Breathe in, Breathe out

Sonia Wurzel, Staff Writer

Three weeks into the new semester means that there have already been some major assignments due in our classes, and I think we can safely say that our old friend Stress has begun to rear his ugly head. Hopefully no one has reached burn-out quite yet, but it’s always a good idea to get a handle on stress-busting tactics early in the year so that you can fall back on them when things really start picking up. The Center for Leadership in Health Promotion offers free stress-relief kits, but for those who would like a more creative way to combat stress, there is the Creativity Zone.

The Creativity Zone is a small room tucked away on the third floor of Wilder, where on Wednesdays from noon to 1:30 students can come and work with trained art therapist Randy James to de-stress by making art. You just go in, sit down and either take Randy’s suggestion for a certain project or medium to work with, or take advantage of the various materials that are available in the room.

James, who has a master’s degree in art therapy, works out of Oberlin and has been collaborating with the college for a couple of years now. The service is provided for free through funding from the Student Finance Committee, and while James mentioned that he might like for the Zone to be moved to a more public space, the quiet, secluded room adds a calming factor. You can lose track of time there, and it’s too bad that the Creativity Zone is open for such a short period. However, James mentioned that he would like to plan either a Winter Term project or an ExCo on art therapy.

Art can act as stress reliever by providing a quiet space in your routine, an un-graded, un-evaluated way for you to express yourself — you can put your emotions on paper or just doodle whatever you want. That, at least for me, is guaranteed to be relaxing. If you’re looking for your moment of artistic, creative zen in the middle of the week, stop by the Creativity Zone.