Getting crafty for our wellbeing
In these times of enforced time at home, lots of people are looking for interesting and inspiring ways to spend their days. Whether it’s doing something with the children or working on a craft project for yourself, this is the perfect time to stay busy, expand our minds and be fulfilled.
Art and music are also proven to improve the quality of life for Dementia patients and people suffering with long-term chronic illnesses. Being creative benefits our mental health, making us happier, healthier people – and here’s why:
Creating artwork is a distraction that gives our brain a break from the norm. Activities like painting, sculpting and drawing are relaxing and rewarding – lowering stress levels and leaving us feeling mentally clearer and calmer. When we’re in ‘the zone’ and are totally immersed in a creative project it pushes aside other worries.
Art enhances our problem-solving skills, encouraging creative thinking so that we come up with our own solutions. This alternative thinking also stimulates our brain to grow new neurons. We can use art to stimulate the brain, like exercises that use our senses in new and novel ways.
We all proudly display our children’s artwork on the fridge and we should do the same for our own artwork too! Craft hobbies like knitting, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, sculpture, woodwork, gardening and even home DIY all increase our levels of dopamine (the happy hormone), ward off depression and protect our brain from aging.
So how can we be more productive with this time we have been ‘given’?! My tips are:
1. Make time for what makes you happy
If you can, try to be disciplined – turn your phone off, close the door, and put up a ‘Do Not Disturb, Artist at Work’ sign to stop interruptions. If necessary, put the time in your diary and stick to it like any important appointment.
2. Something old, something new
This is the perfect time to experiment with something new – a new technique or even a whole new art form. By trying something new, you can learn more about what you really like to do and discover more about yourself and your skills – just enjoy yourself and see what happens. Alternatively, revisiting old interests can boost your confidence in taking new directions and show you how far you’ve come.
3. Time to shop online!
Use this time to take stock of your equipment, is it looking tatty and not fit for purpose? Are there new colours and tools on the market that could boost your creative inspiration? Now’s the time to upgrade and replace your materials, and get started on a new project. Many art and craft suppliers have an online presence and would be very grateful for your order.
4. A tidy workspace
You might find that improving the area you work your magic in, will help to kickstart your art! Declutter and display everything so you can find what you need easily, clean your tools and rearrange furniture to make sure you are working near the best light source.
If like me, you’re sharing your home with children, there are times when creating a quiet space for yourself simply isn’t possible! So get them involved and do a project together. With a bottle of Powertex fabric hardener and some recycled items you can get creative – why not create a jam jar pen pot or decorate an Easter egg this month?
For tips and techniques for all sorts of projects large and small or to order a wide range of Powertex products from inks and acrylics to rice paper and silicon moulds – visit www.artisticretreats.co.uk