We are all happy little mistakes

Staying sane through art


Tatiana Martinez, Section Editor

Depression and anxiety, as well as a multitude of other mental health issues or illnesses, are at an all-time high as seen in teens today. This is unprecedented, and our generation is suffering because many of us don’t know how to cope or deal with our feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, and stress. 


Some studies have shown that through art or other creative outlets, teens were able to better cope with their mental illnesses, and felt more positive and relaxed as a result. 


Personally, I find that keeping a gratitude journal is very helpful because at night, even if my day wasn’t the best, I can find three things I was grateful for that day. Instead of always focusing on negativity, it’s good to have moments of optimism during rough times.


One project you could try would be buying a ceramic plate or a paper lantern and writing down things that you’re angry about, or words you’ve been holding that haven’t been said out loud. Write as much as you can fit and air out your emotions, whether they be happy or sad. 


If using a plate, find a wall or somewhere safe where you can throw it on the ground as hard as you can and watch it shatter. If using the lantern, light it and let it float into the sky, and feel the weight lift off your shoulders.


Another project I particularly enjoyed was drawing in the dark. I’m constantly finding myself scrutinizing and criticizing my art while I’m drawing. Turning off the lights and just drawing was cool because I couldn’t see what was happening on the paper, therefore I couldn’t criticize it. 


One variation of this project can be done with paint and LED lights. First, pick at least 5 different shades of a color. I chose to do blue for mine. Then, pick a color of your lights where you can’t tell the color of paint you’re using. I picked red, which I think works well for any color that you pick. Now, just use the paint you have set up and paint whatever you want on the canvas. Don’t worry about whether the colors will look good together because that’s not the point of the project. Have fun with it!


Finally, one more thing you can do is create a self-care box and fill it with things that make you feel happy and calm. Or set a day aside to do things that you love doing, whether it be reading, drawing, painting, or writing. Remember to always take time for yourself, especially when you’re feeling anxious or more stressed than usual. You’re not selfish for focusing on yourself during challenging times.