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Wellbeing benefits of crafting

A few years ago, I attended a lovely seminar on Christmas décor ideas and ever since I’ve been in a Christmas What’s App group with the friends I went with. Each year around December we start posting our decorating accomplishments. This year it seems to be a good idea to do some crafting: it saves money: the environment by re-purposing things ( one friend is making tree decorations out of used Fortum and Mason tea tins): brings cheer to your environment; and is a good mindfulness self care activity.

The wellbeing benefits of crafting are many including:

Reduces stress. The repetitive nature of some crafts like knitting or crocheting acts like a meditation whilst other more free form crafts mean you are thinking about your design and not other worries. Craft work can also lower inflammation and stress hormones such as cortisol.

Reduces anxiety and depression. Repetition releases serotonin, a natural anti-depressant.

Reduces irritability and restlessness as it’s a positive outlet for your own expression.

Relieves insomnia. If you can’t sleep, a craft project can help your body and mind wind down enough for sleep.

Decreases the risk of cognitive decline as you age. A recent Mayo Clinic study showed knitting is neuroprotective and may reduce dementia by as much as 50%. Craft activities help release dopamine which encourages cognitive flexibility.

Can help process grief. If suffering from grief crafting is comforting and can be done in small chunks, when you have the energy. For a short period it take your mind off of your grief.

Increases self-esteem. Planning, visualising, working on and producing a piece of work can make you feel good.

Builds friendships. Missing your knit and natter? Then start a craft group online this year. The British Journal of General Practice reported that craft groups can help you learn different ways to relate to others, be more open to the possibility of new futures and to have a positive outlook.

For instructions on how to make some simple Christmas decorations see OR Google other ideas. Pinterest is also a good place to find ideas and instructions.

I’m off to stamp some gold designs onto a tablecloth and linen napkins for my Christmas table this year.

Happy crafting. I'd love to see your work in progress and results.


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