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Thinking about starting a new hobby?

With all the new year, new me cliché’s aside, maybe you’ve thought about starting something new this year? Taking time to yourself by focusing on something positive has so many benefits. Did you know that Arts & Crafts has a lot of benefits for both your physical and mental health?

Crafting has been designed for absolutely everyone, all ages, genders, and ethnicities. We understand that the thought 'arts and crafts' might make you think back to your childhood days of finger painting and the smell playdough, or your gran knitting a questionable jumper and put you off, but there are so many different types of arts and crafts out there to try! Other than the obvious drawing and painting, some of the most popular types of crafts are woodwork, candle making, embroidery, knitting, crochet, origami, soap making, pottery but the list really does go on!

Arts and Crafts might not be something that you have considered in the past, but once you hear about the benefits that can be had, you might want to think again!

Crafting can be found to seriously help with stress reduction. By allowing yourself to fully focus on what you are creating and taking your mind away from things that are bothering you, it stimulates your neurological system to help with your overall health and wellbeing. When creating something it is almost has a meditative quality as it requires multi-sensory engagement and repetitive actions, you also experience the anticipation of satisfaction. As a result of this, neurotransmitters that promote joy and well-being are released and the stress hormone is reduced. These benefits can help day to day stress but also combat more serious conditions such as PTSD. There is actually a UK Charity group set up to help war veterans with art classes such as pottery. Finding ways to avoid medication for things like anxiety and trying arts and crafts for therapy is becoming increasingly popular for both medical professionals and patients but it is nothing new. Did you know that craft courses have been prescribed to patience since the creation of occupational therapy in the late 19th Century?! Basketry was also used to relieve anxiety and physical ailments in soldiers during the first world war.

And it is not just mental benefits, arts and crafts can also help physically. By using your hands to create something it helps with the blood flow and dexterity in your fingers, hands, and arms. It also helps improve your hand-eye coordination! Maybe you have been struggling with your hands due to the cold weather we are experiencing? Why don’t you try something arty to help – anything is worth a shot, right!

Something that a high percentage of us could do with improving is the amount of time we sit on our phones in the evening. There are very few positives that this brings so think of the health benefits you could experience from if you introduce something creative in your spare time. It might seem daunting initially but starting with something simple such as a colour by numbers book (yes colouring in can be for adults too) or embroidery for beginners might get you into the grove of it! Who knows, maybe you have a hidden talent! By starting with something simple that you know you will enjoy, it might encourage you to investigate art classes and learn something new. If you are interested in art classes, it also introduces a social benefit. Meeting likeminded people with similar hobbies and interest can only be a good thing.

If you are interested in learning a new craft, or developing an existing one, then check out Arts and Crafts - SkillSeeder as we have over 400 art and craft courses listed on our website!

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