We all know that university can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Getting involved in the arts around Lincoln can, in fact, be an excellent way of taking some much needed time for yourself. Last year, Arts Council England (the funding body for arts across England) published a report explaining how using the arts can be good for your mental health and overall happiness. So, can Lincoln’s arts scene help relieve some of the stress of being a university student? Well, the simple answer is yes… As a student, it’s easy to get bogged down in academic work and forget about trying to do things to distract you for a while. But the city offers the opportunity to get involved in all kinds of arts: literature, dance and even the traditional drawing and painting aren’t far away. Coupling much needed time off with some artistic expression might be the best thing you can do to rebalance your stress levels for the upcoming weeks and months. Producing a piece of art, however new you are to the craft, can help draw (pardon the pun) your attention away from the things taking over your brain. The immersive arts YouTube is a great resource to find crafting ideas and easy tutorials from professionals. Or, if you don’t have time to sit and watch something, there’s plenty that can be found on Pinterest. Even just googling what you want to draw can give you some fantastic ideas. Even if you don’t actually want to get involved, just watching somebody else immerse themselves in artistic expression can help take your mind off what is worrying you. That’s really what this is about – changing your mindset for a short while and, hopefully, doing something meaningful in the process. How to get involved in Lincoln As far as finding some artistic groups to get involved with goes, there are plenty of people offering these opportunities on and off-campus. The Mansions of the Future exhibition offers free talks and workshops, while the Jolly Brewer pub offers open-mic music and poetry nights. Closer to the university, the LPAC offers theatre shows to watch (for only a small price) if plays are more your thing. Pretty much, whatever you have an interest in, there’s something on offer; if you can’t find anything that catches your eye straight away, there’s no harm in trying out something new! Remember, even the smallest things, like reading a book or taking some time to doodle on a notebook, can get you into the spirit of using the arts to de-stress. You don’t have to go all-out, as long as you’re doing something that pulls your mind away from whatever is causing you stress.