How craft can improve your mental wellbeing
Maintaining your mental wellbeing can be a tricky business. In our fast-paced world, we're surrounded by incessant content daily, hustle culture is rife, work hours are long, human interaction can get sometimes lost behind a computer screen, and the pressures of trying to do it all can leave us feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, and disconnected.
While there are many aspects to managing and improving mental health, here at Kitiya Palaskas Studio we are strong believers that there is real power in engaging in handmade pursuits as one way to improve our wellbeing. A recent report found that 73% of people feel that engaging in creative activities reduces feelings of anxiety and depression, while 71% report increased creative fulfilment after engaging in a handmade pursuit. Here's why we think that is.
Engaging in creative pursuits has a positive affect on your brain
When we engage in a creative making activity, there's some pretty interesting stuff that happens in our brains to help boost our mental wellbeing, like an improvement in mood and a lowering of stress. The effort of engaging in the multi-sensory activity of making something by hand and the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment we experience afterwards are related to the release of dopamine (the "feel good" chemical) and a reduction in stress hormones. The effects of engaging in a craft activity can also mimic those of meditation due to their repetitive nature, and the requirement for us to be present in the moment, therefore increasing mindfulness. They also require us to focus and pay attention, which can distract from our day-to-day stressors.
Crafting as part of a group cultivates community
There's something very special about coming together as a group to engage in a creative project together. Not only does it build a sense of solidarity and community, but in our increasingly digital lives, it can also be a great way to socialise with both new and old friends. Creative workshops can be an opportunity to get together — an increasingly difficult task in this busy world — or to meet new people with similar interests. Studies have shown that crafting in groups allows for skill sharing, community connectedness and an increased quality of life, which reduces loneliness and isolation. We spend a lot of our days staring at screens, so to be able to sit face-to-face with like-minded people in a room and get creative together is a great way to ground yourself in the present and increase human interaction.
Keen to incorporate more creative/crafty pursuits into your life?
Are you looking for more opportunities to make something with your hands but don't know where to start? We have a range of inspiring DIY projects here on our blog that can provide inspiration and ideas. Or, you can attend one of our upcoming workshops!
In 2010 we hosted our first ever craft workshop at the Etsy headquarters in New York City. Since then we have developed a passion for teaching and inspiring others to embrace their creativity through community-based making. The best way to stay in the loop about our upcoming workshops is to sign up to our newsletter.
How to engage your customers/audience/staff with a hands-on making activity
Are you a business, brand, educational institution or community organisation looking to host a creative workshop for your community, customers, students or staff? Let's work together! We offer a range of creative workshop options, including sit-down classes, drop-in activities, in-store fashion and product customisation, hens nights, and kids parties to name a few. We’ll work directly with you to develop a unique and personalised creative event. With over a decade of varied craft knowledge and skills under our belt, and a passion for teaching, anything is possible! Find out more about our workshop services here, or send us an email through our enquiry form.
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Crafts Council Article
Working Not Working Survey