6 Ways Crafts Can Help With Managing Depression

6 Ways Crafts Can Help With Managing Depression

I hate it when people tell me to “do something to take your mind off it” when I talk about my down moments. However, as frustrating as it is, those people are right. Unlike those people who offer their closed-minded “advice” and opinions…

Becoming so engrossed in a hobby to the point that I can escape the deep, dark pit within me has often helped me manage my depression. Yes, I still struggle with my mental health, but more often than not it helps to do something.

Crafts are a fantastic way to escape the claws of depression. They can be done from the comfort of your bed if it feels impossible to get up. Crochet, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, drawing, painting… The possibilities and opportunities are endless.

“But how can crafts possibly help me with my depression?” I can hear some of you wondering. Well, here are six ways in which they can help.

It’s a good way to express yourself
Drawing Hand
© Claire Miller

Words aren’t always enough to describe how you are feeling or what thoughts are running through your head. Drawing and painting can help to replace words with more accurate demonstrations of what is going on within.

This way of expressing yourself can help to unburden the brain without trying to fathom the words to describe what you are feeling.

You can see it progressing

Check out my crochet skills!It’s easy to measure how well you are doing with crafts because you can see your work grow and improve the more you do it. The best thing about crafts is that there’s a type of craft for everyone. You also don’t need to be spectacularly good to begin with. Think of it as an experiment. You can learn for yourself what works and what needs tweaking. And with time and practice, you can look at where you started and how far you have come.

Whether it’s knitting, drawing, or something else, there’s always a clear level of progression.

It can take your mind away from negative thoughts
Photograph of a Leopard © Claire Miller 2012
© Claire Miller

I find that I forget about the world around me when I’m taking photographs or doing any other type of craft. Focus is everything when doing crafts, and it can therefore give your mind a bit of relief from your issues. At first this may be difficult to do, but hopefully as you do it more often and see your progress, you will learn to block out those negative thoughts and focus on the beautiful work you’re making.

You’re reuniting yourself with your creativity

Painted Shell CraftDepression can leave us feeling empty and devoid of creativity. But it’s merely a lie. You are a creative human being. We all are in our own ways.

It’s entirely up to you how you channel your creativity. Some like to write; others like to work with wood or metal; some like to sew or knit or crochet; others like to draw or paint or take photographs. And still others have other ways of channelling their creativity.

Crafts can help you to remove the dark haze your mental health has thrown at you and feel more like yourself again, even if it’s for a small period. You can choose a craft you’re familiar with or decide to learn something new. It depends on where you feel comfortable starting.

You are actually doing something!
Eye Drawing © Claire Miller
© Claire Miller

All those days in which you have chastised yourself for doing nothing all day can be disregarded. You are doing something! Here’s the proof for you to see for yourself! And that thing takes a lot of skill, patience, and creativity that you clearly have! If that doesn’t give you a small sense of achievement, I don’t know what will. It’s a huge deal, and you should give yourself a pat on the back for every little milestone you make!

You have a finished product you can be proud of at the end of it
Craft Sewing Skirt
This was the first piece of sewing that I did, and it’s now my favourite skirt. I’m so proud of it!

This is probably the best thing: you have a finished product at the end of it! Something that you made yourself! Whenever you look at it you can feel a sense of pride. During your down days you can look at it and remind yourself that you can do things. You can achieve anything you can conquer and put your mind to.

Achievements can seem few and far between during our moments of darkness, which is why crafts can be so useful. A physical representation of what you can create can be an effective reminder of such achievements.

What crafts do you like to do?

Are there any creative things that you like to do or would like to learn? Maybe you used to enjoy a craft, but you’re now struggling to bring yourself to do it anymore. Let me know in the comments.

Share the pieces you’re most proud of on my Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram. Writing, drawing, sewing, building – whatever your craft is, show me. I want you all to learn to appreciate your talents.

If you want more posts on crafts, let me know in the comments section below. I’m not a professional at any of them. With some, like crochet, I’m still learning myself. But I’m happy to supply you with ideas and resources if you want them.

And in the meantime, keep smiling. You’re amazing. Maybe you don’t believe it right now, but you are.

12 thoughts on “6 Ways Crafts Can Help With Managing Depression”

  1. I absolutely agree! I always refer to sewing and crafting as my “therapy” and it really is, in all the ways you mentioned! I make custom quilts, pillows, bags, and other items – and I specialize in adding imprinted photos. Since you asked, you can find me as K-Lee’s Kreations on Facebook and Etsy. 😉

    1. I LOVE your work! It’s absolutely beautiful! I never thought a quilt with pictures of loved ones on it could be so beautifully heartwarming! I will be hinting this Christmastime! 😍

  2. I agree with all of these. Doing something creative is a way to express ourselves to the world. Once it’s finished and you share it with the world, it becomes an extension of yourself. One of my creations that I am most proud of is a Phoenix sugar showpiece. I’ll share it in your FB page. Regarding the depression, I just went through a major one. One of the things that pulled me through is listening to Christian Songs. My faith took a major beating through the ordeal, but I kept listening to the musics. I slowly healed and gained my trust in Him back. Crafting, focusing in finding your inner talent and giving birth to it, is definitely a good way to live our lives.

    1. That phoenix is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it with me! I’m glad that you’re doing better now and have reunited with your faith again. It’s hard to keep hold of faith when all you can see is darkness and you feel so alone. But you’ve made it through. You have proven to everyone – above all, to YOURSELF – that you are strong.

      Oh, and definitely keep up with your sugar crafts. I can’t get over how good that phoenix is!

  3. Crafting is a really good way to get over depression. I tend to make diy home decor items when I feel a little stress. I totally agree with you.

  4. Depression is a terrible disorder. I know because I have been through it. You are right when you say crafts can help you cope with depression. There is a time during the episode that it is very hard to focus on anything at all. But once you start feeling better, and start being capable of doing things, finding something that brings you joy can really help your recovery. My first steps were with adult coloring books. I liked it because it was easy to just have to think about which color to use next. I then started going back to crochet, and journalling (writing my thoughts). All these have largely helped. I go over som of the strategies I used to overcome my depression in my book. If you want to subscribe to be notified once it is free on amazon, you can do so here: http://oneday-today.com/Depression_Get_Out_Now/ looking forward to reading more of your articles!

    1. Adult colouring books are fantastic. I have one myself and know a lot of people who benefit from them. I look forward to reading your book, Andrea 🙂

    1. That’s brilliant, Sam! Holiday decorations and house decorations are always fantastic to do. Seeing them on display gives such a huge surge of pride – I did that! 😀 Watercolour is something I’ve never fully had the confidence in doing, so I’m pretty impressed. I’d love to see some of your work 🙂

  5. You’ve inspired me to start crocheting again. It’s so calming to just zen out with it while watching a show. I’m not really good at it yet. I can make coasters! Ha! I still feel proud of myself though.

    1. Do it! It really is so relaxing just to watch it grow before your eyes. I’m not particularly good either, I’ve only just started learning, so don’t worry! And coasters?! That’s awesome! I want pictures, okay? Get to it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *