How art can help during COVID-19

Sarah Barrett

The government released its “Living with Covid” plan last month detailing restrictions on each sector. At level 3, there are no social gatherings and the public health guidelines advise you to stay in your county, except for work or educational purposes.

With a potential Level 5 national lockdown on the cards due to the increase in cases and winter upon us, we’re going to be spending the majority of our time at home due to the suspension of normality.

During the first lockdown, people resorted to creative ways to cope with the restrictions and to pass time. There is an app called “Happy Colour” where you can digitally paint using colour by numbers, the app can be downloaded from the app store on android and IOS for those who love digital art.

The pandemic has deeply affected the creative and performing arts sector. According to the International Network for Contemporary Arts (IETM) which consists of 500 members and organisations across theatre, dance, circus, performance, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media as well as art has shifted from live to digital.

By streaming your favourite artists’ songs or buying their music you are continuing to support the arts sector, while being able to discover new music or by journaling, you are releasing your energy.

If you love music, why not try to learn to play an instrument? There are many videos on YouTube or online that have guides and tutorials on how to do so.

During this time, you may be feeling anxious or stressed, by doing some activities like painting, photography, writing, rearranging your wardrobe or doing home workouts have been found to have mental health benefits as well as stress relief.

Whether it’s picking up that brush, taking photos of your cat, dog or hamster, a badly drawn photo of your housemate, Mam or Dad, spending the evening doing and adult colouring book, which are in Lidl for a fiver, it encourages relaxation and can help you to lower your stress levels.

Being creative can help you learn a new skill or rediscover your old passions from when you were younger. Practising Tik-Tok dances, writing a song, drawing, painting or photography can all have a significant impact on your mental health.

The pandemic has taught us to appreciate the simple things in our lives. Art and exploring the creativity it brings can show the importance of art in our lives.

With Netflix shows, books, playlists, artwork and even Tik-Tok dances, there’s a rich variety of art we can make and consume during this time.

You can learn how to paint, play an instrument or try something new from the comfort of your own home. During this time stay safe, reach out to your friends and stay connected with those around you.

Sarah Barrett

Image Credit: Grace O’Sullivan