MAKING STUFF IS GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY – IT CAN HELP YOU RELAX, REDUCE STRESS AND BEAT ANXIETY
I’m an adult with a serious day job. I’m not ashamed to say I sometimes like to deal with these stresses by colouring in. Or playing with lego. Or re-arranging my books into colour order.
I’ll admit to my random hobbies because I think it’s really important that everyone has at least one. One way of finding some distraction and inner calm when things are otherwise pretty crap.
HOBBIES AND CRAFTS ARE LEGITIMATE THERAPY
When I’m doing something creative I can focus my brain on following instructions. I fill it with happy thoughts of how to make things seem nicer. I switch off momentarily from what’s been stressing me out.
Actively doing stuff, rather than watching a box set or browsing social media, also gives me a sense of achievement. And that’s a valuable, happy feeling when you’re having a strop. One that can’t be found by watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
MAKING STUFF IS A GOOD WAY TO WASTE TIME
My hobbies might be me avoiding doing something not very nice but at least I’m wasting time in a positive way. Far better than spending time over-analysing and worrying about things I can’t control.
Plus I sometimes find the best ideas, the answers to life’s mysteries, come to me when I take a step out of the situation and switch my brain to doing something else.
And while we’re on the subject of your brain – learning a new skill can help keep it healthy into old age too. That can’t be a bad thing.
CRAFTING IS FASHIONABLE (NOT THAT IT MATTERS)
I don’t mind being different. I think it’s good to live your life following your passions rather than trying to fit in with what other people think.
I used to keep my creative habits under wraps though. Admitting you liked sewing at an urban comprehensive school in the 90s was social suicide.
But now it’s kind of cool make things. Making stuff is good. It’s an acceptable use of your time.
People take an interest in where their stuff comes from. They like to have custom, one of a kind things. ‘Handmade’ and ‘craft’ are premium labels attached to products so they can be sold for more than mass-produced.
CELEBRATE YOUR CREATIVE SKILLS
However you like to wind down, no matter how weird you think it is, I guarantee there’ll be people out there feeling the same. It’s one of the many things I love about the internet – that we can use it to build a virtual squad of people with the same interests.
I urge you to find your tribe and embrace your talents, whatever they are.