*31 Days to a More Fabulous You is a series in January covering ways to help make you a healthier, more joy-filled, happier, relaxed, fun version of YOU. Read what you can expect from the series on Day 1.
When I was a young mom, living far away from everything I knew, it was days crafting with my friends that got me through some of the hardest times. I used to host a weekly scrapbooking get together where all my friends would bring their kids. Our kids would play and we would craft. It’s some of my best memories and I have amazing scrapbooks to show for it as well. I also had the chance to attend a quilters’ retreat. We quilted, chatted and ate for 2 days and it was wonderful. Sleep? Why sleep when you can craft right?!
As the years went on, I stopped scrapbooking (sorry 3rd child), no longer quilted and just stopped being creative in the way I best knew how – with my hands. Depression hit. Sadness hit. Hard times hit. One day I was looking through my collection of yarn and it hit me…I miss this. I used to crochet blankets for my friends when they had babies and I just stopped. I would also crochet large blankets and give them as gifts and I just, well, stopped.
Once I picked it up again, I realized how crafting is a sort of therapy for me. If you’re a crafter, I’m sure you completely get what I’m talking about. My brain, my mood, my mental well being desperately needed me to have a project I was always working on. Sure, there are days that go by that I don’t do anything crafty. But when I do get some time on my hands, or it’s been an extra stressful day, breaking out that crochet needle is one of the best things I can do for myself.
I was doing some reading on being creative and how it reduces stress, and I found a great article on CNN. It’s called “This is your brain on crafting.” Catchy title no? It’s an interesting article, with some science behind it. This quote stuck out to me:
Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.
Protect my brain from damaged caused by aging? Sounds great to me!
When I say “Let’s Get Crafty” and the good effects it can have on you, this doesn’t at all mean just things you make with your hands. Getting crafty is getting creative and that flows into everything from art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, cake decorating and so on.
If you’re looking for quick projects that can be done in an hour or less, I highly recommend Happy Hour Projects. It’s full of all kinds of projects you can do in an hour or less and she has some fantastic ideas.
So, how do you like to get creative? Have you been about all work and no play lately? I encourage you to find something that gets your creative juices flowing, something that you enjoy and take the time to do it.