On a colourful carpet acrylic paint is setup next to a laptop with the image of a sunset open on it.

How Arts and Crafts help me Unwind

There’s no doubt that school can get stressful. In fact, U of T is known for its academic rigour, but what usually goes unseen, is the number of resources it provides us. Ranging from counselling at Health and Wellness to Get Crafty Thursdays at Hart House, the aim is to reach as many students as possible. As for myself, what really helps me unwind after a stressful week, or even stressful day, is art.  Somehow, I only discovered this during this summer. I had an afternoon to myself, so I decided to go buy some paint, with no particular goal. As soon as I got home, I realized I didn’t have any paper to paint on, so I improvised. I took a couple of pieces of cardboard and started painting on them, following faintly a couple of images I had on my phone. I ended up spending a couple of hours doing this, and once I was done, I realized how much better I felt. I learnt that I didn’t have to be the best artist to find pleasure in art. 
A cork-board with different items pinned on, including pieces of work done b y Francesca.
My pin board with some of the art I've done this year
Another crafting session that I love doing is button making. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about cutting pieces out from magazines and newspapers that just gets me. I had always loved collaging, but had only done it online. However, as soon as I had the scissors and glue in my hand, I was set. I can’t wait to see what I'll be doing during the next Get Crafty sessions in Hart House!
A red backpack with 4 pins on it.
Some of the pins I've done on my school backpack
Finally, I’ve noticed that writing helps me a lot as well. Whether it be writing this same blog, writing poetry, or random writing for myself, it lets me unwind. I hadn’t noticed, but recently my friends pointed out all I’ve been doing is readings, readings, and more readings. And it’s TRUE! I have barely taken any time to myself, but I realized that writing is always a key part of my day, and I always feel better after. Without making even any conscious decision, my body was making me unwind. I’m beginning to trust my gut, and whenever I need some some time, I’ll take it. Prioritizing my mental health is so important, and I’m finding ways in which to do this. 

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