Students created art at the Bulldog Zone Wednesday April 18, 2018 for "Pause and Paint". The event was hosted by the Student Health and Counseling Center to promote mental health and self care. (Benjamin Cruz/The Collegian)

Students ease stress through painting as part of a month-long campaign

Students got to relax with arts and crafts at ‘Press Pause and Paint,’ an event on April 18 at the Bulldog Zone.

The event, hosted by the Student Health and Counseling Center, was an opportunity for people to unwind by showcasing their creative outlets.

Students painted with watercolors, using stencils of designs like roses and paw prints. They were also encouraged to use colored pencils, colored sharpies and glitter.

Georgianna Negron-Long, a health educator at the center, said the event was part of the month-long campaign of mental health events held in honor of April being Stress Awareness Month.

She said that at times, people don’t prioritize their personal mental health like they do other types of health.

“People still kind of see it as separate from your general health,” Negron-Long said. “Just like with any other disease, mental health issues can become worse the more you put [them] off.”

She said that when faced with time constraints, some choose to forgo activities that are conducive to maintaining their mental health.

“You always feel that you have to cut corners,” Negron-Long said. “Unfortunately, people tend to cut corners on things like sleeping and eating and taking those mental health breaks.”

She said this might be because people don’t view stress relieving activities as a worthwhile.

“It’s not a waste of time,” Negron-Long said. “By taking those mental health breaks you’re actually going to be able to be more effective.”

Cassie Valencia, student coordinator at the center said that stress can be a severe issue for college students because many of them lead busy lives.

“We see a lot of students that come from different walks of life,” Valencia said. “Some may be going to part time or may very well [be] going to school full time and working full time.”

Sabrina Thao, a public health, said she feels that stress impacts college students significantly, as many of them push themselves to achieve many accomplishments.

“Sometimes, people are too hard on themselves,” Thao said. “Once in a while, you need a break.”