I first wrote this blog in March right after the first lock down and thought it a good idea to post again.
Here we are nearly one year on and the virus continues to dominate our lives. This says to me that we need to adapt ourself and lives so that we can stay well in body and mind. Be Prepared….
Having been a self employed artist since 1973, I know what it is to work and live in isolation.
In this post I am offering some tried and true suggestions taken from my own experience. (this photograph shows me when I was about 30 years old…at that time my son was nine and my daughter one)
At the moment a lot of people are talking about doing different things on line. However, almost like New Years resolutions, I have a feeling that if this goes on for weeks, months or longer the novelty of living this way might dwindle for many and so it is important to be prepared.
My cottage garden in Wales with Christeve the Cat and friend on shed….This little garden taught me so much, not least of which was patience……A DAILY ROUTINE
It is important to establish a daily routine that works for you. Write it down.
For single people this can be easier given that there are no interruptions.
However, having raised a family I know what it is to live and work in a very busy household and at the same time stick to schedules. – not easy, therefore structure becomes even more important.
An added plus is that by establishing a good daily routine you could encourage others in your household to do the same. A learning experience for everyone.
All of this takes a level of self discipline – a word that many people shy away from today. In reality self discipline equals Freedom….
If I have a good structure in place, it gives me the freedom to do the things I enjoy most….painting, cooking, writing, sitting under a tree and meditating…..
Make sure there is a purpose to your day.
I knew when I went to bed last night that my purpose today would be to write this blog along with some watercolour painting, reading a good book, and then catching up with my murder mysteries on I player this afternoon:)
However, someone else’s purpose might be to cook a lovely meal or do a jigsaw puzzle. There are no rules, except to make sure you have a purpose.
Don’t wonder aimlessly through each day….this can only cause frustration and distress.
Beautiful Brecon Beacons – Wales – watercolour/gouacheEXERCISE
My daily exercise routine is fifteen minutes of stretching every morning. I have been doing this for nearly 45 years, since my daughter was born. It’s like brushing my teeth and makes a huge difference to my day and overall feelings of well being.
Throughout the day I take a walk and make sure to move around…i.e. going up and down the steps several times that lead to my studio.
Play music and dance…..guaranteed to lift the spirits.
PREPARATION – BE PREPARED
Set up a space that works for you. It can be as small as a card table. (no one else in the house is allowed to use that space).
If you have work equipment, (for me my arts supplies) make sure everything is in order and easy to access.
Choose the best time of day for you to go to your work space. Make it a ritual.
Try to keep air circulation within your living space. Always have a window open….and if possible have some plants to look after and benefit from. .
I will soon be 75 years old, and thankfully am in good physical and mental health, and part of that I believe has to do with my stretching routine and taking a daily siesta. For me that’s around 3 p.m. and lasts for approx 30 mins. It never fails to refresh.
My work day begins at 8 a.m. and pretty much finishes at 3 p.m. After that I watch my favourite European box sets….and murder mysteries…Oh how I love them. Then maybe in the evening read or write some personal e mails. or whatever else floats my boat………
Sleep is so important – and particularly today to boost the immune system.
To achieve a good sleeping pattern it is important to understand our own personal body clock.
I am naturally a morning person…and so wake with the larks, and go to bed at 10 p.m. I like to read before going to sleep.
Keep it simple….which during the next few months shouldn’t be too difficult.
Although I have lived alone for a long time, I always cook for myself. More than ever nutritional food and drinking lots of water will be key during this period.
Millie visiting the studio…:)
Back to the title of this blog….
BEAUTY, GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY IN ISOLATION
I see this time as an opportunity for individual and collective change. If we are able to turn this around into a positive and use this time to FOCUS on what it is we love and who we really are…..we might all come out of this a lot stronger and happier and find that we have produced some beautiful work……
I will be posting art tips and tutorials on a regular basis so that everyone (including me) can keep their creative juices flowing.
More than every before it is vital to stay in the simplicity of the present moment. ONE DAY AT A TIME…..
ACCEPTANCE will be key during this period. Denial won’t work anymore….
May the magical hummingbirds be with everyone….spreading their unseen magic.
Oh and I couldn’t close without saying – continue to WASH your HANDS and to SOCIAL DISTANCE…….:)
Over the years I had to accommodate
I had my first large solo exhibition at the Chester County Arts Association in 1976 – a year after my daughter was born.