In these difficult times, finding a way to relax is important. The news is an invitation to anxiety, and finding healthy coping mechanisms is a vital way to maintain your mental health.

Many people find a crafting hobby to be the answer they need – and for lots of different reasons. If you’re feeling stressed, isolated or anxious it could be well worth your while to invest in an embroidery set, knitting needles or a rainbow weaving kit.

A Social Hobby 

While you might imagine crafting skills as something practised alone, they can actually be a very social experience. Meeting in cafes, libraries, homes (or bars!) knitting groups, sewing circles, and other craft-focused clubs provide a relaxed social environment where you already have something important in common with all the other members as the perfect ice-breaker. In many towns, these groups are common enough that you can pick what you want from the experience – a cross section of people of different ages, for a varied social circle, or the chance to make more friends your own age.

A Mindful Practice 

Mindfulness is a newly popular mental health practice that many people find very effective for alleviating anxiety. It involves being present in the moment, not allowing your thoughts to be dragged into future worries or past regrets and a crafting hobby can be a great way to encourage this form of thinking – a hobby bordering on meditation.

Craft projects require intense focus and concentration on perfecting repetitive physical actions. This can put you in a meditative state, and help you focus on the present moment to the exclusion of all else.

Working With Your Hands 

Many people find simple work they can do with their hands to help them deal with stresses and anxieties. When things feel out of your control, or work requires lots of mental effort from you without producing an noticeable results, doing something for yourself where you can see a physical manifestation of the effort you’ve put in can feel very satisfying. Some people garden, and some cook for this precise reason. Crafting provides a similar satisfaction: you can see how the effort you put in creates a whole new physical object, one you can display as an artwork, use in your home or give as a gift.

You also get the satisfaction of watching your skills grow, so as time passes you can take on more ambitious projects. With all of these different ways a crafting hobby can satisfy deep needs, it’s easy to see why people find them a great option when they need to relax.