*This is a guest post*
New year, new you? It might be a well-worn saying but it still resonates. There’s something irresistible about the idea of metaphorically shedding your old skin, and unveiling a newer, brighter version of yourself at the beginning of a new year.
Yet making a positive change can be daunting- where should you start? Should physical wellbeing take priority, or should mental health be your focus? What about your emotional needs?
Why not take up a hobby that helps in all these areas? Creative, fun and reportedly with of a whole host of wellbeing benefits, crafting ticks all the boxes. Paula Gorry, Demonstrator Development Manager at crafting company Stampin’ Up! UK, lists the reasons why it should be your next big obsession for 2019…
It’s good for your mental health
Research by neurologists has shown that crafting encourages people to enter a state known as “flow.” In other words, they become completely absorbed with the task at hand. This state of absorption can be likened to mindfulness, which has been shown to improve depression, anxiety, coping style in the face of adversity, quality of life, and significantly reduce stress.
Even Albert Einstein was reputed to have knitted between projects to "calm his mind and clear his thinking.” If it was good enough for Einstein…
It can have social benefits
One of the best things about taking up a crafting hobby is that you often have the choice of doing it alone, or in groups. If you want to reap the social benefits, getting together with like-minded people to pursue your chosen craft is a great way to meet new people-and increase your support networks.
From knitting circles to card making workshops, there are so many crafting groups out there- including online ones- covering every type of craft imaginable.
Learning a new skill boosts your self esteem
One of the best things about taking up a new crafting hobby is that you get to learn a new skill! Remember how good it felt at school when your teacher liked your work enough to give you a gold star? Successfully mastering a new craft project or tricky skill makes you feel that same sense of pride and achievement- which can give your self esteem a much- needed boost.
You could even make money-turn your hobby into a job
It’s true! Just look at the huge number of crafters doing their thing and successfully selling their makes on Etsy and similar platforms. Some people are even lucky enough to turn their crafting hobby into a full-time job – our company sells stamps and craft supplies through a network of Demonstrators who have successfully turned their enthusiasm for crafts into businesses.
You don’t need a huge capital to do this. Making beaded jewellery is a cheap hobby to start that can be a lucrative money-making venture. Beads and beading materials are usually affordable and readily available online or at your local craft store. Plus, there are endless options for designs, so you always have unique products to sell.
Paula Gorry, Demonstrator Development Manager
A quick scroll through Pinterest is enough to confirm that crafting is cool. Shaking off its previous (and unfair!) reputation as the exclusive preserve of the older generation, it’s been embraced by millennials and gen Xers alike as something everyone can enjoy.
Drawn to the homespun aesthetic and authentic appeal of handmade items, younger people are taking to crafting in their droves. Crafting clubs are springing up across the UK, many of which cater to a largely young and urban audience.
With all its reported benefits, it’s no coincidence that some people are calling crafting “the new yoga”. Whatever positive changes you’re looking to make this year, why not consider taking the plunge with a new crafty hobby? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose – and you could end up gaining so much.