Craft as therapy

by | 30 September 2022 | Health, Hobbies, Retford

I don’t think any of us need reminding that the daylight hours are reducing and that we are all having to be more careful with our money. On top of all of our own individual worries, it can feel overwhelming. Maybe we aren’t into yoga or meditation but we want something to help us to switch our minds off for a bit so we can have some respite.

For me, that reprieve comes from two places– exercise and crafting. When I lost my Mum to cancer the only times I felt able to rest from thinking about it was on a netball court (all I was able to think was run, throw, catch) and when I was making something crafty.

Mindfulness is essentially just being focused on a task. It doesn’t really matter what the task is – baking, gardening, crochet, painting, or anything which absorbs your interest to the exclusion of other things.

So, what are the benefits of being creative?

  • It can improve your mental health and alleviate stress hormones, making us feel happier.
  • It can have a meditative quality (although I know if you are learning something new or you can’t get a project to go the way you plan it can be frustrating). Being drawn in and losing track of time are part of the switching off process.
  • It can teach resilience – if your work doesn’t turn out how you’d planned then you can find another way or you can adapt it into a new thing!
  • There’s no right or wrong in creative arts – you can prefer one style to another one but you have freedom to create what appeals to you.
  • Being productive and having something to show for your time can be very rewarding. There is also a sense of pride in being able to say you made / created it. Being proud of yourself can lead to improved self-esteem.
  • The more creative you allow your mind to be the better your problem-solving skills become as you are able to think in more imaginative ways.

I set up Sunflower Wellbeing to teach workshops and share this knowledge and to help people realise that there are so many positives to being artistic. I often have participants who say that they aren’t creative, but I think we all have an element of creativity inside of us – I tell them they just haven’t found their craft yet! Maybe you’re a wood carver, a sculptor, knitter, jewellery maker or something else altogether? Autumn is a perfect time to start something new as many of us will be spending more time at home and many hobbies don’t have to cost much, so why not give a new craft a try or pick up one you haven’t done in a while.

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life”
Pablo Picasso

Outside The Cave
Holistic wellbeing for the individual and wider community in Edwinstowe