The pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of the entire world’s population and the psychological and social effects have been widely demonstrated. During the COVID-19 pandemic, art, in its various forms, has appeared as a stress relief and is being used to promote well-being.

The psycho-social risks of the global COVID-19 crisis

The Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crises and Aid studied the nature of the psychological problems which have arisen from the health crisis. Anxiety, boredom, depression, and even suicidal thoughts are the most frequent psychological risks.

The long, imposed lockdowns and the associated health measures were also highly stressful; they restricted liberty, meant that people were separated from their loved ones, generated financial loss, and affected mental health. Improving well-being in times of crisis is, therefore, essential. WHO recommends practising enjoyable activities including artistic activities.

Improving mental health with art during lockdown

Artistic activities developed massively during COVID-19 to relieve psychological distress. We all remember the spontaneous daily demonstrations during lockdown when musical instruments were played and people sang on balconies in numerous cities. In 2020 a host of cultural associations and publishing houses made countless online activities available (virtual museum tours, access to readings, etc.). Most of these activities were free.

Art has enabled us to get out of a rut at a time when our daily lives were brutally disrupted and had to be restructured. Beyond the purely occupational aspect of art, creative art increases self-confidence and allows people to activate their senses.

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Article updated on 05/09/22