You don’t have to look far to see the positive effects that are being created in the arts community as we face the COVID-19 global pandemic. We are seeing a multitude of instructional videos, live musical performances, author readings, virtual museum and gallery tours and so much more that are inspiring our communities and helping us to feel hopeful and connected even in a time of social distancing.
Experiencing art in any form can reduce anxiety and create opportunities for social connection (even when we are distancing). With all the resources available to us on-line, now is a great time to tour a gallery, study an artist, read a classic, or watch a virtual musical or theatrical performance.
Taking an active role in an artistic endeavor can also be a great way to remove yourself temporarily from the stress we are experiencing globally and in our own communities. It can be a great distraction that allows you to focus simply on creating. Whether you decide to spend an hour drawing, coloring in a coloring book, playing an instrument, writing, or creating a wonderful meal, you’re likely to find creating very therapeutic. Encourage those in your household, young and old, to join you as making art is a way to express yourself without necessarily having to come up with the words for how you are feeling.
For many, social distancing and fear of the COVID-19 virus are creating a type of stress that our community hasn’t experienced before. Whether it is a fear of you or a family member becoming ill or a new financial strain because your job has been impacted, the emotional impacts can be difficult to manage. Creating or experiencing art can help you process your emotions and can help to positively change your outlook.*
The Journal of American Art Therapy reported that “45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.” We challenge you during this unprecedented time to seek out art in many forms and to create your own art, even if it is not part of your regular routine. Whether you are creating or enjoying the creations of others, we hope you feel the positive impacts of artistic expression.
*If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 for help. You can also seek professional assistance through the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center which provides 24/7 care for mental health and addiction issues. Call the hotline 1-800-NEXT-STEP or go to www.harfordcrisiscenter.org.