With Stress Awareness Month in full swing, one woman has shared her love of art and how it has helped her cope with anxiety.

The pandemic has undoubtedly caused more stress, but Salford residents have remained positive with many people turning to new hobbies to help battle anxiety.

Lexi Jones, 35, from Irlams o’ th’ Height, has been hand-painting illustrations onto rocks and leaving them in hiding spots all around Salford for people to find.

She said: “The rocks I paint are mostly kindness rocks which are placed out in the community for people to find just to bring smiles”

Jones uses her art to help reduce her anxiety. According to mentalhealth.org.uk, 42% of the UK have stated that they have felt stress and anxiety due to the pandemic.

In Salford, 213 children and young people accessed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in 2017/18 with a primary diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder and in 2017 22 people died from suicide, according to Salford City Partnership.

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Mrs Jones’ passion developed from her childhood, as her father was an artist.

She now shares the same love with her children.

Jones said: “Crafts with my kids makes me the happiest”, painting helps her forget what’s troubling her and turns her stress into a happy moment, which she shares with her family. Jones added: “It has spiralled into my therapy, I paint my rocks and forget whatever is bothering me.”

Many of the rocks painted are hidden around Salford for anyone to find. Jones said: “it brings me a purpose bringing joy to others”.

Her most recent achievement was creating ‘worry pet rocks’ with contributions from other artists. They spent the day at a local park handing out painted rocks to people passing by to raise awareness for Worry Pet Day.

Hand painted worry rocks by Lexi Jones

Jones explained: “Worry pets and monsters are an idea that you tell them your worries and they will eat/fly/ take them away.”

Salford community has branched together to support each other through the pandemic. Alongside Mrs Jones, people on social media have been busy with their own crafts as a way to manage stress.

One Facebook user stated: “Embroidery has kept me sane and busy.”

Hand embroidery by Carol Matley

If you would like to find more information on rock painting, Mrs Jones has step by step tutorials posted on Salford Rocks and Love on the Rocks UK.

Alternatively, you can find her on Instagram

Salford has many wellbeing services that are free and available to anyone. Mind.org.uk helped 4697 people in Salford throughout 2020.

You can contact them via email at info@mindinsalford.org.uk or find them on their website at https://www.mindinsalford.org.uk

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