Crafting isn’t only a fun pastime; it’s also a great way to manage your anxiety. Working with your hands improves your mental health and enhances your mood. It’s also a wonderful way for you to express yourself, making you healthily deal with your emotions. For ideas, here are some creative projects to help you relax and control your worries.
For Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, crafting “allows us to enter a “flow” state, a perfect immersive state of balance between skill and challenge.”
Adult coloring books have graced the shelves of bookstores for a good reason. They’re a tried-and-tested way to help you relieve stress. The idea behind this activity is that it’s a simple task, but it also keeps your mind occupied. You’ll be too focused on coloring inside the lines and choosing color palettes for you to remember your worries.
In her article, Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC wrote, “Adult coloring books have been shown to influence more than anxiety. Researchers at the University of Otago randomly assigned participants to a coloring a logic-puzzle group and found that after a week of daily practice displayed significantly lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms.”
Another reason why coloring is relaxing is that it takes you back to your childhood. This period was likely full of less stress and problems. It’s a great way to reminisce while having fun.
You don’t even have to spend on a coloring book. There are thousands of free resources online. Look for a design you like, print it out, and color away.
“Safe Space” Collage
When you feel anxious, one technique to help you is to think of your “safe spaces.” These things don’t have to be an exact location. A safe space can be physical objects, people, colors, or images that help you relax. For example, you can think of sitting at a beach and listening to the waves. You can also think of an orange and purple sunset sky. It could even be your mother’s homemade mac and cheese.
For your creative project, create a collage of these safe spaces. You can paste photographs, pictures you found off the Internet, or cut-outs from magazines. Spend about an hour looking for these images. After you’ve seen a couple that you like, turn them into a collage on paper. You can hang your work of art in your bedroom or, paste it into your planner, so you always have it with you.
Painting To Music
We all know that music has a way of affecting our mood. This is why a lot of people reach for their headphones when they’re feeling anxious. But when you need an extra boost of calmness, try this creative project.
The next time you feel anxious, try painting along to some music. Choose a song you like that relaxes you. Grab some paint, a canvass or some paper, and let your body attune itself to the music. Don’t overthink it. Just let your body move with the paintbrush and follow the rhythm of the song. You don’t even have to paint anything in particular. Painting something abstract works really well in this situation.
Having something soft can comfort you physically as well as emotionally. Soft items usually remind us of comfort, warmth, and calmness. It helps make us feel safe in some way.
So for this creative idea, you’re going to create a mural by only making use of soft objects. You can use swatches of cloth from old clothes. Other materials include cotton, thread, and yarn. Your softness project can also be a quilt. This activity is one way of recycling old clothes and turning them into something you can use.
Knitting And Crocheting
From the thousands of Pinterest boards, it looks like knitting and crocheting aren’t just for grandmothers anymore. It’s a fun and relaxing activity for people of different ages. Learning how to knit and crochet can improve hand-eye coordination, concentration, and dexterity in your fingers. It also takes your mind off of things that worry you during the day.
If you’re just learning how to knit and crochet, start off with a simple project. From then on, you can move on to making beautiful scarves, sweaters, and even stuffed animals. You’ll be relaxed and have the skills to make handmade gifts for your loved ones.
“Crafts make you focus on the here and now and distract you from everyday pressures and problems. They’re stress-busters in the same way that meditation, deep breathing, visual imagery and watching fish are.” – Robert Reiner, Clinical Psychologist.
For this creative project, you can battle anxiety in two different ways. Prepare yourself a home spa experience where you relax by making DIY products and by using them afterward.
For your home spa, you can create bath bombs, mix essential oils for a massage, prepare a foot soak, and whip up a face mask. You can also create little sachets of lavender for extra relaxation. Despite there being recipes online, you’ll be able to use your creativity when you mix scents and work with your hands.
Art And Anxiety
As mentioned earlier, art can do much good for your mental health. An enjoyable creative project can make you happy, elevating your mood. It also gives you downtime to relax and separate yourself from the things that stress you out. So the next time that you feel anxious consider getting creative with it.