To say it’s been a weird year would be a bit of understatement. So many of us have experienced more than our share of anxiety since the world went into lockdown in March. And we’ve all been grappling with the reality of the ‘new normal’ ever since (sorry, we hate that phrase, but there’s not really a much better substitute!)
Uncertainty about jobs and health, and restricted access to friends and family has understandably been tough on a lot of people. Plus around 9 million people have found themselves unable to work at some point during all this, quite possibly for the first time in their careers.It’s no wonder, then, that so many people have been dipping their toes into the crafting world as a way to keep busy. People across the country have taken advantage of the enforced free time to pick up new hobbies, or rekindle old passions.
Obviously here at Remade, Reloved we love creating. There is nothing better than getting stuck in to new projects and trying out different techniques to see what magic we can create. With young children at home, it was a real wrench to have to temporarily close the business. But we’ve also been incredibly inspired to see so many people get in on the action and embrace their creativity in a big way. (So much so, most of the country sold out of sewing machines during lockdown!) We’ve set up a local group on Facebook for crafters in and around our local area to help connect creative people near us.
Some people have been crafting for the pure joy, others have been creating essential PPE and equipment for NHS frontline workers. Other have taken the opportunity to pursue their dreams and launch a business. It’s been absolutely wonderful to see, and we love hearing all the amazing stories of how crafting has benefitted so many people during all the recent turbulence.
Crafting in all its forms has proven to be a true lifeline; for a lot of us, our hobbies have been our saving grace, a wonderful distraction to keep at least some of the anxiety at bay. And when we had a chance to think about why crafting has been so beneficial, we came up with the following reasons:
Sense of Accomplishment
We’d argue that there’s nothing better than the accomplishment you feel after learning a new skill, and crafting is one of the very best ways to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if you’re created a Picasso-esque masterpiece of painting, or learnt how to knit a single stitch, it’s all about the process of learning. Because once you know you can do one small thing, you know that you can also do the next small thing, and before you know it, you’ve created a huge, massive thing!
Mental health professionals routinely recommend crafting as a way to manage anxiety and depression, and there have been numerous studies demonstrating the benefits. The main reason it helps so much is that most creative hobbies tend to be utterly absorbing and encourage mindfulness. So, instead of your brain running off at a hundred miles an hour worrying about stuff, it focuses on the task at hand. Whether you’re painting, sewing, knitting,scrapbooking, or anything else, you get the best results when you pay full attention to your hobby and ignore everything else, which is good for your mind.
Taking up any form of a crafting hobby is a wonderful way to keep the brain engaged, especially as many of us are working far less since lockdown. Now, as any crafter knows, there’s always a problem to be solved and a solution to find, which is great news because it not only helps keep boredom at bay, but also promotes mental agility later in life - definitely a win-win we say. Naturally the problem you’re trying to solve will depend greatly on the craft you do - it might be working out how to capture the light in your latest piece of art, or deciphering a particularly challenging knitting pattern - but trust us, all that problem solving is great for your brain, and your mental health.
So those are a few of the reasons we love crafting, and the benefits we’ve discovered. But that’s just us - what do you think? Have you been able to pick up an old hobby or start a new one recently? What benefits have you discovered? Let us know!
Want to see what we've been up to during lockdown? Click here to browse our collection of homeware and accessories for sale.