Updated: Jun 3
In my latest blog, I talk about 8 reasons why crafting can have a beneficial effect on your mental health. So (once you've read this article) step away from your screen and do something creative as part of your self-care routine.
1. Reduced anxiety
If you struggle with your anxiety, it can sometimes feel impossible to keep your mind focused on something fun! But, a little time working on arts & crafts can significantly reduce your state of anxiety. Having some time to focus on something different can give you the time out that you need away from overthinking & worrying. Being wholly focused on a craft project can have the same effect as meditation! So take some time for you & clear your mind by getting crafty.
2. Improved mood
What researchers are beginning to document regarding crafting and our mood, we’ve known instinctively for quite a long time. Taking up a creative hobby can help your overall mood improve. There’s a strong feeling of accomplishment after you’ve created something unique - as well as the pride that comes with the process of seeing your creation come to life. Recently, scrapbooking has given people a sense of pride and camaraderie! There are so many ways to lift your mood whilst getting creative. Which will you be choosing?
3. Increased happiness
Here comes the science bit...Dopamine is a chemical associated with the reward centre in your brain. Among other things, it provides feelings of enjoyment to help you start or continue doing certain activities. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that people who struggle with low mood are lacking in dopamine. Crafting is a non-medicinal way to stimulate dopamine, which ultimately makes you feel happy!
4. It brings people together
Not only does crafting keep your mind busy, boost your mood & make you happier - it’s also a great way to bring people together! Speaking with people in a community who have similar interests & offering advice and support creates a positive relationship and social support.
5. Make time to make
Now I know what you’re thinking, how can you make more time for crafting in a busy life? But it’s important to make yourself and your happiness a priority even if it’s only for a short while. On days when I am really struggling, even five minutes with my project can really help me. The more you prioritise yourself, the healthier and happier you will feel.
6. Enjoy the moment, be in the now
Mindfulness is 'the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and conscious of what we’re doing'. Thousands of studies on meditation have been conducted, with the evidence pointing to mindfulness is a great way to alleviate the symptoms of a variety of mental disorders.
All crafts are excellent ways to achieve mindfulness. You automatically become focused and concentrated on the activity, relaxing and unwinding while becoming more aware of what's around you. Crafts such as knitting, crochet, weaving, ceramics, needlework, and woodwork focus on repetitive actions and a skill level that can always be improved upon.
7. Feel better about yourself, boost your self-esteem
When our self-esteem is low, we tend to be critical of ourselves and our life. We also believe we're less capable of taking on the challenges life throws at us. If you have low self-esteem you might hide away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging. Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems like depression and anxiety.
One of the ways the NHS recommends improving your self-esteem is to give yourself a challenge, to try something new. Creative activities such as arts and crafts provide an outstanding opportunity to bolster your self-esteem. Completing an entire task from start to finish gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Arts and crafts classes are also a fantastic environment for meeting and interacting with new people. It can be difficult for some to venture beyond their comfort zones, but the sense of belonging you get when you work with new friends on interesting new projects can provide a great boost to your self-esteem and happiness.
8. Renewed sense of purpose
Getting stuck into a project – whether that be creating a collage, knitting a cardigan or building a new coffee table – will give you a renewed sense of purpose when you wake up in the morning. And once you've finished, you'll feel a real sense of pride in what you've made.
Here are some great articles where you can find out more information: