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Did you know that blue is the colour of stability, peace and calmness? It is the colour of the ocean and the sky, letting our bodies and mind feel still when we see it. The colour green promotes tranquillity and comfort as we connect it to nature, feeling refreshed when confronted with it. Light pink and violet offer balance and strength, bringing peace in any environment it is present in. Not only these colours, but colours in all forms have the ability to provide humans with all sorts of emotion. These feelings can have the ability to take away stress, hold memories or even evoke emotional responses. Research has actually proven that art in any and all forms can act as therapy for people who are struggling with anxiety, as it works to calm the nervous system. Whether you pick up a pencil to sketch, grab some paint to paint or even pick up a pen to write, pushing yourself to be creative can prove to be beneficial in many ways.  


Starting a Visual Diary  

In my personal experience, starting a visual diary has really helped me unwind after a stressful day. A friend of mine inspired me to start this type of diary and I am so happy that I did. A visual diary acts like a regular diary, but only in the form of art. Instead of writing about your day, you could paint about it or draw about how you felt. This may feel unnatural at first, as you may stare at a blank page for quite some time, but putting yourself in an uncomfortable position can actually encourage self-expression. Being creative can allow us to experience new aspects of ourselves that we did not know existed, giving us the ability to be in full control of our own bodies and mind.  


Plan to Paint  

Something that I always have available to me at all times is blank canvases and paint. This may seem very simple, but it actually proves to be very effective. If you ever feel blocked, exhausted or frustrated, having paint and canvases on hand makes it that much easier to de-stress and control the anxiety you may be feeling. In addition to this, you may get bursts of creativity at random times and having something to express it on within arm’s reach can always be helpful.  


Don’t Worry If You Are Not Picasso  

The reality is, many of us are not the next Picasso about to paint a masterpiece, and that is okay! This art is for us, as it is a way to self-express and heal. Placing high standards for yourself and ripping up each page that does not look right is not what this is about. Art as therapy is about giving us the chance to work on ourselves in an easy, not-so-scary way. Paint what you feel, use colours that speak to you and be okay with getting messy because life isn’t always perfect.  

Renee Alkass

Guelph '21

My name is Renee and I go to the University of Guelph! I am a third-year English major with a love for reading, writing, listening to music and cooking!
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