Is it just me or are people stuck in a repetitive loop of answering the question ‘How are things?’ with ‘BUSY!’ Yes. We know. We are all busy.
Let's get on with the more interesting part of the conversation: In all this busy-ness, are we making time for the things we love? Are we making time for creative things?
I’ve written on my blog about how we seem to have trouble taking time out to do something creative. It slips down the task list to somewhere between ‘clean the cat litter’ and ‘organize the freezer’.
When I talk with people about time management, it seems no one has a clue (save a precious and genius few) how to manage their most limited resource … time. We give it away freely and often without asking too much in return. If you work in an office, you may be at the mercy other people’s plans for your day by way of the calendar invite.
So, here are my 3 tips for how to take back control of your time so that you can spend it making more art:
For more on making time for creative ventures by getting more productive with your time, check out this article from one of my favourite magazines, Fast Company. It’s really all about working smarter, not harder. Mantra!
Enjoy the rest of February and the fact that we get one extra day this year to make the most of!
Whether you are a photographer, quilter, ceramicist, knitter or painter, there’s a set of positive feelings many of us have when we are creating something.
How do YOU feel when you are making things by hand?
Generally, making something by hand is satisfying and a nice break from screens, dinner dishes, laundry, errands and more.
I’ve been reading about the mental health benefits of crafting for quite awhile. It started when I got curious about scientific or statistical data that backs up why I feel better when I knit, crochet, spin, weave, paint, etc.
And it turns out, there is. The reward centre in our brain releases dopamine when you do something pleasurable. Dopamine is really a natural antidepressant - a non-medicinal way of stimulating that reward centre. And since most of us consider the act of creating something with our hands pleasurable, we get a nice hit of that natural antidepressant every time we take up our craft.
I recently read about a study of more than 3,500 knitters published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, which said that 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling "very happy." I think this is worth sitting up and taking notice of.
Let’s fill ourselves up with dopamine from making stuff by hand! I’m working on a whole slate of workshops and a roster of incredible artists and makers to help you do just that. Look for fun and 'outside the box' learning opportunities coming soon to my website.
Now get off your screen and go make something.
P.S. if you want to know more about the links between art/craft and mental health, this article as well as this one and this group are super interesting.