Everyone tells you to look after your mental health, as it’s just as important as your physical heath, when it comes to living a happy life. Finding a hobby or something you really enjoy doing in your spare time can provide the escape you need from everyday life.
On maternity leave, I was seeking a hobby to keep me occupied, to make me feel more like “me” rather than just a mum. I have always been creative and enjoy following YouTube videos learning how to do new things, and that’s when I came across Macramé. I created a macramé rainbow for my son’s nursery and I had great fun doing it! Having checked out the availability of macramé rainbows locally, I realised this could be a great business opportunity that could give me a bit of extra income and that time to myself I definitely needed. That’s when Mama’s Macramé Rainbows was born!
I’ve been doing it for about 9 months now and I’m still really enjoying it. I feel so privileged to have been asked to work with Flying Gazelle Running for their Gazelle 125 event, with all profits from the event being donated to Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably). I am creating the finisher medals, using a bespoke design based on their requirements, which seemed really apt knowing first hand how important crafting and hobbies are for your mental well-being.
So, what are the benefits of crafting on your mental health?
Crafting has been proven to reduce anxiety and relieve stress, by providing a focus away from our hectic lives! It’s still used now as a form of occupational therapy for people with some types of depression. The repetitive nature can also be meditative, reducing stress and giving you a reason to take time out for yourself.
Doing something you really enjoy in your spare time is key to a good work-life balance. Something that makes you smile and that you really look forward to doing can significantly improve your mood and reduce depression.
You can ignore what’s going on around you and spend time appreciating where you are right now. Crafting gives you the time to focus on the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or the future. Doing it regularly, as with any mindful activity, is great for your mental health.
Creating things can provide a tangible sense of accomplishment, especially when learning something new or challenging yourself. This can increase self confidence and your sense of achievement, making you feel great about yourself. Make sure you give yourself credit for all the little things you achieve whilst crafting - you deserve it!
If you find yourself starting out a new hobby or craft, it’s a great idea to look up any local groups, to allow you to socialise with other like-minded people. This can be a great way of making friends, therefore reducing isolation and loneliness.
Use the time spent alone to reflect and focus on yourself, which is so important. Enjoy the downtime and the break from your hectic day to day life and most importantly, RELAX!
So, what are you waiting for?! Now is the time to find something you enjoy, be it crafting or another hobby, to improve your mental well-being and quality of life!