The isolation of lockdown has been tough for many of us, which is why 30 year-old Clarrie-Anne Cooper from Whitchurch wanted to find a way of managing her mental health at the same time as helping others. That’s when she decided to take up painting and sell her artwork to raise funds for the mental health charity, Mind.
With the help of her employer, Cartridge People, Clarrie-Anne raised a total of £1,416 during the month of October.
Clarrie-Anne said she wanted to take up a new skill during lockdown.
“I decided to start painting in watercolour to move away from the computer screen and at first, I found it quite a challenging medium," she said. "There are traditional methods of working with watercolour but I’ve found my own way to work with it through many hours of experimentation.
“Not only was I able to develop my watercolour painting skills, but I also distracted and eased my mind as well, while creating something I was proud of.
“I look back on a lot of my paintings and wonder if the restrictions of lockdown helped my creative process in a different way to normal.”
Clinical Psychologist Dr Tony Ortega said art and crafts can help people during stressful times and allow the busier side of the mind to shut down and the more fun and creative side to flourish.
"Under normal circumstances, our brains are bombarded with so much information via social media and other forms of news consumption we engage in," he said. "I have seen a greater number of folks seeking services, as well as commentary in the media.
"People are stuck in their houses and sometimes alone. I know I have had the opportunity to look at myself and see the areas that I need to work on personally. This has also been happening to individuals world wide. We are in a global state of unknown. This leads to increased anxiety."