The Oxford Calligrapher
I started learning modern calligraphy because I was in such a dark place mentally and I needed to find a self-care activity really took my mind off the stresses I was facing . Mental health is a really important aspect of overall well-being that really can't be overlooked. Our minds are complex and can become easily overwhelmed with the stresses of daily life. Fortunately, there are many self-care activities that can help to alleviate stress and improve mental health, such as calligraphy!
Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting. It involves using a variety of pens, brushes, and inks to create elegant and artistic letters and symbols. This ancient art form has been practiced for thousands of years and can be a highly meditative and therapeutic activity. My favourite kind of calligraphy is using a pointed pen and I'll explain why later on below.
One of the main benefits of calligraphy is that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. That's why people are starting to choose it as a self-care activity. The repetitive nature of the strokes and the focus required to create each letter can be calming and soothing for the mind. This can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which can have a positive impact on mental health. I find that I go into a really beautiful mental state when I'm practising calligraphy; I have to focus to an extent that I forget my stresses and worries, but not so much that I can't listen to a good podcast or have a slightly trashy TV show on in the background... MAFS is my guilty pleasure!
In addition, calligraphy can also help to improve focus and concentration. When practising calligraphy, you need to pay close attention to the details of each stroke and letter, which can help to train the mind to focus on the present moment. This is the best bit for me. I love watching the pen going up in a beautiful thin stroke then coming down as a gorgeous heavy line. It takes some concentration to get the pen to do what you want it to. So calligraphy can be a particularly helpful self-care activity for people who struggle with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or other conditions that affect focus and concentration. Give it a try and see if it helps you!
As you have probably guessed, calligraphy can also be a great way to express creativity and connect with other people. Many calligraphers enjoy sharing their work with others, either through social media or at in-person workshops or courses. There are a great many people out there using calligraphy as a self-care activity and are sharing the results of their practice online for others to enjoy. There are thousands of ASMR videos of people doing calligraphy for you to watch and a lovely online community for you to join. My calligraphy workshops are always great fun as well as being a perfect self-care activity. I use my workshops to share the well-being benefits of learning calligraphy.
Taking the time to practise calligraphy and create something beautiful is a fantastic way to prioritise your own well-being and show yourself some love and care. I always say that we can't pour from an empty cup. I know that when I am feeling low, I struggle to show up for my family in the way they deserve. By taking the time to practise a self-care activity like calligraphy, I feel my cup filling back up again, ready to share with my loved ones. You matter! Make sure you tell yourself that sometimes.
As you can see, calligraphy is a wonderful self-care activity that has many benefits for mental health. Whether you are looking to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, express creativity, or engage in self-care, calligraphy can be a highly therapeutic and rewarding activity. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how much it can improve your mental health and well-being.
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