We spoke with some of our amazing participants and artists on how their creative experiences with Breathe, have helped to promote mental wellbeing. We’ve loved connecting, hearing about the impact of our programmes, but also learning about their personal creative top tips!
Keep reading to find out more.
Naa Dedei, Breathe Dance Lead
“As a survivor of mental health issues, I’ve realised within my healing journey that it’s not always easy to express through talking, so dancing for me has always made things lighter. At Breathe Dance we focus on the wellbeing of every individual who enters the space, so I encourage happiness and fun whilst moving and learning Afro Dance to release tension and improve confidence.”
NAA DEDEI’S TOP TIP:
“I do a lot to release unwanted roots of stress in my life, and make sure I take time out for myself by dancing. Also writing down good thoughts, framing them and putting them up around the home can help.”
Becki, Breathe Sing for Lung Health participant
“Singing with others gives me a chance to forget about life and the world for an hour and just be a person doing something fun with other people. Breathe Sing gets me out of being stuck in my own head. I’m less worried about my lung health now as I can see the improvements week after week.”
BECKI’S TOP TIP:
“I get relief from nature and being creative with it. Lately, I’ve been taking photos of flowers and using them as reference material for paintings and prints, meaning I get “double bubble” stress relief, both outside and later at home.”
Ahmed, Breathe Resident Musician
“People in hospital environments are usually quiet on the outside but understandably worried on the inside. When I play for Breathing Spaces, I always play music that soothes me, because it feels like slipping into a meditative state. I must feel calm before conveying calmness.”
AHMED’S TOP TIP:
“When I’m stressed, I check in with my breathing for at least 3 minutes, then try to choose an activity to manage or defuse the tension. Listening to music or watching a stand-up comedy works for me.”
Emma, Breathe Harmony NHS choir member
“Singing in Breathe Harmony NHS choir on a regular basis, with people who are sharing in similar work challenges, really releases endorphins. You can feel the emotion in our collective voices, which can be so powerful and cathartic. I’m so happy we’ve returned to St Thomas’ Hospital to rehearse – having patients stop to listen, and seeing them smiling or singing along helps melt the stress away.”
EMMA’S TOP TIP:
“I find being active and outdoors is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. My top tip would be to get outside for a walk somewhere green or by water, it’s a brilliant way to balance your mind.”
Sofia, Breathe Melodies for Mums participant
“Beauty is a balm for the soul, and the singing we’ve done is truly beautiful. Breathe Melodies for Mums boosted my confidence – there’s no pressure to perform or to be good at singing, yet we’ve made some great music together. Seeing that capacity in myself, and working with others to grow my abilities, has helped me feel more able to face the challenges that daily life with a baby bring.”
SOFIA’S TOP TIP:
“Anchor yourself in your body. I like to do some stretching, dance to a good song with the baby – anything that helps me forget about my busy mind. Even a few minutes of movement will make my problems seem smaller when I remember them.”
Take the time to be creative, breathe deeply and always be kind to yourself.
From all of us at Breathe HQ.