May 3rd, 2019

Feeling Overwhelmed? Pick up a Craft

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Our modern world is a busy and chaotic one. Between your job, your family, your social life, and all your other responsibilities, it’s likely that you’re spending more time feeling overwhelmed than not. Maybe you’re forgetting to handle even basic everyday tasks. Or maybe your bigger aspirations–that secret project you’re working on, or the language you started learning–have begun to fall by the wayside because you’re just too busy. But what if I told you that adding an additional task to your already-busy schedule could actually make you feel calmer, more in control, and more productive?

It sounds incredibly counterintuitive. After all, you’re already bogged down with so much! But recent research suggests that taking up a handicraft can in fact bring some much-needed serenity to your chaotic life.

Why not make a challenge of it? Sign up for the One Big Thing Challenge on the Fabulous app to make sure you make time for your new craft every day!

The Benefits of Crafting

Crafts, like knitting and woodworking, have been popular pasttimes for centuries while also being valuable skills. Being able to create your own things saves you the money and trouble of having to buy them from someone else. But, aside from practicality, crafting also has mental and physical health benefits, something crafters have known anecdotally for ages.

Any act of creation, from baking a cake to quilting a blanket, helps your mind enter a flow state. Being in a state of flow means that you’re focused exclusively on the task at hand. You’re not worried about that big meeting at work tomorrow or whether or not your car needs an oil change. All that matters is what’s in front of you.

The repetitiveness of these crafts is also a helpful way to relax. Plus, when you’ve finished creating something, the sense of accomplishment that follows can be a massive confidence boost.

In addition to being a top-knotch stress management technique, crafting can also help improve your cognitive function, reduce your blood pressure, and aid your hand-eye coordination. And perhaps the best part is that crafting is entirely as social as you want it to be. Loners and introverts gain just as much from crafting alone as socialites and extraverts do when crafting in groups.

Want to start a crafting group? Start The Fabulous Circle Journey, assemble your friends, and get crafting!

Starting a New Crafting Hobby

All of this is fine and good, but how do you make time for a craft when your schedule is already chaotic and busy? The answer will depend entirely upon you and your unique situation in life, but we have a few suggestions:

Quit Social Media

Okay, you don’t have to quit social media entirely, but reducing your consumption will free up more time than you realize! Try uninstalling a few social media apps from your phone, or using app blockers to keep you off Twitter and Facebook for a few hours a day so you can focus on other things.

Do Double Duty

Bust out those knitting needles the next time you sit down for a television binge! Or put on an audiobook while you work. It won’t be so distracting that it pulls you from your flow state but will also help you feel like you’re not “wasting time” during your crafting time.

Craft on the Go

If your craft of choice is portable, take it with you wherever you go! You’ll be able to crochet on your daily commute to school or work, in the waiting room of your doctor’s appointments, or during your other idle moments. You might even attract the attention of fellow aficionados, which can be a great way to make crafting buddies!

Commit on Your Calendar

Sometimes, all we really need to make a commitment “real” is to see it in writing. If there’s one particular time of day you know you can keep open for crafting, block that time out in your calendar as a promise to yourself to uphold that commitment.

Take a Class

Don’t know the first thing about your craft of choice? Fear not: classes exist all over the internet and in your community. Not only will signing up for one help guide you through honing the skills you need, you’ll get a chance to meet other folks with the same interest as you. Investigate classes at your local library or craft store; they’re often free or inexpensive to attend!

Do It for You

It can be tempting to fall into the thinking trap that crafts are a waste of time. In our capital-driven society, we tend to think that if it doesn’t make us money, what’s the point? But neuroscientists are beginning to push back against this line of thinking. The act of creation, even if we don’t profit from it financially, has a massive return on investment in terms of mental health and stress reduction, and we’re finally seeing research back this up.

But finding the craft that best suits you may call for some trial and error. You may find that you hate knitting but love chainsaw carving. Or, maybe baking cookies or building model robots is your thing. The point is to find something that sparks joy for you and is something you’ll do simply for the sake of doing it. Once you find that, you’ll be flowing before you know it.

Have you used The Fabulous Productivity Beeper? It’s a perfect way to keep you on task while you craft. Check it out in Make Me Fabulous!

What kind of crafting do you do? Share your creations with us on social media!