The Benefits of Art during Quarantine

Elie Yates, Staff

Many of us are feeling like the world has come crashing down in this situation. School, sports, practices, clubs, friends, almost anything you can think of has been cancelled or taken away. A lot of times, it feels like there is a gap of your boredom that needs to be filled with something. Art is a fantastic way to pass time during this pandemic because it improves your mental health, it can build important learning skills, and is entertaining. 

Art can be really impactful for your mental health, especially during this time. During quarantine, we lose to ability to interact with others, do the things we love, and it can leave our mental health in an unstable place. The CDC says worries about pandemics and diseases can cause extra anxiety too. Art is a great way to keep your mental health in balance. When people express themselves from art, it can be a healthy way of letting go of their thoughts and feelings. Research done by Harvard Health has also shown that creating visual art can reduce stress and promote relaxation in people who are homebound due to illness, in our case the spread of COVID-19. It can also prevent and decrease depression and anxiety. Art can help you concentrate on details and your surroundings in a way that is almost like meditation, which can take our minds off our worries.  

Art can be beneficial in a classroom setting too. Students who participate in art gain creative problem solving skills that can be useful when it comes to online learning because this is such new territory. It also boosts critical thinking and teaches kids to be more careful and thorough. Teaching art can also help students learn fine motor, social, and decision making skills. During online learning, the teacher is much less present and more visual instruction is involved. Participating in art can make understanding difficult concepts visually much easier. Art can also improve academic performance and participation. In a report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair, or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.

 Whether you’re into art or not, art can be a great way to entertain yourself during your time at home. From the easiest to the hardest mediums, there is alway something that you can create. Painting, colored pencils, drip painting, pottery, markers, chalk, knitting/sewing, are all forms of art you can try. Art is something that can consume your time in the best way possible, you can spends hours or even days on one piece. “It’s the process, not the product. Once people engage, they often realize they are having fun and the time passes faster,” says Megan Carleton, an art therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). At the end, you can make something you enjoy  and want to show off. Creating something you’re proud of can boost your self esteem and confidence too. 

Art can be so beneficial for you in so many ways during this quarantine, but it can also be something new for you that you can really enjoy.