Sketching and Stress Relief

By doodling alongside their homework, AHS students let go of pent up emotions.


Allison Berryhill

Junior Ariel Clark shows her drawings to her friend, Shayla Luke. Clark found a love with drawing when she was ten years old.

Carson Konken, Staff Writer

Picture it: math class.

Junior Ariel Clark works through a quadratic formula, then rests for a moment by sketching in the margins of her paper. A penciled muscled monster creeps up alongside her math problems. Sketching helps Clark relax as she waits for the teacher to move on with the lesson.

According to Very Well Mind, art therapy is often used to help people cope with stress. People do not need to be particularly artistic to benefit from sketching.

Clark said she sketches during classes or when she’s bored. “I sketch usually when I feel embarrassed or really anxious. I will try to sketch to wait until it goes away. I like to do flowers occasionally and I draw a little guy from “Hollow Night.” It’s easy to draw. I don’t know why I draw him. If I’m not drawing him, I’m drawing monsters.”

One of the benefits of sketching is its meditative effect. Sketching while under stress or anxiety can put you in a flow.  This is a meditative state of mind. While in a flow, individuals can perform better because they are relaxed and focused on what they are doing.  

Sketching can also be a form of self care.  Taking care of mental health is just as important as physical health. Mallory Kirchhoff, paraeducator, doesn’t sketch but said “I’ll adult-color all day long.” To Kirchhoff, “the more intricate it is, the more relaxing it is.” Kirchhoff said, “I kind of zone out. I quit thinking about what’s bothering me and focus on what’s in front of me.”

Stress can make people do things out of anger or sadness. When stress is relieved, the thinking process is bettered. 

According to art teacher Susan Wedemeyer, drawing can be a form of distraction. While admitting she is not an expert on using art for stress reduction, she said,  “I believe that for some it can help, but I also feel that for some it can be used as a calming method, like mediating. It can also be a distraction or an excuse to be distracted.”

Allison Beryhill
Cameryn Fenton sketches during study hall. She finds inspiration from things around her.

Junior Cameryn Fenton started drawing when she was about ten years old. “I just started sketching,” she said. “I wasn’t good at first. I’m one of those people who sees something and draws it.”

Freshman Phillip Germann draws “random things that come to mind.” One of his favorite sketch topics is dragons. He also likes to draw stickmen fighting.

Junior Grace McCurdy sketches characters, landscapes, and animals. She said sketching is “kind of like all the emotions you can’t say, getting them out. It’s kind of like writing a story.” She started drawing at the beginning of high school. “It’s something I love. Stress can be let go by doing stuff we love.”