There's a lot of talk these days about health and wellness. With extreme juice cleanses and caveman diets, it seems everyone is focused on how to live a healthier life. But perhaps what keeps us well isn't a new fad diet or workout routine. Maybe we can use our hands and creativity to find wellness for mind, body and soul.
Learn why crafting is more than just a hobby...
Studies have established the endless health benefits of crafts. From the direct cognitive benefits, like keeping your mind sharp, to the secondary physical benefits including preventing depression and anxiety, arts and crafts can enrich your life and the lives of others.
Did you know that 87% of makers believe crafting can help ward off depression? Check out our fun infographic on the health benefits of crafting and find out even more about how crafting can keep you well.
As a part of the Craftsy series "Better Lives With Crafting," we will focus each week, for the next month, on one of the specific ways crafting keeps you healthy by featuring personal stories from our Craftsy members.
If you're not yet a Craftsy member, begin your crafting adventure today by joining our online community of 2 million makers.
This week: Crafting is my therapy
The person that said laughter is the best therapy must have never painted or crocheted! Perhaps one of the best ways crafting can help you lead a better life is through the cathartic process of working with your hands.
Check out these amazing member stories and discover the emotional healing power of being a maker:
"I have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. These past several weeks have been filled the tests and doctors appointments. I find focusing on a craft or a recipe has helped tremendously while I wait for results and my treatment plan. I anticipate crafting will also help during my recovery."
"I have always enjoyed crafts-mainly sewing, quilting and appliqué. My husband suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2000, and since that time our lives have changed dramatically. Sewing is my escape, my therapy, and my joy."
"I am a former federal officer. I now spend my time writing laws and investigating cases of animal cruelty. Over the past 5 years, I have attended over 4,000 neglect and cruelty cases. What I see and hear in court and witness in the field is depressing and overwhelming at times. I don't know how I would handle things without crafting as an outlet. Knitting provides me the sanity of order and allows me to unwind after a long day. I also helps me help others by passing out the hats I knit to the homeless. Painting lets me create and use my imagination. I am able to turn off the part of my brain that stores the cruelty I witness."
"Knitting, crochet and spinning help me ward of anxiety and stress. My anxiety level used to be crippling. Then I started knitting and realized one day while knitting, 'Oh my God, I'm not worrying! Knitting shuts my brain off!' Same with spinning and crochet, and when you're done, you get something useful and beautiful."
"I had a very stressful period at my job and started to suffer from anxiety and depression. I picked up my knitting needles after a 20 year break, and it really helped. Knitting is my meditation. Now I always have it on me when I travel for business."
"I am the mother of 10 children and crafting has definitely helped me keep my sanity and gives me 'me' time that all mothers crave."
"I have always been a person who loved to work on crafts. Then, in 1998 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and had to stop working on crafts. After a while, I decided to start something small and discovered it was a huge help to my nerves. Crafting improved the depression I was feeling and, after a time, was my greatest source of therapy."
"Yarn projects have been my savior more than once in my life. When I was in my 20's and newly married (just 9 months), my husband was diagnosed with leukemia. For 2 years he struggled. During that time, I kept my worries at bay with needlepoint and cross-stitch projects- working away during hospital visits and taking care of him at home. When he passed, I had a pile of finished items that helped me on our painful journey, which I was then able to gift to people. Only a crafter or artist can understand the therapy that comes from working with your hands and the joy or solace it brings."
"Crafting and scrapbooking helped me to cope after my mothers passing. I started to help fill a void and help my mind and spirit heal."
"I love to paint. My grandma taught me when I was little, and it's the best way for me to be creative. Whenever I am stressed and anxious, I go to my paint table, turn on some music, and see what happens. I don't really start out with an idea of what I want to do; I really just start putting colors on the page, and it turns into something beautiful. It really is an amazing gift from God to be able to paint such beautiful pieces, but it is also an amazing way for me to be ME. I tend to be shy, but with painting, I'm not afraid. It's so peaceful- like my own little place I can go that is just me."