Anxiety is a common disorder that so many of us suffer with. Some choose the route of medication and therapy to help them deal with the symptoms, others choose a more holistic approach.
I can’t remember exactly when my anxiety started, but I call it my washing machine brain. That feeling of thoughts, worries and stress spinning round your mind non stop, over and over again until you feel like you might explode. It makes even the simplest of tasks seem impossible and everything very quickly piles up.
It wasn’t until the birth of my second child that I started to look after my mental health and take some time for me that I discovered crafts. They helped my mind to settle, slow down and channeled my thoughts onto one very relaxing and satisfying task that gave me so much relief from my anxiety it became a staple part of my routine.
It’s official, I’m a crafting junkie!
Crafts To Help Ease Anxiety
Gardening: By planting seeds, taking care of plants and flowers, we can establish a relationship with nature. The concentration we dedicate to this activity acts as a mindfulness session and planting some new flowers will also get you moving a little too! When I am gardening it is important for me to plant alone and not be interrupted, this is my time with nature and my thoughts.
I recommend you to find plants or flowers that you really like or that have a special meaning for you, in that way, you will be more motivated to plant them and take care of those little new friends!
Painting: I was never good at painting when I was little but then I discovered abstract painting and that’s my thing. You just take some paper, pencil and some crayons, and you begin to draw whatever comes out. It doesn’t matter what appears: lines, shapes, stains, etc. Just let it flow without looking if the colours match, if the lines are perfect or not, just draw. Painting can help you through a crisis, mix it with deep breaths to help you relax.
Mandalas: From abstract painting I fell in love with mandalas. There are many tutorials on Youtube on how to draw them, it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect or if the colours don’t match, mandalas always look beautiful!
You can try different materials to do mandalas like finger paint, or maybe you can use some fabric leftovers and buttons and stick them to create your mandala or crochet them with yarn. There are a lot of books and tutorials online to learn how to make them. Do some Googling and try any, even if you have to print out an outline and simply enjoy colouring it in!
Adult Colouring and Painting: Anther craft which helps me relax is colouring. Yes, like the kids I’ve recently bought a colouring book, but one for for adults and I love it. You can choose from a wide variety of themes (even some sweary ones!) and colour them in however you like – paint, crayons, pencil shading. It’s an incredibly easy way to switch off your thoughts and focus your mind and it doesn’t take a huge amount of artistic talent! Combine it with deep breaths to help you get through.
Crocheting: The base of crochet for anxiety is the same as the rest of our activities: concentration that leads to a mindfulness state. But also with crochet I have a feeling that I’m doing something, progressing with something, learning a new skill. You don’t need a big crocheting project to begin, you can just grab some yarn and do a square – there are so many incredibly easy to follow youtube videos and a million and one things to make. Try making some decorations for the house, gifts for friends or even some wooly accessories – the crochet world is your oyster and it’s so relaxing with it’s repetitive movements.
-Bloom From The Darkness
Author Bio: Maria Gomez
Maria is an English philologist and mum of two living in Madrid. She loves walking, reading, wrapping presents, new gadgets and a nice candle or three!
A slow life lover and Pueblito Bueno Fan.