Today's digital world (and social media domination!), it's very common and easy for us to get feel isolated, lacking, inferior, stressed or pressured, but we need to remember that what we see online, is just people's highlights! Switching OFF from digital technologies and turning off social media notifications, and getting crafty for an afternoon, is great for your mental health!
YES there are some great benefits that to all the new technologies and platforms in terms of connectivity with friends and family far away, being able to work online etc, BUT we can't deny the downside which is that we're seeing of people's lives, isn't necessarily real.
To DE-stress, and unplug from technology, time-honoured crafts are a great way to get creating with your hand, using your imagination ... CRAFTING is GOOD FOR YOU!!!!
Simply put, crafting is the act of creating things with your hands. It could be projects as simple as creating cards, or more complex such as sewing your own clothes.
The best bit? You don't need to be a professional seamstress, quilter or crafting guru to be able to create something. As long as you have the right amount of patience and perseverance to complete a project, you're good to go. Oh, and of course, PLANS - you need plans such as what you want to make, what's your strategy, what supplies you need, and how long your project will take (approximately!)
"Research has shown that crafting, regardless of the medium you use, can bolster mood, improve self-confidence, and reduce stress overall. In addition, crafting has also shown to improve mental agility, improves both gross and fine motor movements, and also decrease cognitive decline." via Spectrum Health
Can crafting help relieve stress?
CNN reported back in 2015 about a story of a woman named Sarah Huerta, who was diagnosed by her physician with post-traumatic stress disorder and extreme anxiety caused by her brother's sudden death. She didn't want to get inside a car, or even hold down a job. She felt that a disaster would happen anytime soon.
Enter a great idea by her husband, in the from of KNITTING NEEDLES!
At first, she had difficulty staying still. As time went on, knitting became a bit of an obsession, and before long, she realised that she was no longer so preoccupied with thinking about catastrophes. Knitting had changed her life for the better, reduced her stress, and had become a productive comfort.
HOW can crafting help relieve stress?
A.) Crafting promotes relaxation
Due to the repetitive nature of crafting, your brain gets to relax and think of something else rather than focus on the thing that's causing you stress. Knitting, crocheting, and sanding are some of the example craft projects that you can do if want to have a little bit of relaxation and alleviate stress in your body.
B.) Crafting lowers cortisol levels
According to WebMD, cortisol is our body's built-in alarm system - a.k.a stress hormone. If this alarm system is not turned off, it can control our mood. When we're crafting, our body and mind are in a relaxed state which is turn is lowering the production of cortisol in our body. What's a craft that you can pick up and do, when you're feeling a little stress coming on?
C. Crafting can get you "in the zone"
Crafting can help you shift your focus away from your problem, stress-causer, or even yourself in a downward spiral. It gets you in a state of flow where you forget about pressures, dramas and self consciousness. If you don't know what craft project to do, you can try Macrame. It's super easy to make. Learn more here!
We've also written another blog on how to make hair scrunchies, the easy way! Read about that here - there's also a FREE eguide inside that blog with a link to buy our DIY hair scrunchie kits that you can make yourself.
Crafting is unique in that it involves many different parts of your brain at once. It can work your memory and attention span while involving your visuospatial processing, creative side and problem-solving abilities all at the same time. Crafting is GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN!
Take a look at our Diamond Dotz collection if you'd like to know where to start, and you haven't crafted before ... there are DIY kits for beginners right through to advanced, and they're fun for all ages. Check out the Diamond Dotz collection here.
Here are other easy DIY craft projects that you can try at home!