Create Space Booklet
A Series of Mind-boosting Activities
Download ‘Create Space’ Activities Sheets
In a recent interview, Oprah Winfrey said : “If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think… Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance”, and in fact recent scientific studies indicate that the Queen of the Talk Shows is spot on in her advice. Making the effort to build enriching moments and reflective pauses into a busy life is now recognised to bring major health benefits.
The more we learn about good health, the more we understand that healthcare is about prevention as much as cure. That’s the case as much for our mental wellbeing as for our physical wellbeing, although the two are inextricably entwined.
Why ‘Create Space’?
The title refers to making space in your life for a bit of creative activity, both for your own enjoyment and relaxation, and to give you ‘quality-time’ with others.
Creative activity can be many things: visual arts such as painting or photography, music, dance or creative writing. You might choose cookery, gardening or interior design as outlets for your creativity, or perhaps reading and discussing books is your passion. You can be creative either by being a ‘maker’ or by being part of the ‘audience’, whether you’re an expert or a beginner. You don’t need to have any special skills, just a willingness to have a go!
We are all vulnerable to emotional and mental distress. At least 1 in 4 of us will experience such distress in our lives, and most of us know friends or family members who have gone through a period of mental ill health. That’s why it make sense to do all we can to protect our health.
Prevention has increasingly been the focus of research into mental health. Studies show that a balanced diet, regular exercise, a positive outlook, a supportive friendship circle, and a rewarding outlet for our skills and imagination are vital for our mental wellbeing.
Giving time and attention to our natural creativity and need for self-expression, too, has been a recent research topic. Creative activity relaxes us - studies show that the creative process can slow the heartbeat, and even reduce blood pressure. More than this, creativity challenges us to learn new things, builds our confidence and self-esteem, and provides exercise for the body and the mind.
Where are the Create Space exercises from?
We have compiled the Create Space book from a range of starting points. Some activities are our own invention, some have been adapted from other sources including nature walk ideas, movement and physical health workshops, Waldorf teaching techniques and arts resources.
In fact all these preventative approaches have this in common - they work on our physical and mental wellbeing simultaneously: because they bring enjoyment and achievement, refocus our minds, slow our pace, engross us in positive action rather than the everyday worries of life, get us out of doors and connect us with others, they also improve our immune system and make us more resilient to stress and illness.
You’ve probably heard or read about some of these studies. Perhaps you’re interested, but wondered how you might find the time to apply such good advice to your life. Perhaps you aren’t too sure and are still waiting to be convinced.
Either way, this booklet’s for you. It’s a practical guide to fitting a whole range of health-boosting activities into your daily life. As physical and mental health are intricately linked, you’ll find the booklet contains a mixture of creative games, movement, creative art, meditative and positive thinking activities, ideas to help you reconnect with nature, and strategies to give a lift to your social life. Try them alone, with friends or family. They’re bite-sized activities - you don’t need to change your life to do them, but doing them might change your life for you.