Have you felt especially anxious and stressed lately? Or more likely, for the past year? You’re not alone, in fact, 1 in 4 adults report symptoms of anxiety and depression. We know as well as you do that these are stressful times and we also know that creating something with your hands can have some amazing benefits.
Our newest series: Creating for Mindfulness, wants to shed light on how incorporating creativity into your everyday life can make you happier. Here are the ways crafting can help:
Repetitive motions, such as crochet and embroidery invoke a meditative state that helps to pull us away from our outside stress and worries and provides something physical to focus on.
How can you bring this into your daily routine? When you start to feel overwhelmed with stress or anxiety, try picking up a simple craft project. Knitting, embroidery, crochet, or even something as basic as coloring in a sketchbook will force you to focus on what’s right in front of you and give your anxious mind a break from the outside world.
Letting Go of Perfectionism
Learning a new craft brings you out of your comfort zone and helps to put aside your preconceived notions of how something is “supposed” to look. You’re brand new at it! Nothing is perfect the first time.
Don’t know where to start? There are TONS of ways to pick up a new craft or skill. CraftJam offers dozens of live, social, online workshops for beginners in activities ranging from watercolor to polymer clay. If that’s not quite your thing there are endless YouTube tutorials, skill courses, and articles out there to help you get started. Or go the old fashioned route and ask a friend or family member to teach you!
Less Screen Time
Did you watch The Social Dilemma? Then you’ll know that more time on our screens means more anxiety. We’ve trained ourselves to reach for our phones whenever we have a spare moment and our apps are designed to hold our attention. Keeping your hands busy with a craft or creative activity is an amazing way to pull yourself away from your screen and be more present.
Try picking up a craft during times when you’re tempted to scroll mindlessly on social media. Guilty of being on your phone while watching TV? Crochet or knitting is a great activity to do instead if you find you need something to keep your hands busy while still being able to follow what you’re watching. Right before bed is also a great time to start unwinding and stepping back from our screens. Try doodling instead!
Connecting over a shared activity is an amazing way to make connections and friends. According to an NPR survey, more than 3 in 5 Americans are feeling lonely and our social isolation during COVID has not helped. Connecting over craft, even virtually, is an amazing way to combat this loneliness. Some of the ways you can join the crafting community from home are Facebook groups, message boards, and by following crafters on Instagram. Start interacting with your fellow creatives with comments, DM’s, and by sharing their work! Crafters are some of the most supportive people we know and we promise you’ll make some close connections and receive lots of encouragement on your work.
Another pillar of crafting is clubs and close circles where people come together to create (knitting circle anyone?) We know that in-person isn’t an option right now and that’s why at CraftJam we’ve brought social crafting online via our live, online WebJams. These workshops are not only for learning a new skill but to connect with your fellow crafters through conversations and sharing your work.
We would love to hear how you use crafting for mindfulness! Comment below or reach out to us on Instagram @CraftJam.co or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.