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You art not alone: Online art therapy amid the pandemic

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By Gabriela Baron

As the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on mental health, Bonifacio Art Foundation encourages the public to use art as a form of therapy.

“When we create or appreciate pretty things during dark times, it does not mean that we would lose sight of the harsh realities we currently face.

“In fact, we are more likely to suffer an opposite danger, which is being defeated by depression. Let art restore hope,” Bonifacio Art Foundation said in a statement.

Every Wednesday, starting March 25, a series of creative prompts will be released through Arts at BGC and BGC Arts Center Facebook and Instagram pages.

The first prompt released by Bonifacio Art Foundation on March 25 was “hope.”

The foundation encourages everyone to share what they are excited about when the pandemic over and uplift others by sharing their art with messages of hope.

Participants can either draw, sing, sculpt, dance, or cook.

“The objective is to de-stress and use art as therapy. Art does not have to be perfect to be wonderful,” it said in a Facebook post.

Artworks can be shared using the hastag #ArtBGCatHome and tag @artsatbgc and @bgcartscenter to be featured.

Efficacy of art therapy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

However, the American Journal of Public Health noted that creative engagement can decrease anxiety, stress, and mood disturbance.

“There are clear indications that artistic engagement has significantly positive effects on health,” added the journal.

According to Psych Central, art therapy can be valuable in navigating anxiety because it has the ability to calm the nervous system.

“When we’re focused on creating, our attention shifts away from worrisome ruminations.”

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