New year, new you?

It might be a well-worn saying but it still resonates. There’s something irresistible about the idea of metaphorically shedding your old skin, and unveiling a newer, brighter version of yourself at the beginning of a new year.

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Yet making a positive change can be daunting – where should you start? Should physical wellbeing take priority, or should mental health be your focus? What about your emotional needs?

Why not take up a hobby that helps in all these areas? Creative, fun and with a whole host of reported wellbeing benefits, crafting ticks all the boxes. Paula Gorry, Demonstrator Development Manager at crafting company Stampin’ Up! UK, lists the reasons why crafting could be your next big obsession for this year…

1: Crafting is good for your mental health

Research by neurologists has shown that crafting encourages people to enter a state known as “flow.” In other words, they become completely absorbed with the task at hand. This state of absorption can be likened to mindfulness, which has been shown to improve depression, anxiety, coping style in the face of adversity, quality of life, and significantly reduce stress.

Even Albert Einstein was reputed to have knitted between projects to “calm his mind and clear his thinking.” If it was good enough for Einstein…

2: It can have social benefits

One of the best things about taking up a crafting hobby is that you often have the choice of doing it alone, or in groups.  If you want to reap the social benefits, getting together with like-minded people to pursue your chosen craft is a great way to meet new people-and increase your support networks.

From knitting circles to card making workshops, there are so many crafting groups out there – including online ones – covering every type of craft imaginable.

3: Learning a new skill boosts your self esteem

One of the best things about taking up a new crafting hobby is that you get to learn a new skill!  Remember how good it felt at school when your teacher liked your work enough to give you a gold star? 

Successfully mastering a new craft project or tricky skill makes you feel that same sense of pride and achievement- which can give your self-esteem a much-needed boost.

4: You could even make money and turn your hobby into a job

It’s true! Just look at the huge number of crafters doing their thing and successfully selling their makes on Etsy and similar platforms.

Some people are even lucky enough to turn their crafting hobby into a full-time job – our company sells stamps and craft supplies through a network of demonstrators who have successfully turned their enthusiasm for crafts into a business.

5: It’s fashionable

A quick scroll through Pinterest is enough to confirm that crafting is cool. Shaking off its previous (and unfair!) reputation as the exclusive preserve of the older generation, it’s been embraced by millennials and gen Xers alike as something everyone can enjoy. 

Drawn to the homespun aesthetic and authentic appeal of handmade items, younger people are taking to crafting in their droves. Crafting clubs are springing up across the UK, many of which cater to a largely young and urban audience.

Even if you don’t sell what you make, you can still make homemade presents and cards for your friends and family, and so many people really appreciate the thought and effort that goes into a handmade gift.

With all its reported benefits, it’s no coincidence that some people are calling crafting “the new yoga”.

Whatever positive changes you’re looking to make this year, why not consider taking the plunge with a new crafty hobby? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose – and you could end up gaining so much.

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