We all know how stressful college can be, but you don’t have to let the stress take over. A great way to decompress from your life is to get creative and make some art! Art not only helps you destress, but there are various creative outlets to choose from, so you can do whichever way you prefer. A Harvard Medical School article on the advantages of making art discusses how “creating art can reduce stress and promote relaxation” as well as help people get through challenging times in life. The process of creating art can help take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, and you get to channel your creativity into a piece of art you can admire later. 

Here is Marta Sanchez, Art professor at SJU, take on how art is beneficial to all students:

SJU art professor, Marta Sanchez. Picture taken from her website.

What benefits do you personally believe art has as a stress reliever?

  • Art offers the ability to focus on what is around you, to study and appreciate its form and beauty. In this fast-paced society, art offers individuals a chance to take time to study external and internal realities and respond to them. It also offers the ability to forget everything else you’re doing and get into a zone of art-making as a process. 

Do you recommend art or another creative outlet for your students?

  • Yes, I recommend the arts to all my students so that they may be able to learn the classics of the arts in the visual arts, dance, music, theater, and literature. It gives insight into the past and present and offers a connection to the heart of humankind.

Do you have any quick tips for students who want to channel stress into art, but don’t consider themselves artistic?

  • My tip is to take any classes in the arts that offers an outlet to stress and to individual means of expressing oneself. It’s a journey that should be taken advantage of as students. To equip yourself with a well-rounded education and a pulse into the riches of what the arts can add to one’s life. Even though you may not be an art major take a class so you can understand the process of art and appreciate it. Take tap dance or ballroom dance to have fun on the dance floor, study classical music to enjoy the orchestra, and write a poem so that you can connect with poets from the past and that of today. The future is at your fingertips, the arts offer compassion to the human condition. As the next generation of working-class, leaders, etc., the arts need you and you need the arts to relieve stress and offer you a means of expression.

Here are some suggestions on how to use art to destress!

For amateur artists, check out these relatively simple activities:

Coloring Books

Paint by Number

  • These can be as easy or difficult as you want!
  • Shuttle over to Michaels and choose from paint by numbers ranging $5-$15, with a range of designs: such as this fun bold dolphin piece to this more difficult Starry Night recreation.

Paint Kits

If you don’t have time to create your own art, go admire some. Picture by Haley Brown at The Barnes Foundation

For the more skilled artist, here are some ideas on what to do:

Paint 

  • Michaels has a variety of canvases you can get and multiple mediums to create art with
  • So grab some a canvas and some paint and get to work!
  • Nature and landscapes are always nice to create and look at later

Draw

  • Michaels also offers a wide range of different sketchbooks for you to grab and start filling up
  • Sketch whatever comes to mind or just mindlessly doodle – it’s up to you!

If you don’t have the time or energy to create art yourself, you can still destress by enjoying the art of others! Saint Joseph’s has a great art collection here on campus, so make sure to check that out. 

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