Crafting makes you feel good! (...Ghostbusters theme tune!)
June 23, 2017
A lot of my work these days, involves working in the community delivering craft wellbeing workshops. Which all sounds very nice and it is, I love it, but what is wellbeing and why does crafting work?
The term 'wellbeing' generally means having a positive mental state. I don't have to tell you that twenty-first century living is exceptionally complex, we seem to live with stress all around us_ from dealing with traffic on the school run, work deadlines to meet, at the supermarket checkout...mix in family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, then sprinkle in the bills, , a redundancy... and countless other things from the cupboard of life can affect how we feel in a negative way.
I'm not saying that a craft session will cure all your problems, it won't, but as part of a holistic approach it helps build resilience.
Let me explain, it only needs a few things, (or sometimes just one), for us to suddenly feel that our life, that we have coped with just fine last week/month/year, is suddenly too much to deal with. A mountain of problems weighs us down and the pressure pushes us to breaking point. The more we think on them, the more we feel there is no way out from under it, the more we feel that way the more we worry, the more the feeling of hopelessness grows. It's a viscious downward spiral! We are our own worst enemy!
There are obviously places that you can contact to help you with money issues and illness. A craft or an art session won't directly sort that out for you, but what it does do is give your mind space.
For a couple of hours it takes you away from all that pressure. While you're busy with whatever project your working on, you're resilience is creeping back up now that you have some relief from the pressure.
Creating something has added bonuses too. Everyday I see the delight on people's faces when they finish something. They sit back and smile with pride. I can almost hear them thinking 'I made that!'. A bit of an ego boost doesn't harm the resilience levels either.
Plus people talk in craft sessions. I'm not saying you should pour your heart out, but you'd be surprised the number of times that just a throw away comment has led to a full blown conversation about an issue. Hearing about other people's experiences can not only give practical advice, but the sense of not being the only one can make the impossible thing, seem much more possible. I speak from personal experience too!
We also have a hell of a lot of fun, we laugh, joke, tell stories, but it's not always the jokes or a projects successes that helps make you feel better, I'm amazed at how people can laugh at themselves when it all goes horribly wrong! (Which is why I'm there to help fix things 😀!) A good laugh also helps the resilience go up!
You can craft on your own, it doesn't have to be in a group and it will help. But crafting in a group does give a feeling of belonging. For those 2 hours we have a common purpose, it doesn't matter where you come from or what your circumstances are...we are all the same. That's definitely not a bad thing is it?