Supporting Your Mental Wellness Through Creativity

By Simone Dekryger on March 2, 2020

Creativity is a trait that's talked about and used in a lot of different contexts. A valued trait in today's workplace, it is the basis of problem-solving and innovative ideas. There is also a therapeutic aspect.

College can be stressful, which is why there are resources for you to take advantage of during your time at Cornerstone University, one of them being Sanaa 139.

Sanaa 139, sometimes called the Sanaa house, is a building on campus dedicated to creativity and play therapy, and you don't have to be a psychology major to take advantage of it. While some classes are held there, open hours are offered to any student who wishes to destress through art.

I am someone who appreciates psychology and creative expressions, so when I discovered Sanaa 139, I was understandably excited.

Sanaa is Swahili for work of art, and 139 references Psalm 139, which says in verse 14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." This references the purpose of the building, which is to encourage and support visitors to accept their own unique traits and reflect on the creativity of God.

"We were created by God to be expressive beings," said Dr. Nicole McDonald, professor of psychology at Cornerstone. "As a Christ-centered institution, we wanted to offer a space for students to pursue who God created them to be."

My Experience

During Cornerstone's Snowmester—or J-term—this year, I spent many hours at the Sanna building. I was able to take the Creative Therapy course with Dr. McDonald. It was not my first experience at the Sanaa house, and I highly doubt it will be my last. Throughout the class, we were able to explore the therapeutic properties of play. My classmates and I were also privileged to see the passion driving the whole endeavor.

I have attended some of the open hours and events at the Sanaa house as well. In February of last year, there was a special Valentine's Day activity. I was able to make cards for my friends with the many materials there. I have also spent time painting with watercolors and playing with the putty. It is an incredibly relaxing and fun experience that I recommend every student tries whether it is in a class or during free hours.

Other Resources

Some other awesome resources Cornerstone offers to help students cope with and reduce stress are the massage chair and The Well. Students can sign up online for a 30-minute session in the massage chair via their Cornerstone account, and The Well has many certified therapists that work on campus.

These resources are here for you. Make sure you use them! The colder winter months in Michigan can get dreary, so treat yourself with some self-care.

Cornerstone is dedicated to caring for its students beyond academics and offers a lot of ways for students to find support when things get stressful. If you're looking for a college that cares about every aspect of your wellbeing, then Cornerstone may be your best fit. Apply to Cornerstone today!

Category: Student Perspectives