Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Crafting to reduce stress

It’s been a pig of a day, bad tempered and irritating in equal measures. For many people the only way to redeem it would be to crack open a bottle and put their feet up in front of the TV. That is of course unless you are a crafter.
A crafter will clear the dinner dishes away, put the kids to bed and then with the radio tuned in to something relaxing start working. Not that it feels like work. Whether you are crocheting a blanket, decoupaging a jewellery box or painting a chair you will quickly enter the craft zone and feel your troubles melt away.
The therapeutic qualities of arts and crafts have long been recognised and classes are run in hospitals, prisons, care homes and having been a life long crafter I’m a massive fan of using your crafts as a relaxation tool.
That’s not to say mastering new disciplines is always the fastest way to achieve blissed out contentment. We all know the black clouds that form when an idea doesn’t work out, or a project simply gets the better of us. Our crackle glaze goes lumpy or we sew our tapestry to our trouser leg but often even the moments when you are shouting at your sewing machine are good as they totally force you into the moment. There’s little time to worry about, love, money or kids when you are trying to get the tension right on an ancient singer machine.

For my part I get the most satisfaction from up cycling items. Turning discarded items usually destined for the tip into beautiful pieces you will use and enjoy.
It makes me feel virtuous as it’s a green way to get new things (and I’m a gal who loves to shop) and the feeling of satisfaction I get when I finish reupholstering a chair or make a cake stand out of mismatched pates from a car boot is really hard to beat.
Crafting is also a brilliant way to indulge your creative side and carve out a space that’s just for you. In a world where we are increasingly slaves to our phones and computers (guilty as charged) it actually forces us to step away from the laptop and engage our brain in a more practical way.

So the next time you feel stressed out, don’t buy up all of ASOS.com or eat that family pack of twirls, log onto a website like  Creative Crafting and see where the mood takes you. Its natures Prozac-trust me.

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