I was intending on entering a Christmas card competition, but I wasn’t actually thinking about this when I came up with my design. I had been doing a lot of doodles and sketches ‘inspired by’ how s l o w mental health recovery can be. And because it feels so slow, sometimes appreciating things on a tiny scale can really help. It can help me see things from a different perspective and bring me back to the present moment. The present moment without the tangled webs of hopes, dreams, fears and stories we tell ourselves. Even in a city, it can help me feel much more connected to the natural world because on a minute scale, every tree, every wooden bench and brick wall can hold a tiny natural landscape.
So I think I was drawing about focusing on a minute scale during the festive period too. Christmas can be a sad or lonely time for some people, including those using mental health services over the holidays. It can be especially difficult when everyone seems to be enjoying it except you. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, it might not feel that great. Or you might be overspending and exhausting yourself to make sure you can provide a really great Christmas for others. And even if you love this time of year, it can still come with pressures, expectations and unnecessary stress. So I was hoping to draw something that could be for anyone, whether they celebrate or not – hoping they can all find a moment of kindness, connection, warmth and sparkle no matter how small during this festive season.
I ended up doing two versions because I thought the first one was a bit overdone but I am still not sure which I prefer. Both have been entered into the Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Christmas card competition. You can find out more and enter here: http://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/about-us/news/christmas-card-design-competition-2016/