Paint therapy

Paint therapy

Photo credit: Bella Yoakam

By Bella Yoakam, Section Editor

In addition to chair yoga to help students relax and destress, Peer2Peer invited an art therapist to the Wellness Fair to help teach other forms of stress relievers. The class consisted of drip painting which was intended to help students slow down and go with the flow, while not worrying about stress from outside issues.

Therapeutic remedies can come in multiple forms, and while some find comfort in journaling or other structured activities, there are also less structured stress relievers, according to art therapist Jessica Smiggles. Smiggles teaches organic stress relievers, such as paint therapy, which helps to release anxiety.

“Art therapy is more expressive. You want to do things that are going to be more abstract generally, but they don’t necessarily have to be,” Smiggles said. “Rather than just doing yoga, breathing techniques or other calming things, [art therapy] is just kind of playing with the art materials instead of it being a serious assignment.”

With the high pressure and stress of upcoming tests, having an opportunity to participate in something soothing with low stakes helped senior Will Hertl relax during the school day. Hertl appreciates the chance to destress and not worry about school while doing simple projects that aren’t going to add any additional stress.

“I think the calming aspect of painting and knowing that there was no right way to paint [is beneficial],” Hertl said. “The painting takes your mind off the stresses of life and school and lets you be in the moment with yourself.”