By Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

As the nation continues to face uncertainty with local lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing, the impact on our mental health and wellbeing, especially for those of us with existing mental health problems, is unquestionable. Mind recently surveyed thousands of adults over age 25 in England and Wales. We found that two out of three adults with existing mental health problems reported worse mental health as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people have turned to crafting as a means of coping, here are five reasons why it’s so beneficial to your mental health. 

Self Care: There are a number of things we can do to improve our mood and wellbeing that can be built into our daily routines. We know that many people find craft activities, such as painting, sewing or origami, beneficial for their mental health. Crafting is a great way to practice self-care, taking some time out of your day for yourself to do an activity that you enjoy, find challenging, or is new to you. New skills: Learning a new skill like card-making also helps us fill the spare time and feel a sense of accomplishment that might be missing without our usual day-to-day activities. It can also be really rewarding to produce a tangible piece of art we can take pride in and enjoy on an aesthetic level.

Escapism: Creative activities demand our focus and concentration, allowing us to zone out from the daily pressures of life. Crafting activities like origami, crocheting or knitting can be almost meditative, as you’re sitting in one place and doing repeated activities over and over again. This can be calming and a welcome distraction from any negative thoughts or feelings we might otherwise be experiencing, especially at the moment.

RELATED: Using Crafts To Overcome Anxiety Issues By Poppy Dolan

Mindfulness: For some people, mindfulness can be really helpful in understanding thoughts and feelings in a calm way, while managing unhelpful thoughts. Many crafting activities can be done mindfully. This can help for people with stress, depression, and some anxiety problems as part of treatment and recovery.

Connection: Crafting is also an opportunity to connect with loved ones, even if that’s virtually at the moment, which we know is really important for our mental health. Mind’s survey found that connecting with family and friends online was the most popular positive coping strategy among people of all ages, when it came to their mental health during the pandemic.

Like minded people: For a fun and festive foray into crafting, sign up to Mind’s Crafternoon - the UK’s craftiest virtual fundraiser – and help raise money to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone. We’re encouraging supporters to take part on 5 December but if you’re busy that day you can hold your event whenever suits you during the festive period and our fundraising team will be on hand to support.

Looking to the future: Anyone can take part, regardless of whether you have crafted before, and it’s so easy to join in, using any supplies to create beautiful handmade Christmas cards, decorations and presents. You could also get together with your colleagues over Zoom, and take some time out to focus on your well being before the Christmas period begins.

For more information on Crafternoon 2020 visit mind.org.uk/Crafternoon2020

RELATED: The benefits of families crafting together

With much of the world indoors over the last few weeks and for the foreseeable future, most parents are spending a lot more time with their children at home than usual. To complicate matters further, many of us parents are searching to find the balance between school and leisure, while simultaneously trying to get our own work done. Arts and crafts offer a perfect way for families to learn new skills while having fun. And honestly, it can be a great alternative to screen time for the whole family... to read more click HERE 


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