A craft a day keeps the doctor away. Ok, ok, you’re right, the saying is actually “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” However, recent studies report that repetitive motions, such as those performed during knitting, make crafters feel calm, focused, and grounded. Here are five reasons why it is worthwhile to carve out a bit of crafting time:
- Crafts promote mindfulness. By focusing on your textile, metalwork, woodcraft, or glasswork, you develop a better awareness for how the material behaves – especially in response to your emotions.
- Crafts encourage socialization. Whether you connect with fellow crafters online or in-person, crafts provide an opportunity to broaden your social network. Crafty-minded people come from all walks of life. Their stories, knowledge, and support are valuable resources for your mental wellbeing as well as your crafting.
- Crafts improve your confidence. As you learn a new skill, a new technique, or how to use a new material, your self-confidence improves. You learn that you are capable despite initially lacking experience. Perhaps you’ll even teach your friends how to forge, knit, sew, blow glass, paint, fold origami, or carve wood. Teaching improves your own knowledge and further boosts your self-esteem. *cough* Transferable skill *cough*
- Crafts improve your problem-solving skills. You probably know problem-solving is a necessary skill but how does one improve it? Practice it? Crafting. You use your knowledge to come up with creative solutions to mistakes. By identifying and correcting errors, you learn to solve problems using logic and reasoning.
- Crafts improve your brain. Crafting helps you stay mentally (and sometimes physically) active. Repetitive motions require memory formation, memory recall, fine motor control, and hand-eye co-ordination. These processes keep your brain active by creating more synapses and improving existing ones.
Maintaining your mental health is well worth the effort. Whether you spend time learning a new craft or honing a familiar skill, you and your brain will reap the benefits. On behalf of the Mental Health, Wellness, and Engagement Committee, I wish you a crafty February!
~ Gaby Jensen