Crafting for Mental Health
Through a series of unfortunate events, I found myself in the hospital. This was a wake-up call for me to get my mental health in check. During my hospital stay, I completed many word searches and sudoku puzzles. I needed anything that could keep my hands and mind busy while I was away from home. On May 11, 2020, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Since then, I have noticed how much working with my hands has improved my mental health. At times, it can be hard to separate the real thoughts from the racing, incoherent ones that come with a mental illness. Creating has given me a way to slow my brain down. Crafting for my mental health has allowed me to focus on the task at hand and help me not to worry about the past or the future.
Mani Art Makeover
One of these new tasks was designing nail art. I had always dabbled in art growing up: painting, pastels, chalk, you name it! Creating was something I usually found myself drawn to (Ha!) and now in my adult life, it was something I actually needed for my mental health. I signed up to get my nail technician license and began practicing.
Nail artistry threw a couple creative curveballs I was not anticipating; not only was my canvas incredibly tiny, but it was also curved! This demanded so much of my attention that learning to live in the present came naturally as I practiced this tedious skill. I found myself mentally feeling much better while creating these tiny pieces of art and proud of myself when I finished each new design.
I’ve also had the chance to use my crafting skills to help out with projects around the office here at Lars. Sewing has been one of my all time favorite ways to craft, which is another way I stay grounded in the present. The process of creating helps my mental health AND having something new to wear or play with at the end is a nice dopamine boost! It’s creativity at its finest.
This includes our very colorful picnic blanket tote and the cutest lunch sacks based on the humble brown paper bag.
Even if you never face a mental illness diagnosis, I will always believe in the connection between working with your hands and feeling good! And since there are so many ways to craft, never stop looking until you find the activity that sparks joy. Marie Condo and I will be proud you did.
Looking for some crafting suggestions? Why not start with the Lars Summer Craft Kit!