Daily 49er

Let art kick stress to the curb

Art and Soul Fair offers artistic activities to help students cope with anxiety.

Students will be able to create jewelry as a means of relieving stress on Wednesday.

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Students will be able to create jewelry as a means of relieving stress on Wednesday.

Marck Parra, Staff Writer

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In an effort to provide healthy alternatives to stress, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs program will host an event to help students cope with anxiety through artistic activities.

The Art and Soul Fair will offer jewelry making, painting, coloring and an abundance of other arts and crafts-related creativities on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Speaker’s Platform outside of the University Bookstore.

“The overall message that we are trying to send with this is that sometimes we need to just take a step back, tune out for a moment and relax,” ATOD coordinator Heidi Ortiz said. “Self-care is key.”

According to Health Education Assistant Jennifer Layno, this is a particularly popular event among students, and she noted that many love the idea of forgetting the inevitable stresses that comes with each semester and relax through fun, creative activities.

The Art and Soul Fair initially began as an idea to promote and bring awareness to ATOD’s side program, Beach Recovery. It was founded to educate students about addiction and the importance of the path to recovery.

“The goal of Beach Recovery is to raise awareness about the disease of addiction and  let people know that recovery is a great thing,” Ortiz said.

Along with the various support groups Beach Recovery provides, is the access to substance-abuse groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and drug counseling.

The event welcomes all students who don’t know how to cope with outside factors that attribute to stress — be it work, social or school-related. The fair encourages a student to pick up a brush or pen rather than a bottle of alcohol or a cigarette.

“Students are more aware of our services and of our support of recovery, and this is thanks to the event,” Layno said .

Since the three times the Art and Soul Fair has been held on campus, it has gradually gained popularity, and is considered a success both for the students participating and the program, according to Layno.

Students who have never heard of the event who just want to spend some down-time between classes working with their hands can learn more about recovery and the benefits it offers at the fair Wednesday.

“Art is always a great thing that people love and it serves many purposes… art is an excellent de-stressor, “ said Ortiz.

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