One Year Since First Lockdown

It’s now one year since the first coronavirus lockdown. This Facebook Live was our first attempt at offering our creative mental health sessions online. We hadn’t yet learned to use Zoom! Since then we have continued to support mental health and combat social isolation with socially distant groups, outdoor retreats and online sessions. There is a rich archive of 45 videos on our Facebook page if you want to try mindful art at home, for free, at any time. We offer creativity and company to anyone struggling in the Plymouth area, in Devon, in these difficult times.

In this video Peggy reads out live comments from people reacting to their very first day in UK lockdown, and viewers share different experiences of their first socially distanced Mothers Day.

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Posted by Facebook on Friday, December 5, 2014

How We Started Offering Immediate Mental Health Support, Without Any Waiting Lists

When Emma and Peggy suddenly lost the jobs they loved, they started a business on a shoestring, to offer mindful art groups, support mental health and tackle social isolation in the Plymouth area.

Mental health services were already overstretched and the pandemic has made that even worse. Mindful Art Club gives people a way to access help and support immediately, without a waiting list, and without finances being a barrier to access.

Emma and I are helping to create a world where peer support, mindfulness, creative activities, and social connection is more easily available in local communities. 

Peggy Melmoth

Watch Now:

If you’ve ever felt stressed, anxious or depressed, we have a free downloadable mindful colouring bundle with zen doodling exercises for you. Just enter your email now to receive our colouring bundle today, and we will write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events in the Plymouth area.

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How to Make Zentangles

Zentangle artwork by Cara H.

Zentangles® are a kind of meditative drawing; creating abstract, repetitive patterns, without worrying what the patterns look like. This process slows down the breathing, calms the mind, and helps you to focus on the present moment. It’s a therapeutic way of drawing that offers peace of mind, and is accessible to all.

The method was created in 2003 by an American couple called Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. You can find out more about them at www.zentangle.com The Zentangle teaching materials and tools are covered by copyright and “Zentangle” is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.

  • You will need a piece of plain A4 paper and a black pen.
  • Draw six boxes to put your Zentangles into.
  • Inside the first box, draw a line to make a “string.” The string separates your square into sections, in which you draw your tangles. A string can be any shape.
  • Take your pen for a walk, and draw random patterns inside the shapes. Try shading different areas.
  • On an A4 page you might have six different boxes full of Zentangles.

There are eight steps in the original Zentangle method, which you can read about on their website.

What is a Zentangle and why would you draw one? Watch Emma explain here:

Watch Peggy draw Zentangles here:

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulArtClub/videos/660535961437055/

Join in with the Facebook Live session here:

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulArtClub/videos/196899558173904/

Skip to 25 minutes in to watch the part about Zentangles.

Alternatively, instead of drawing in squares, you could incorporate zentangle style patterns into your own drawing, as with the example above created by Cara H, a client at one of our weekly groups.

Now we’d love to hear from you. Have you tried drawing zentangles? How does it make you feel? Leave us a comment below.

How To Do Art Club When You Don’t Really Want To Go Out

  • Were you thinking of trying mindfulness?
  • Does your anxiety prevent you from coming to our groups?
  • Would you like to feel a little bit calmer and happier?

Here are three ways to try mindful art club, without even getting out of bed!

1) Listen to our free 15 minute recording.

This 15 minute mindfulness recording guides you to bring your attention to experiences happening in the present moment, without judgement. For best results, choose a place where you will not be disturbed, listen with headphones and close your eyes. 

Listen Now: Mindful Body Scan

2) Watch a Mindful Art Club Video

If you’re short of time watch one of our quick YouTube videos and join in with a simple art project.

If you have an hour to spare, join in with one of our online classes. They are all recorded to Facebook in an archive of videos. Each recording includes a guided mindfulness session and instructions for a simple art project that you can do at home with felt tip pens and plain paper. Art Club Catch-Up TV. It’s like being at Mindful Art Club, but without leaving your house! (You could even stay in your pyjamas!)

3) Try Mindful Colouring

I know, I know. When I first heard of “adult colouring books” I thought it sounded like a ridiculous idea! But it’s amazing how the simple act of colouring can calm the mind down. I have designed a few mindful art colouring pages around the theme of “I am enough” using a little egg character that I created. His caption is, “I am an oeuf.” (Oeuf is French for egg.) The oeuf character makes me smile. Grab your free colouring pages by signing up to our mailing list, and then we’ll write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events, videos and mindfulness recordings. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

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How to Feel Connected in the Age of Social Distance

Would you like to socialise without even leaving your home?

Want to try mindfulness, but have no motivation to practice it alone?

Are you kind of creative, but don’t take art too seriously?

It sounds like you’d love our online art group!

Watch this short video to find out how we are responding to COVID-19, how to join us online, how did we meet, and why did we start an art club?

We interviewed ourselves in April 2020 to discuss how COVID-19 has affected our clients and how we can move forward with life after lockdown.

Watch Now:

Join us for a Facebook Live every Monday at 10am.

Now we’d love to hear your thoughts. How can we best support you? Go to https://tinyurl.com/MAC-feedback now and let us know.

[Video] New: Outdoor Art Group

Our new outdoor art group makes mindfulness more fun. We usually like to offer coffee, creativity and company, but for this group you will have to bring your own coffee! (Or tea.) Please also bring your own felt tip pens and paper, as we can’t share materials due to COVID19. The group meets at 10am on Wednesdays in Plympton St Maurice. Message us to book your place.

  • Isolated?
  • Anxious?
  • Stressed?

Watch now to find out how mindful art club can change all of that!

Now we’d like to hear from you. Do you have any questions about our new way of working outside? Leave us a comment below.

How to Make a Gratitude Tree

We recorded a video of this project for our clients at The Harbour Centre, which is a drug and alcohol treatment service in Plymouth, UK, where we run a weekly mindful art group.

Watch now to find out:

  • How can gratitude make you feel happier, and nurtured?
  • What is the value of gratitude in recovery from addiction?
  • How can you end the day on an upbeat?

Join our Create Your Recovery Facebook group.

Watch our Facebook live stream every Monday and Wednesday at 10am.

Now we’d like to hear from you. Do you have a gratitude practice? What do you do? How does it affect your life? Share your tips in the comments below.

Mindful Drawing in 5 Minutes

Want to feel happier, calmer and more socially connected?

Do you find meditation difficult?

Do you feel like you are no good at drawing?

Our mindful drawing video is the solution you are looking for!

Grab a pen and join in with us as we try mindful drawing for five minutes.

Now we’d like to hear from you. Did you try mindful drawing? What did you notice? Leave us a comment below.

Plymouth Art Group Eases Isolation

Do you live in Plymouth and feel isolated in lockdown?

Are you feeling cut off from your social support network?

Have your usual support services been suspended while the NHS responds to the coronavirus crisis?

You may like to try watching our live-stream art group.

Our groups offer a “check in” to share how individuals are feeling, a short, guided, mindful meditation, a mindful drawing exercise, an easy art project, and an opportunity for chatting and social connection. These are an adaptation of groups we were holding in the community in pubs and cafes, before COVID-19.

We are currently, voluntarily, delivering three groups per week using Zoom video software and Facebook Live. Viewers can join in by video chat, or by commenting on Facebook.

The local services on which mental health patients rely, have been suspended as resources are diverted to deal with the virus. Many other services across the NHS have also been closed. We have gathered several written testimonials from users of our service, before and after COVID-19. who have said our continuing mindful art club as an online source of support has been vital to their mental health. Our groups have always aimed to combat social isolation.

Our online classes are already attracting hundreds of viewers and dozens of comments, with positive feedback that indicate we are succeeding in easing the sense of social isolation brought about by the current lockdown. Our first online class was broadcast live on Facebook on 18th March 2020; since then we have been getting about 1000 views per video. Our clients have reported feeling supported, and connected, enjoying the art, learning how mindfulness can calm anxiety, having time for self-awareness, and being able to chat openly without judgement. One of our clients told us,

“The group has been a god-send as it’s provided me with support on so many levels. It’s been so beneficial to my wellbeing, especially at this time of lockdown as all other lines of (cancer) support have been suspended. It’s a great source of support being able to connect with people who are also struggling with their mental health. The meditation and art has helped focus my mind and helped me to be calm and find inner peace. By the time the class has ended I feel positive and ready to take on the world knowing I am not alone.”

To join in with a live group:

  • Visit our Facebook page at 10.00 am on Monday or Wednesday
  • If you are in recovery from addiction join us on Fridays for Create Your Recovery.
  • You will need a pen, felt tips, some paper and a cup of tea or coffee
  • Watch our live Facebook video and join in with the group by typing your comments below the video
  • Optional: Join in with the video chat using Zoom, free video conferencing software. You can join in just with audio if you don’t want to be on video. Be aware that the Zoom meeting will be recorded so if you are not happy to be recorded please join us on Facebook instead of Zoom.

We look forward to seeing you at an online group soon!

How to Join us on Video Chat

We are running Mindful Art Club as an online live Facebook event, twice a week on Mondays at 10am and Wednesdays at 10am, while the UK is in lockdown due to the Corona Virus. There is also a private group on Fridays for people in recovery from addiction.

To join in with a live group:

  • Visit our Facebook page at 10.00 am on Monday or Wednesday
  • You will need a pen, felt tips, some paper and a cup of tea or coffee
  • Watch our live Facebook video and join in with the group by typing your comments below the video
  • Optional: Join in with the video chat using Zoom, free video conferencing software. Be aware that the Zoom meeting will be recorded so if you are not happy to be recorded please join us on Facebook instead of Zoom.

If you don’t want to be on video you can just join with audio only. You can download the free  video chat software Zoom, to your computer, tablet, phone or other device. We look forward to chatting with you at the next online mindful art club.