The Indian Artist, Revamped: Art & Mental Health

Good Afternoon Everybody! I hope that you are all doing well. For those of you who are students, hang in there, the semester is almost to an end!

This past week I decided to do one of the hardest things that I have ever done. After much research and deliberation, I embarked on a journey to do a 5-day water fast. This means that I did not eat or consume any calories for 5 days and only drank water with basic electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium substituted. I was hoping to go 7 full days; however, I made sure to listen to my body and stopped when I felt that I needed to. I wanted to write this post to demonstrate how my art was the sole thing that made this process easier.

Water fasting: Benefits, weight loss, and how to do itAs a bit of background and for anyone who may be asking why I would every do this, here it is. I have struggled with my body image and relationship with food for quite some time. The past 6-7 months have been very challenging for me and I wanted to do something positive that would not only help me regain control physically, but mentally as well. Fasting has proven evidence of reducing risks of cancer and diabetes, increasing autophagy, decreasing anxiety and depression, and of course aiding in weight loss.

Though this was a mentally challenging process, I turned to my painting and art to take my mind off of some of the physical difficulties throughout this process. I found that this was a test of mental fortitude and discipline more than anything else. Focusing on classes, work, research, and my art were the best things for me. I have found over the past year that when things get tough for me, I end up prioritizing everything over my art. As someone who gleans cathartic release from art, I have slowly taught myself that doing art is a form of self care. Working on your mental health is oftentimes the most important in order to achieve any external goals.

For those of your who are artists, enjoy art, or maybe have never even tried it, I urge you to take time for yourself and engage in something to take your mind off of daily stressors.

As always, if any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me!


Until next week,



Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "The Indian Artist, Revamped: Art & Mental Health"

1 year 3 months ago

Your water fast is really inspiring! Do you think it was worth doing now that it’s over? Also, I think everyone should find a hobby that helps them relax and clear their mind. Personally, I turn towards video games and have done so for the better part of my life. Other aspects of my life definitely would have suffered if I wasn’t able to fall back on games. Thanks for the great post and looking forward to next week!