It’s the same cycle every year, like clockwork. The magic of the first snowfall quickly fades as the relentless cold front brings in the classic wave of winter blues, alleviated only a bit around Christmas, and then coming back as we turn the corner into New Year’s.
2020 and 2021 also introduced some additional challenges with lockdowns and restrictions making it difficult for many of us to celebrate the holidays like we normally would. So what’s left for those of us who need easy, uplifting ways to get us through the cold winter blues? Well, there’s the ol’ reliable serotonin release we get from online shopping, or cuddling up to a warm fire with a cup of cocoa, or even splurging on some hygge essentials like aromatic candles and dark chocolate.
What you probably haven’t considered until now is the therapeutic benefits that art has on our mental wellbeing, and how reconnecting with our artistic side can help alleviate a lot of the moodiness associated with the change of seasons. Research shows that we have a lot to benefit from rekindling the joy in creative endeavors like painting or drawing; much like when we had when we were children. Letting our imagination guide our hands into creative works opens neural pathways that for many of us, haven’t been tapped into since childhood, and that could lead to cathartic releases of serotonin to help fight off the winter blues.
Allowing ourselves to be inspired by art can be beneficial as well. Visiting galleries, museums and performances are excellent sources of visual stimuli that enrich our imagination and allow creative juices to abound with inspired thought. And we all know how hard it is to find inspiration when all around us is a blanket of snow, slush and the bitter cold, so any respite from this is welcome. And art isn’t just limited to brick and mortar galleries anymore either. Even before Covid-19, many art galleries moved online, where their pieces can be appreciated by a global audience.
So the next time you find yourself wondering what you can do to lift the mood a bit around the house, consider a trip to the local museum, get inspired and paint a work of art on your own, or curate your own experience and browse through the endless collection of pieces found in online galleries. This winter, let’s reconnect with our creative side.
By Joshua Jung