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Freehand Drawing: A Path to Mental Wellness for Women Entrepreneurs in El Salvador.

Women entrepreneurs’ lives are a constant rollercoaster in El Salvador. They struggle for a better future for themselves and their families as they face a variety of social vulnerabilities.  Economic challenges, family responsibilities, and the pressure of running a business can take their toll on entrepreneurs’ mental health. 

In the midst of this chaos, the act of drawing without following an order can emerge as an unexpected ally to strengthen their mental health and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore how freehand drawing can offer a space for healing and expression for women seeking to balance their lives and empower themselves in their personal and economic journey.

The Reality of Women Entrepreneurs in Vulnerable Situations in El Salvador

To understand the benefits of freehand drawing it is crucial to first understand the unique challenges faced by these entrepreneurs. Many of them struggle with issues such as lack of resources, gender discrimination, limited opportunities, and domestic violence, among other issues. Additionally, they must balance the roles of motherhood, being a wife, and business owners, and this need to balance often creates extreme stress and anxiety.

In this context, their mental health can be seriously compromised. In the Women’s Empowerment Project, staff provide counseling sessions, personal empowerment workshops, and specific techniques to manage difficult moments and emotions to offer entrepreneurs the tools to cope. One of these coping mechanisms includes freehand drawing.

Drawing Without Rules: A Path to Healing

Freehand drawing is a form of artistic expression that allows people to explore their creativity without restrictions or expectations. No prior artistic skill is needed, and there are no rules to follow. It is simply a matter of letting the mind and hand connect in an act of creation free of judgment.

For entrepreneurs (or anyone), freehand drawing can be a powerful healing tool. Here are some ways this practice can benefit mental health:

1. Reduced stress and anxiety: The act of drawing without restraints allows entrepreneurs and you to release pent-up tension and reduce stress levels. By immersing yourself in art, you can temporarily disconnect from worries and find a space to relax.

2. Encouraging Self-Expression: Many women entrepreneurs may feel that their voices are not heard in a society that often minimizes their role. Freehand drawing provides an opportunity to express thoughts, emotions, and experiences in a non-verbal and confident way.

3. Creativity Development: Encouraging creativity through drawing can inspire new ideas and approaches in business and life. Solutions to problems can emerge when the mind is allowed to wander freely.

4. Community Connection: Drawing can become a group activity where entrepreneurs can share and connect with other women facing similar challenges. This supportive community can be invaluable to their emotional well-being.

5. Focus on the Present: Drawing without rules requires mindfulness, which means being present in the moment. This practice can help entrepreneurs escape past or future worries and focus on the here and now.

How to Get Started with Freehand Drawing?

Freehand drawing is accessible to everyone, regardless of previous art experience. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Settle into your safe space

Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable, put on some quiet music, and try to disconnect from the outside world to connect with your inner world.

  • What you’ll need 

All you need is paper and something to draw with, such as colored pencils, markers, or crayons. Don’t worry about having the best materials; creativity is what matters.

  • Let Expectations Go

Remember that there are no rules in drawing without order. Don’t worry about making something “pretty” or “right”. Draw in the same place you’ve already drawn, it doesn’t matter! Let your hand go where it wants to go. Just let your creativity flow.

  • Explore Different Styles

Feel free to try different styles of drawing. You can doodle, finger paint, or create abstract patterns. The variety can be inspiring.

  • Share Your Art

If you feel comfortable, consider sharing your creations with someone you trust. This can generate meaningful conversations and strengthen bonds between women.

In short, freehand drawing is more than an artistic activity. It is a form of healing and empowerment for socially vulnerable women entrepreneurs in El Salvador. By providing them with a space for self-expression, relaxation, and creativity, we are contributing to their emotional well-being and strengthening their ability to face challenges with courage. Through art, these women can find a powerful voice and a path to a brighter future in the business world and beyond.

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