In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have been on the front lines, working tirelessly to save lives while putting their own at risk. For Prerna S. Sharma, a pulmonologist and critical care physician, this meant long hours in the ICU treating COVID patients and constantly worrying about her loved ones in India. Finally, she found a powerful tool to help her cope with the stress of this unprecedented time: painting.
Prerna grew up watching her mother paint, and after she saw how much her mother missed her canvases and colors while hospitalized with COVID, she decided to try painting herself.
“Painting is akin to meditation for me. My mind becomes fixated on the colors, and my hand moves effortlessly across the canvas. Like any form of meditation, it’s crucial to be mindful of one’s focus and thoughts while doing it,” Prerna explains.
Initially, Prerna found herself dwelling on negative thoughts, but she realized that incorporating gratitude into her painting sessions made a significant difference. “Even on days when I had little to be grateful for, I would look for moments of positivity in my day, such as the fact that I made a colleague smile or the nurse who went above and beyond to assist a patient’s family.”
Prerna’s experience highlights the power of art for therapy and mental health. Painting and other forms of art therapy can provide a healthy outlet for emotions, reduce stress, promote mindfulness and self-awareness.
Prerna uses her creative skills and platform to raise funds for various charitable causes. She plans to organize fundraising events that involve the sale of her artwork and events where people can sign up to paint with her in different cities nationwide.
Her first charitable endeavor will be towards donating to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of her friend’s memory. Through these efforts, Prerna hopes to make a meaningful impact on those affected by different diseases and causes.
“While professional assistance is crucial, self-care practices like painting, exercise, and meditation can also significantly promote mental well-being,” Prerna adds. “It’s essential that we continue these conversations about mental health and wellness.”
Art can heal, inspire, and create positive change. Prerna Sharma’s experience shows how painting and other forms of art therapy can be a valuable tool for wellness.
Prerna Sharma’s story is a reminder that we can find inspiration and lessons in unexpected places, and that prioritizing our emotional well-being is essential to living a fulfilling life.
Presented by: Ascend Agency