We’re living through difficult times and one of the key ways we can make sure we all come out safely is to find ways to relax, destress and ground the tensions of the age. Many people find developing a craft hobby a useful way to destress!
Why is Crafting Relaxing?
There are many reasons people find crafting hobbies relaxing. Unlike many jobs they allow for satisfyingly tactile physical work with your hands – since many jobs became computer and office based, few people get to see a physical result for their labour. Creating something with your own hands, for your own pleasure is inherently satisfying.
Craft hobbies can also benefit you psychologically. They require a narrow focus on the intricate and repetitive actions of the craft, whether that’s using knitting needles to loop yarn or the counting and stitching that goes into following a cross stitch pattern. This can help you forget stresses and worries for the time you set aside to craft in. It can also help those interested to practice ‘mindfulness’. While people meditating in this fashion often focus their attention on breathing, working knitting needles or a loom could take its place!
Crafting can also open you to a whole new social circle, online or in person. For some, embroidery and needlepoint is a specifically feminist pastime, helping to connect them to women in the past who’ve worked those same crafts out of necessity rather than pleasure, and used them to create protest banners for the suffragette movement.
If you’re interested in a less political social experience, all crafts attract groups, both online and in real life, where you can share your works in progress for encouragement and advice, learn new techniques and bond over your shared love of the craft.
All of these reasons and more add up to crafting hobbies being a great escape from stress.
It’s important to choose your hobby carefully. Rainbow weaving feels very different to knitting or embroidery. Each craft not only uses different materials and techniques to create very different end products, they also feel very different to practice: you might find the physical action of knitting soothing and centring, while cutting and sticking for papercraft projects is irritating and frustrating. If you’re going to use this new hobby to help control stress, you should put in the thought beforehand to make sure you’re committing to something that you will, on the most basic physical level, enjoy!