Imagine this: sitting down at an easel with a nice hot cuppa next to you and nothing to worry about except which colour paint to select first. Sound relaxing? There is a reason that researchers, clinicians and healthcare workers often advise older individuals to engage with art as a hobby.
Art, or art therapy, has been recognised to help people relax, provide a sense of control and even reduce depression and anxiety*.
In several studies, there have also been links shown between the use of art therapy and an improvement in the cognitive abilities of some older people.
As a low cost, low-intensity hobby, it ticks a number of boxes that can help promote good health.
Some of these benefits include:
- assisting in socialisation;
- encouraging playfulness and a sense of humour;
- offering sensory stimulation;
- fostering a stronger sense of identity;
- increasing self-esteem;
- nurturing spirituality; and
- reducing boredom
With COVID still present in the community and flu season on its way, art can also be a good activity to undertake to help reduce unnecessary social interactions and to “bide time” if you are required to isolate at home.
Art is a low-cost activity that comes in many forms (think painting, colouring-in, sculpting, photography… the list goes on!). If you are interested in starting, all you need is some paper and your creative mind. There are many apps and YouTube tutorials to help get you started or, for those wanting to make it a more social experience, there are also many art schools across Australia that can help engage you in your new hobby.
With torrential rain keeping many of us indoors, now is a great time to dig some paper out of the cupboard and start working on your skills!
*referenced from website article ‘Aging: What’s Art Got To Do With It‘