from daily struggles, alleviating all the stress-related symptoms mentioned earlier.
The advantage of adult paint by numbers over traditional painting is that it doesn't require prior experience or special artistic skills, and it provides the freedom to explore and experiment with different artistic styles, colors, and levels of difficulty, without the pressure of facing a blank canvas. Everything you need comes in the kit: a canvas with outlined and numbered images, numbered paints for each area, and brushes of various sizes.
Here are some of the benefits that practicing paint by numbers brings to your health:
- Improves concentration, enhances cognitive and manual skills
- It's an excellent exercise for hand-eye coordination
- Helps disconnect from problems and relax the mind: we focus on painting, and the tension caused by problems disappears.
- Relaxing the mind is good for getting better sleep
- Sharpens motor skills and attention to detail: when painting, we notice nuances in colors or the shape of a leaf, for example, that we used to overlook.
- Boosts self-esteem: the result is a painting created by you that you can display in your home or give to someone special.
- Fosters creativity: if you've never considered yourself a creative person, it's time to start experimenting with this activity, and you'll be surprised.
- Enhances a critical view of art: nothing like painting a work by Van Gogh to understand Van Gogh's painting.
- Once you start, you'll see that you lose the fear of brushes, and challenging yourself with new paintings will give you a sense of personal accomplishment, pride, and confidence in your abilities.
If, in addition to all the above, we consider that it doesn't require much space, is very affordable, and the result is tangible (a painting that will remind you of what you're capable of every time you look at it), you'll understand our passion for paint by numbers. We have our reasons, don't you think?
So here's our contribution to remind you to take care of your mental health and to highlight that the daily practice of a creative activity requiring concentration forces the mind to disconnect from worries and enter a mode of enjoyment and relaxation. Essential moments of peace to keep fighting.
(*) The image illustrating this post corresponds to Susurros del Mar by Richard Macneil. The colorful scene, the sea in the background, and even the title of the painting are an invitation to calmness.