Taking Control of Gray

The color gray has invaded Athens. Nearly every morning I have woken up and the sky has been gray, the sidewalk has been wet, and a piercing wind has ripped through my winter coat. Stress had taken over my week and the gray sky only seemed to heighten my concerned, anxious self. A few days ago, as I walked from class to class, I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth could I bring some color into such a dreary January day. Then, as I walked up Court Street, I noticed a colorful parking meter, and the voice in my head went, “Art!” So, I sat down in my favorite café, pulled out my journal, and began to draw.

Stress is an overwhelming feeling that everyone experiences and nearly everyone’s stress seems to grow when everything around them is monochromatic and dull. The best advice I have for anyone who is attempting to try and figure out how to cope with these seemingly sluggish days is to pick up a pen and create. We often get so caught up in all of the tasks listed in our planners that we forget how to use pen and paper for fun. Being creative, no matter if you’re an actual artist or just someone like me who doodles in the margins of your paper, can release your brain from everyday stress. It also provides splashes of color during a rather dim day. Whether it’s stealing paint from your RA in order to create a masterpiece with friends (I may or may not know from experience) or just using the blue and red pens sitting at the bottom of your backpack, color can come into your day in a form that you may not have expected.

Carving out the time to sit down and draw or paint something you find wonderful, will make the world feel a little less big and a little brighter. The pictures featured within this post are all things I have created either alone or with the help of some friends and they have all been made on days when our window panes were painted gray. As you can tell, I am not the best artist in the world, but it certainly makes me feel better when I pretend to be! The next time you need color in your day, open up to the back of a notebook and scribble something that you find great, and feel some weight come off your shoulders.