nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections


Local News arrow In The Spotlight arrow Katie Demeria arrow Woodstock

| 1

Relieving stress through art

2014_03_26_Paint_Seniors1.jpg
Linda Carver, left, of Strasburg, gets some advice from painting instructor Suzanne Soliday, right, during the “Paint Your Own Canvas” class for local seniors at the Government Center in Woodstock. The class is conducted through Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2014_03_26_Paint_Seniors2.jpg
George Winn of Fort Valley paints on his canvas inside the kitchen of the Shenandoah County Government Center. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2014_03_26_Paint_Seniors3.jpg
Judy Wildman of Edinburg paints during the "Paint Your Own Canvas" class. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)


By Katie Demeria

WOODSTOCK -- Linda Lutz of New Market was having a hectic day. After running around town, she was worried her dog had made a mess at her house. Skipping her painting class in order to save time, though, was not an option.

"I've got to come," Lutz said. "It relieves my stress."

Lutz is one of many other local men and women who participate in the Paint-Your-Own-Canvas Senior Art Class. Suzanne Soliday of Suzanne's Studio in Strasburg teaches the Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation class at the county's government center.

For Soliday, Lutz and the other participants, the class allows them to channel their creativity -- and it especially helps to relieve stress.

"I tell them to give up trying to be perfect," Soliday said. "It's about joy. And hopefully they can tackle life without trying to be perfect, too."

According to Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Brenda Johnston, attempting to combat stress is one of the best things a person can do for their overall health.

"If you think about why stress is bad, remember it impacts almost every organ system," Johnston said.

When the body becomes stressed, she continued, the flight or fight response is triggered. The heart rate increases, as does blood pressure and the overall demand on the body.

"So when you're stressed and you've got that hyperactive response, your body says, I only need certain organs. I need brain, heart, but I don't need the kidneys, I don't have to worry about digesting food," she said.

It is the decreased functioning in the digestive system that causes people to put on weight when they are stressed, according to Johnston. They feel bloated, fatigued and sluggish.

Those symptoms have severe impacts on the mood, as well. People whose bodies are not functioning as well due to stress will sometimes suffer from depression.

"There's no health without mental health," Johnston said. "It's absolutely essential that we all have some way to be able to de-stress, be able to let that stress go."

For Sherry Symons of Woodstock, another participant in Soliday's class, painting with others allows her an outlet. She recognizes how relaxed she feels when it is over.

"It really is fun art, not fine art, like Suzanne says. And in the end, you have nobody to please but yourself," Symons said. "You do your own thing."

Soliday said painting works by creating a foundation with a base color and building from there. Those same principles, she continued, should be applied to life.

"We have our foundation, and we can keep building on it," she said. "We're not done, we're all still works in progress."

Both Symons and Lutz have participated in the classes before, returning because they noticed how good it made them feel. First time participant Judy Wildman of Edinburg said she joined because she wanted to learn something new and have a creative outlet.

Wildman said she considers creativity to be very important because "it feeds all things."

"When you're creating something, it's unique, it's satisfying, it's encouraging in every other area of your life," Wildman said. "Whether it's gardening, painting, knitting, or photography. It's very useful."

Johnston said everybody has different ways of combating their stress, from exercise to painting or designing, and those should be important parts of everyday life. She is part of a band that helps her fight stress.

"It uses a different part of your brain, and it really works," she said. "We all need that. It's all about balance. You have to have balance in your life."

Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation is still offering classes with Soliday. To find out more, go to www.shenandoahcountyva.us/parks or www.suzannes-studio.net.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.













Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarification Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Progress 2014 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com