#craftingismytherapy: Crafting Your Self-Care
Search online through anything from quilting to sewing, knitting to general crafts and you will see the hashtag blank is my therapy. It is a bittersweet honesty that many of us hold dear. It is wintertime right now and between one snowstorm after the other, to the impact of the pandemic on all our lives, making something can feel like the best way through moments when we just need a little space to ourselves. Our homes have become enclaves of group space that mean we are negotiating space in a different way and finding our own space and time is harder for many.
The link between craft and health is well established. When we typically think of crafts as a therapy, we do not think about how artistic activities help regulate emotions. A relatively recent study examined creativity in many forms from listening to music to sewing and drawing in both adults and children to examine the impact on emotional regulation. These activities were found to provide positive impacts on individual's ability to regulate emotion. Furthermore a survey by the BBC in 2018 (well before we were immersed in the stresses of the pandemic) involving 50,000 people in the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test had some positive news as well. Unsurprisingly, it found that within a single session of a creative activity there were benefits for an individual's overall sense of well-being and they also found that the positive impact plateaued on creative activities that were routine and that novelty was important in gaining the most stress busting reward for the creative activity.
All of this helps point to the importance of being flexible and open minded to new crafts and processes. The upside in finding a new craft that is more portable like knitting or scrapbooking or weaving or hand embroidery, can mean it creates more flexibility for where you can work in your home. For many of us that cherished aspect of making that gives us a release, a form of expression, the feeling of progress and completion or the meditative calm to balance our chaos, is important to our overall structure of self-care that keeps us feeling balanced. Now is a great time to think of projects or processes that take your love of making in new directions. What we gain from keeping our interests thriving benefits everyone, from the family who sees your joy, to the community online who appreciate your projects to the part of you for which blank is your therapy. Appreciate the self-care aspect of your #makinglife. Leave a comment with your latest exploration in your interests.
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