National Craft Month: How Tapping Into Your Creative Side Helps Your Mental Health

By: VGFS
Wednesday, March 13, 2024

March is National Craft Month and studies show a strong connection between our mental health and our creativity.

The benefits of crafting range from decreased stress, improved brain productivity, an increase in self-esteem, and lowering your blood pressure. CNN Health has stated that crafting can help manage anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.  Additionally, it may ease stress and protect the brain from damage from aging. Our nervous system can only process a certain amount of information at a time. When someone starts crafting their existence is temporarily paused.  Even better, when we are doing something we enjoy, the brain releases dopamine, which is a natural antidepressant.

A study published by The British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that 81% of their participants with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half stated they felt “very happy.” Lastly, crafting can improve our self-efficacy.  Completing a crafting project helps people overcome new challenges in life. 

Here is a list of arts and crafts projects associated with mental health benefits that anyone can try to celebrate this month:

Fabric Crafting

Also known as textile crafting, fabric crafting is used for many creative projects. With sewing the possibilities are endless. Machine and hand sewing requires a level of skill, but, it can be like a form of therapy.  For beginners, there are many fabric crafting ideas you can try, such as making a bow tie, hair bow, or bookmark. Fabric crafting can enhance our overall well-being and increase mental health benefits when done in a group setting. 

Painting & Drawing

If you are a new crafter, painting and drawing may be a good starting point.  Buying stencil and paint sets is easy to find and this activity can open up your imagination.  Painting and drawing helps express emotions and studies have shown it can be beneficial for depression, anxiety, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and autism. 

Clay

Crafting with clay is fun and dirty!  Using hands to shape clay helps with emotional regulation.  This can improve mental health and a 2018 study reported that people felt generally happier after working with clay. Additionally, those diagnosed with major depressive disorder and/or anxiety can decrease these symptoms when crafting with clay.  

Calligraphy

Decorative handwriting, known as calligraphy, has a history that goes back to 4,000 B.C.  It offers many benefits for mental health including improving brain function and easing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

This March, celebrating Craft Month can be a great way to improve your mental health and gain a new lifelong hobby! Research continues to highlight the mental health benefits of arts and crafts, particularly when working in a group setting. It’s easy to get started with no necessary skills required.  Try grabbing some paint, a canvas, and a sketchbook or fabrics, and let your creative juices flow! 

For more information, you can reach out to us, where you can schedule a consultation and talk about how we can support you. 

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

About the Author:

Leslie Holley, MA, LCPC, LPC, NCC is the owner of Healing-Circle, LLC. She is a Nationally Certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and an experienced presenter on mental health topics. We are honored to have Leslie help support our families needing hope and healing.

 

Sources:

  • https://www.healthyquilting.com/post/8-ways-crafts-can-benefit-our-physical-and-mental-health
  • https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/health/brain-crafting-benefits/index.html
  • https://familyandcraftsblog.com/6-benefits-of-textile-crafting/
  • https://psychcentral.com/blog/arts-crafts-in-psychiatric-occupational-therapy#recap

 

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