Craft for Calm – How We Use Craft As a Medicine for our Mental Health

Unlike the much understood physical health, mental health is a far more complex concept to tackle. With our physical health, often we can view it objectively. Assess the symptoms that we can witness with our own eyes and have a doctor diagnose what’s wrong with us with a definitive answer. But, with our mental health, it’s a much trickier business to understand.

Struggling with my mental health

It’s something that we can’t always put a finger on. We can’t clearly say it “hurts here” or “We can see damage in this spot”. Instead, there’s an unorganised scatter of symptoms, too long to list and often difficult to even recognise. They are as consuming as physical health problems without a bandage or medicine that will fix them. You can’t rest them or put them in a cast for 6 weeks to heal. Nor can you google exactly what it feels like and find a definitive list of solutions. Often it seems as though, unlike our physical health, which usually can be cured with remedies, there isn’t a fool-proof place to turn to that will “clear it up”.

That for many is where craft can walk into your life and introduce itself as a much-needed remedy. A paracetamol to a pounding headache, if you will. A grandmothers chicken soup to a pesky cold. Or, perhaps a day in bed binge watching boxsets to over exhaustion and fatigue.

Crafting can help

Much like our go-to’s when it comes to physical health crafting can offer some relief. Drawing endless bendy lines can straighten some muddled thoughts. Knitting in long, endless rows can lengthen shortened breath. And sticking memories into a scrapbook can shine a light into the darkness that occupied the mind before it.

Sure, we craft to make things, to give gifts and to have a hobby that fulfils us, but it can give us so much more. It can create a haven where we can escape our minds and pour everything into our work. It can provide a numbing when things feel too much to handle. And it can shine a light when the darkness has overstayed it’s welcome.

It’s not a fix, cure or a solution, but it’s something.

A heartwarming soup to soothe your throat. A minty tea to settle your stomach. A tissue to release your bunged up cold. It won’t magically make your mental health in tip-top shape, but it will offer it space where its symptoms are relieved, if only for a little while.

Craft for Calm.

Tag us in your calm crafting @thecraftyco

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