It’s no secret that life as a college student can be stressful, especially during final exam time. As the end of the 2018-2019 school year approaches, I find myself scrambling to make summer plans, pick classes for next semester, and study for upcoming finals (while continuing to learn new material). As far as extracurricular activities go, final performances, meetings, and events are already underway. Add in personal, financial, and family responsibilities, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. During a hectic time period, it’s important to prioritize and make a schedule of what needs to be accomplished. At the same time, it’s important not to push yourself too hard and take a break once in awhile.
Recently, I had an assignment to create a character representing a place of importance. Devising the character, drawing it, and coloring it gave me an opportunity to do something fun and different. Pencil and pen quickly filled white space, creating something new. Adding colored pencils to the mix enlivened the work, and I found myself being way more enthusiastic about the assignment than I originally anticipated.
While concentrating on adding color and shading to my drawing, I temporarily forgot about any current stresses. Taking a break to blend colors, shade, and add highlights and lowlights provided a refreshing break. The assignment was an excuse to take time for myself while still being productive. Throughout the year, taking the time to do some sort of art – in this instance, coloring – has consistently helped me relax. I give credit to time management and using art as self-care in helping me have a happier and healthier mindset.
The visual arts can be a great creative outlet for you, too. You don’t have to view yourself as a gifted artist to take advantage of the benefits of creating art, specifically in coloring. Coloring is especially great because you get to have control over how creatively expressive you would like to be. Taking the time for this relaxing and rewarding hobby can give your mind a break from your usual, busy thoughts. This has been evident in recent years, where there’s been a popular trend of adult coloring books (many of which marketed for the purpose of relieving stress). There’s even been numerous studies and research done showing a relationship between coloring and reducing anxiety levels. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some colored pencils and get to it!