I used to hate DIY projects when I was younger. My old teacher at school always tried to find a way to make us bring crafty items, be it a model of the solar system or cutouts of trees, fruits, and even mathematical symbols. But I had zero patience with such projects, so Mom and Dad had to pick up the slack and do them all for me. Otherwise, I would not have any project to take to school.
If you would look at me now, though, there was no longer a part of my system that did not like DIY projects. I made the tufted headboard in my bedroom, the cushioned seats for the dining chairs, and the framed puzzles that hung on the walls. While my parents kept on encouraging me not to do that, I kept on going. What can I say – I love DIY projects!
How It All Started
As you could deduce from my initial statement, being into DIYs was not innate in me. I tried to dodge it all the time and often insisted on buying finished products instead of making them. So, it was undoubtedly an acquired passion.
My love for DIY projects merely started when a package was delivered while I was at my parents’ house one weekend. It was rather big (around six feet tall) and bulky (weighed 15 lbs.). Curious, I stayed around when Dad opened the box and revealed that it was an Ikea wardrobe.
Well, if you had never bought anything from Ikea before (lucky you!), you should know that most – if not all — of their products came disassembled in a box. You would need to put everything together – like a puzzle if you will. However, since Mom and Dad were too old for the complex and lengthy instructions written on the manual, they asked for their only child’s help.
Of course, I wanted to say, “No, thanks.” Still, I was not too fond of DIYs up to this point. But I also knew that it would not be nice of me to decline to help my beloved parents do a small task, so we laid out all the pieces in their bedroom and began to work.
Mom supported the large panels, Dad took care of the screws, and I told them which pieces had to be joined together. It took us less than an hour to build the wardrobe. Instead of getting tired, I felt pumped to do more DIY projects. I discovered a whole new side of me that I would never have known existed.
DIY Projects Are Perfect For Mental Health
The Ikea wardrobe was merely the beginning of the many projects that I took on over the years. After that, I went to the store myself and bought a console table that I assembled at home. It was a success, and it made me want to do more – bigger – DIY stuff.
Although I never had issues with my mental health, I could see how DIY projects would be perfect for depression, anxiety, etc. After all, they could:
Make You Happy
DIY projects come with varying levels of difficulty, but they generally make you feel happy in the process. When I made my first chandelier out of plastic spoons, I got burned with hot glue a few times. However, the more I got closer to seeing the finished product, the more I stopped caring about the hot glue.
Give You A Sense Of Fulfillment
Whenever I do a project, I take pride in knowing that I did it with my bare hands and what little tools I had at home. I could have bought fancy equipment, but that would have been less gratifying. Hence, once the craft was complete, my heart would get filled with a sense of fulfillment.
I believe that that’s what’s missing in depressed individuals – a sense of fulfillment. While the sensation that DIY projects give is not long-term, it’s enough to help people see that there’s still something good in the world.
Distract You Well
A friend of mine was into DIYs, too, and she said that her love for it started when only doing puzzles kept her from acting on her suicidal thoughts years ago. Every time it got noisy in her head, my friend would unbox a 1000-piece puzzle and work on it for a few hours. As a result, not only did it serve as an excellent distraction, but it also gave her new items to decorate with.
Whether you had been dealing with mental health issues or just wanted to pick up a new hobby, I would recommend trying DIY projects. You don’t need to start with Ikea wardrobes as I did – that was more of a situational thing. You could look up DIY projects online and do one that you were interested in. That way, it won’t take long for you to realize the benefits of doing DIY projects.