CREATIVE SELF-CARE: 2 Therapeutic Practices For Your Mental And Physical Well-Being

Did you know that visiting a museum and spending time in nature are good practices for your mental and physical well-being?

Featured Museum: Pintô Art Gallery, Antipolo City, Philippines

Pintô Art is a contemporary art museum, located in Antipolo City, Philippines. Pinto is a Tagalog word that means “door” wherein the museum literally leads its visitors to door-filled galleries of modern, contemporary, and indigenous art. 

It was established in 2010 by a Filipino neurologist and patron of the arts, Dr. Joven Cuanang, to exhibit and promote talented Filipino artists. The art pieces are themed and separated into various white house galleries which include sculptures, modern paintings, abstract, traditional, and indigenous artworks. 

It is the perfect place to go for a day trip near Metro Manila where art and nature meet. To revel in artistry in a 1.5-hectare art complex and to marvel at a 2-hectare outdoor garden are soothing for wanderers who enjoy a time of contemplation and rest. 

The museum is spacious with an indoor bamboo forest, a meditation garden, sunset view roof deck, Pinto Academy for learners, mini chapel, lower and upper gardens, an in-house restaurant, and a mini shop.

Once you arrive at the museum, the main door will immediately bring you to a sense of serenity and lead you to pretty art pieces. At every turn, details and corners are picture-worthy.

No wonder this place is a popular destination for pre-nuptial and wedding photoshoots. When the sun sets, it exudes more warmth and glows to the surrounding.

In fact, Pintô Art was reported as one of the 25 most Instagrammed museums in the world.

Did you know that visiting a museum and spending time in nature are good practices for your mental and physical well-being?

Reveling in Art Is Restorative

Several studies show that visiting a museum or reveling in art is healing. Scientifically, it increases the levels of cortisol and serotonin, the hormones that are responsible for the well-being, according to Dr. Helene Boyer.

“The mood changes when our beautiful nature photos are placed on the walls, providing color, comfort, and hope to patients, caregivers, and loved ones.” – Elaine Poggi, founder of The Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals

In 2018, it was a new initiative and prescription by Canadian Doctors to patients with a range of ailments, from depression to diabetes to chronic illnesses.

“Art-making has the ability to move people along their journey of grief and loss into a more balanced place of healing and hope. In the face of tragedy, the creative process can help re-calibrate a mourner’s life.” – The Chandler Gallery at Maud Morgan Arts

Moreover, the creative methods of expression have a positive impact on psychological well-being, eliminating stress, anxiety, and trauma. 

“At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.” – Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

According to Psychology Today, art is therapeutic in a way that nonverbal messages are exposed through drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting. Such art forms “help people express themselves artistically” and lead anxious and depressed individuals “to a better understanding of their feelings and behavior so they can move on to resolve deeper issues” with the assistance of an Art Therapist.

“During my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have had the great privilege to visit and learn about a different community nearly every week. While they differ vastly from one another, there is one common strength I have observed: the arts have made a profound impact on the health of each community.” – Robert L. Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts

Engaging in the art can also help develop self-awareness, improve self-esteem, and cultivate emotional resilience, according to American Art Therapy.

“We are in a time once again where our need for the arts is growing more and more apparent. Controversy and anger and fear seem to swirl around us these days in large supply. This has happened plenty of times in our history. We have needed and sought the healing and teaching power of the arts for a long time, perhaps forever.” – Robert Lynch, President, and CEO, Americans For The Arts

Marveling At Nature Is Refreshing

While Canadian Doctors prescribe museum visits, UK Doctors also prescribe time in nature for healing. It is reported to combat a host of ailments such as blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, mental illness, stress, and heart disease. 

“In clinical studies, we have seen that 2 hours of nature sounds a day significantly reduce stress hormones up to 800% and activates 500 to 600 DNA segments known to be responsible for healing and repairing the body.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza

Our brains are easily fatigued by the fast-paced and digital culture, according to David Strayer, a Cognitive Psychologist. He believes that the antidote to this mental exhaustion is time in nature, where the overused prefrontal cortex, the brain’s common center, is given space to rest and recover.

“Nature can be beneficial for mental health. It reduces cognitive fatigue and stress and can be helpful with depression and anxiety.” – Irina Wen, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

According to WebMD, nature therapy refers to gardening, farming, taking a walk through the forest or parks, which are “linked to less anxiety, fewer depression symptoms, and lower stress levels.”

“Being outdoors is generally associated with activity, and being physically active keeps joints loose and helps with chronic pain and stiffness.” – Jay Lee, M.D

Since Pintô Art Museum is a combination of art and nature therapies, I suggest that one must visit this place with wellness and recovery in mind, and not just for fun. 

Take time to pause and appreciate every detail and surrounding in a contemplative manner. Revel in art, marvel at nature, wait for the sunset and breathe afresh before going back to the culture of haste and noise. Bring your journal and engage within.

I have been to this museum several times already. I keep coming back because of its artistry, refreshing outdoors, and good food. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, this is one of the places I will surely visit again.

“The opportunity to balance all that technology with time spent in nature unplugged from digital devices has the potential to rest and restore our brains, improve our productivity, reduce our stress levels and make us feel better.” – David Strayer, Dept of Psychology, University of Utah

In compliance with the COVID-19 protocols, Pintô Art Galleries are closed but as of 20th of May 2021, the museum is opening its outdoor gardens, roof decks, and open spaces with strict rules on social distancing and wearing a face mask. It is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. To get fresh updates from the museum, CLICK HERE.

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