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Arts, Music and Wellbeing

During this lockdown we’ve seen tons of inspiration for new skills, and getting better at our art and music, which is wonderful! However we also know that at the moment, a lot of us are finding things hard because we’ve had to make lots of sudden changes to how we’re living, and we can’t do everything we’d like to, or see all the people we miss. When things are hard, it can be difficult to focus on practising or improving our skills, or to motivate ourselves. If you’re feeling like this, you are not alone!

While it’s certainly good to learn and improve, art and music are also about having fun and expressing yourself, and having an outlet for your feelings. An evidence review from the Arts Council in the role of arts and culture in health and wellbeing found that “Arts engagement can diminish anxiety, depression and stress, and increase self-esteem, confidence and purpose.” Meanwhile, a study from the British Association of Sound Therapists found that you don’t need to play an instrument to get the benefits of music – listening to music for less than 15 minutes per day could help you feel more relaxed, release sadness, and lift your mood. The Cultural Learning Alliance says “Study after study has found that subjective wellbeing is improved by taking part in arts activities.”

So if you’re learning new skills, or practising your art or music every day, keep it up! If you are looking for inspiration, our Arts and Music home learning resources have lots of accessible activities and suggestions suitable for non-specialists.

If you’re finding it a struggle though, remember you’re not alone, and that simply listening to music, watching your favourite dances, or taking five minutes to do a quick doodle or write a few words about how you’re feeling can make a difference to your mental health and wellbeing. Now more than ever it is important to prioritise this.

If you need some extra help, Leeds City Council are working with Voluntary Action Leeds to make sure that we can all get what we need – whether that’s somebody to run to the shops, help putting the bins out for collection, or even a friendly voice checking in over the phone. If you’d like to request any extra support during this time, please call 0113 378 1877. You don’t need to wait until it’s urgent.

Keep well, everyone!

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