Welcome to hArt's first ever blog! Written by hArt's founder and chair of Trustees, Annie.
Let Annie help you find your 'Bright Spot'...
"I have never thought about writing a blog until these recent months when it has become clear that life is so very different and perhaps another voice, coming from hArt which is all about supporting mental health through creativity, might help just one or two people to see something brighter ahead.
The photo here was taken just this week – and it just speaks of the light ahead, shining through, starting to make us feel that there really is something there, brighter, better, more optimistic drawing us forward into sunnier days.
It is very easy to think that we are in a dark and frightening place where everything is gloomy and pessimistic. The media pick up on everything that is negative, focusing on what is NOT happening fast enough, NOT being done well enough. These days, I limit myself to looking at the headlines on an app on my phone, just once a day, and not watching the news on television.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, we should be celebrating the truly miraculous things – the speed with which the vaccine has been created and is rolling out, the sheer guts of all the NHS and frontline workers who are battling through the hardest and most demanding times of their lives. We should also be proud of the way so many people have risen to the challenges of the last 10 months, the kindness and generosity of whole communities supporting each other and ensuring that individuals who have to shield and who are especially lonely and vulnerable can have some contact and help – these are wonderful bright spots in the extraordinary world we currently live in. Yes, it would be ideal if we did not have this awful virus but it is here, science is on the road to fending it off, and we may have to accept life being different in some ways in future because of it, but there are positives and we should try to look for these, however hard it may be sometimes.
Each day, I look for my personal bright spots – and each evening I note down three words to sum up the best things that have happened. Just three little words – sunshine, walking and smiles came up one day. It was beautifully bright when I walked my dogs, and anyone I saw (at a proper distance!) was smiling – and it makes everything seem so much lighter and happier.
On another day, I made “what’s in the fridge” soup from pretty well everything that was left over – then I had a Zoom meeting with three people I had not seen face to face since about July, when we last met for a walking meeting (who would have thought that would become a “thing”?) and at the end of the day, I snuggled up on the sofa with a good book and a happy dog for company. So my three words that day were soup, friends and hugs!
Of course there is stuff that challenges and worries and concerns me. But it is really important to look for the brighter things and focus on these, if not all the time, then at least as a sort of mental round up at the end of the day. Sometimes, if I am able to, I will doodle or note down – just on any old scrap of paper – a word or a little drawing of something that I have noticed – a quick memory for my evening bright spot mini journal – and just the act of doing that, of being in that moment and capturing it, is enough to bring positive thinking back into my mind. A mobile phone is a great way to capture those moments too – you can make a quick voice note, or take a photo or even record bird song, and have that to check back on and to enjoy all over again.
I will be bringing you some more of my bright spots over the coming weeks, and I hope that you will be able to start finding some for yourself.Maybe, when we are able to get together again, we can create an exhibition of the bright spot moments and paper whole walls with them!