5 reasons the craft world can help your mental health.

I admit it, I am a complete hobby addict. A creative anyway person, but always looking at new crafts, making new things, and making old things pretty. I could sit here and blame Pinterest, as this has become a real enabler for me. Finding so many things that inspire me just by scrolling for hours on that app. Seriously the time flies by and my brain is overwhelmed with ideas.
In the past few months, life has been more than a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. During this time I have found myself escaping to my craft desk. I like to keep busy playing with my Cricut and spending time in my own world creating different things. I cannot think of anything else that is more therapeutic and fun. Looking back the past few months and looking at all the things I have created lately it hit me. I believe that crafting has a majorly positive impact on my mental health!
By having hobbies connecting to craft in my life, I have had a method of keeping myself winning.

One of my many scrapbooking layouts

Something so simple…

It shouldn’t be a major shock. This is hardly a massive revolution I have had. However, it really has gotton me to think about myself, my health, and my mindstate. I thought I would share my thoughts on how craft can lead to positive mental attitude. So how can starting a craft hobby help your mental health?
Let’s start by remembering that a hobby that falls in any arts and crafts category could be absolutely anything. The possibilities are endless and most people are able to find something that is compatible for themselves. There are so many reasons that by starting a new hobby in the crafting world will have a positive impact on yourself and your mental health

Getting your creative juices flowing.

Just by starting a new creation or project, The creative juices in your brain are forced into action from the get go. No matter what it is that you are busy with, your craft is the doorway to a million other doors.

Once you start something your mind becomes a mental mind-map of what else you can do. From seeing something in a shop you could use to create something amazing, to taking something old and making it even better than before. You are constantly find something new that you will want to get your hands on, or even find ways to make different ideas collaborate and expand. When you are creating something the world is your oyster. There is so much too do and so little time.

Even when you are out of ideas I suggest a quick trip to Pinterest and within minutes you can be inspired by something and thinking up your own unique way to create a similar project.

So many craft tools, so little space?

Being able to unwind and relax.

There have been so many times that I have seen someone say ‘Do some colouring’, and say how colouring can be a good distraction from real life and easily therapeutic. It’s not so different to having a craft hobby. With colouring your taking your choice to pencil, your choice of colour and your decorating something nice. Craft is the same except your probably grabbing the scissors, warming up the hot glue gun and sprinkling glitter and turning an idea into creations.

I have always felt that when I am able to get really engaged into a project it really can have such a positive effect on myself and my stress levels soon shrink.
If you read my previous post on why the Cricut is any crafters best friend, You May remember I mention my love for vinyl projects, like a lot. I have a passion for printing complex and fiddly designs and spend hours weeding the excess vinyl away. It does take time and patience but this can be so relaxing. what could be better then finding a new hobby that can be used as a distraction from reality. Leaving my problems and stress behind. I always call my desk my little craft bubble, because when I am there I am in my own happy place.

Expression…

I know that I’ve already mentioned being creative but for me expression is a whole different chapter in the book of creativity. Being able to express your feelings creatively is such a powerful and amazing device to consider. There are so many different options that can be inspired by what we are feeling. Pairings, art journals, scrapbooking, drawing and uplifting. just to name a few things that you can use your emotions to empower your creations. From using colours and pictures to reflect your mood, to using tools to manipulate objects and change them to your own envisions. You will be able to find so many new ways to express yourself and your feelings.

Positive reflection.

During the years my crafting experiences have had so many positive impacts on me. I try to think of most projects as a creative challenge. being able to throw yourself in to something you can enjoy leads to positive energy. There is something so amazing about that feeling that you get when you are inspired by a new idea, when you found a solution to a tricky crafting nightmare, the experiences of learning new things and different ways to do things, and that final moment, Meanwhile the hours that you have spent creating something is finally finished. That feeling of being proud of yourself, for what you have achieved.

Vinyl decor mugs with the Cricut! Crafting bliss.

And some awesome finished projects … eventually.

Dont get me wrong, I have had so many of my fair share of unfinished projects and ongoing ones. Projects that have pained me to finish, maybe they took me absolute months to finish. It doesn’t really matter. You can use your mistakes to learn from just like in real life. That feeling you have when you’ve finally got there, I didn’t give up and completed them. That feeling I love, it is such a warm amazing feeling, embrace it. I absolutely feel empowered when I can say I did that. look at what I have done, I created something and that thing, it’s amazing and it’s all down to me. That feeling is pretty epic. It’s so positive.

Do not forget that even if a project that you have completed isn’t perfect. You still did it yourself. You have still created something pretty amazing. Find the positives in what you have achieved.

Have I missed anything out?

I mean crafting is one of my major hobbies and it really does have a special place in my heart and life. When I’m having a down day I can sometimes turn it all around by challenging myself into something new!

As always I would love to hear from you guys, with your opinions. Do you have an experience where you have found something in the craft world that keeps you positive? Do you feel that craft has a good reflection on your mental health? I want to hear! Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Mental health week – Talking body image

If you didn’t already know. It’s mental health awareness week. This year’s theme is all about body image. You can read more about the Mental Health Foundation here

Body Image

What is mental health?

Mental health has always been something that is really close to my heart as I face my own struggles and challenges alongside many of my friends and family. Mental health is defined as a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. Did you know that one in four adults in the UK are likely to have a mental health problem at some stage in their lifetime, that’s what the experts say. That’s a lot of people. So not one of us should ever feel that we are alone or no one will understand, there will always be someone that will understand how you are feeling and may be experiencing the same things.

My battle with negative body image

It is crazy to think that finally in 2019 the world is finally acknowledging that not everyone is a size zero picture perfect model. Magazines and companies are finally beginning to embrace our curves and imperfections. No longer do we have to flip through magazines to think we could never get away with their image, because it’s being broadcast more and more to embrace yourself.

But let’s face it. It hasn’t always been this way! My school years were a prime example. I grew up with twisted hips which meant I walked differently to everyone else. I needed corrective surgery to set my legs straight, but now when I look back was the surgery more a cosmetic thing? So I could be the norm.

Not just my legs, I’ve never been stick thin whether and I have always struggled to keep weight off. I get anxiety when I get dressed in the morning because I want to look perfect all the time. It’s so much pressure. Nothing ever feels just right.

It is so important that as individuals we talk to each other more than we are now. I am not gonna lie it is not always easy to open up, but it is so worth it. I often can’t bring myself to share my own negativity but one thing I do know, I am not the only one who hates her curves and wishes that I could have better skin. There’s always been so much judgement in this world. It is so easy to let negativity win and then we become depressed, lonely, and affected by the perfect image instead of embracing who we are and what we have. Anyone who tells you that they are 100% happy with their own body image, they are lying. There’s nothing wrong in trying to improve ourselves, buying new clothes and improving the way we look as long as it is you that is happy with yourself, and that you are improving for no one other than yourself.

This is me, I am not perfect, I’m not skinny, I love to hide behind my make up. But it is me, and there is only one me.

What we can do to be more body positive?

Remember that not everybody is the same

It is time to stop comparing yourself to other people. Each and every one of us has our whether insecurities but it’s time to embrace yourself and learn to be unique in a positive manner.

acknowledge yourself and any low self esteem you have

It’s not always easy and like I just said we are all different and we deal with things in different ways but this is such an important step in a journey to being body positive and learning your own self-worth.

Face your biggest critic. Yourself.

My dad has always had a famous quote to me, ‘you are your worst enemy’ and do you know what? he is right. It is natrual that you are your worst critique, so its important to learn to stop being so hard on yourself, and I know myself how hard of a challenge that really is.

Realise how beautiful you really are

Write a list of positive things that you like about yourself and whenever you are feeling low, read your list and remember why you love yourself

Practice self care

It’s so important that we look after the most important person in your life. Yourself. There is one you and you need to take care of you. whether it is being more healthy to have a little pamper evening, make sure you are doing things for you.

Set yourself reasonable targets

Don’t set yourself goals that you know you are not going to be able to stick too. If you set yourself unrealistic targets then you are allowing yourself opportunities to be negative.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on body image and how this affects you, how do you keep yourself positive when you dont feel so confident?

10 reasons to love April

Since I have been feeling really down with the constant illness and chronic pain lately, I thought it was about time to give some reasons to feel a bit happier, so today I am an irritated girl who is trying to be a little bit more positive this month!
Admittedly it has been a really rubbish time, and it feels like our main adventures out lately are to hospitals and DR’s surgeries until we find out 100% what the heck is up with me… Anyway, I am not moaning I am being positive and since we are still at the beginning of April (pretty much anyway) I wanted to share with you guys 10 reasons why you should appreciate this fabulous month!

Summer is just around the corner!

Fresh start month – I am not 100% sure why, but I have always thought of April as a month of fresh starts, apparently, I am not the only one. we are now 4 months clear of the Christmas season and its a few months of enjoying the sun and the happy season before we prepare for cold winter months again! The first day of spring has now been and its time for a spring clean, mentally aswell.

It’s April Showers – I’m not saying that the fact it is raining a lot is amazing but, does anyone else get the drip, drip drop little April showers song go through their head constantly this month? I do! it is stuck in my head all month every time I hear someone say ‘Oh it’s raining again, April Showers’ … I must watch Bambi. I love Bambi.

The month of yellow – I literally think that one of the first things I associate April with is the colour yellow, and I am really loving this colour right now! The month of yellow, and the month of Daffodils (see what I am saying there?).

Pastels – Ok I may have already mentioned colour just now but this bit is slightly different, I love all pastel colours and there are so many new things in pastel! which I always love pastel colours! Easter spills lots of this because pastel colours do feel very springy! 🙂

Nature is coming back out – The cold winter months will soon be behind us, and already this month we have had some beautiful sunshine filled days. I have especially noticed that on the farm the wildlife is all coming out of its hiding and the deers are back running around the fields at dusk. I absoloutely love playing spot the deer.
It is not just the animals either. I LOVE blossom tree’s, and they always start blossoming this month, they make me super happy.

So Pretty!

New financial year – When life gives you lemons, make lemondae. For some people, I’ve noticed a lot of chat how April is a big money month for them, so everything is a little bit tighter! I know that this is the same for us this month! but oh well. April is the start of the new financial year, so let’s use this as a positive? New year 😉 New me kinda thing.

The clocks went forward – YES! at the end of March, our clocks went forward! now If you love summer like me its more exciting that we are gaining light and sunset is getting later, rather then thinking you lost an hour sleep that night!

Sunset on the farm

Its Chocoholic heaven – It is so hard to say no to some chocolate in April as its nearly Easter, be it a little late this year. Pretty hard to resist when you are going to slimming world! so far we’ve been pretty good! but I can not wait to get my hands on a chocolate egg!

The Sun is coming – Slowly but surely the summer period is just around the corner, and OK so we are not in summer yet! and already I have said why are people wearing shorts already? Its hardly boiling, but the sun is out, the sky is bright and peoples moods are lifting. I love this time of year when you are slowly saying goodbye woolly jumper.

Happiness – Last but not least one thing I love about April is no matter what is going on, or how rubbish and down you are feeling, April seems to bring in some happiness to the year no matter what.

What do you love about April? I would love to hear what makes you smile this month?