Every year, January starts out the same: New Year, New Me! Whether it’s resolving to hit the 6 a.m. hot yoga class or cutting out simple carbs, we’re all looking to make our lives richer and more satisfying. But too often, resolutions feel less like living your #BESTLIFE and more like plain old hard work. The reality is that by February 1, it can start to feel like New Year, New Meh.
Instead of making resolutions that sound a little bit too much like plain old hard work, why not focus on doing something that improves your life AND can be accomplished in pajamas?!
Crafting is what you’re looking for. Even if you insist you’re “not a creative person” (oh, stop!), crafting means immediate tangible results, a pajama-casual dress code, AND documented health benefits. And there’s literally nothing holding you back from getting started.
Here are 8 ways crafting will make your life better right this second.
1. Knitting is a whooole lot like meditation. Really.
There’s a bunch of evidence that the repetitive nature of “knit one, purl one” puts your brain in a state very much like sitting in Lotus pose chanting a mantra. But you can do it in the doctor’s office waiting room without looking like a complete weirdo.
2. You’re making an actual thing.
Some people are all about the process and not the product. Honestly, finishing something you started is satisfying all on its own. But the bonus of crafting is that you you also have a new thing. A thing you made! Talk about immediate results! Something like crochet is the best of both worlds: relaxing and then — whoa! — a brand new thing. Crocheting will have you hooked! (Sorry, I’ll show myself out.)
3. Baking is the world’s easiest mindfulness exercise.
The process of baking requires you to stay fully in the moment. Measuring, mixing, cracking eggs — those things need the attention you might normally devote to worrying about whether the barista noticed the ridiculous number of sugar packets you stashed in your purse. There’s also the satisfaction that comes with making something from scratch; preparing something to share with the people you love. Or not sharing. Hey, this is about making your life better — do you!
4. A Stitch ’n Bitch is GNO upgraded.
Getting together with your lady squad to make stuff is a genius alternative to going out for overpriced drinks and wondering if you’re getting too old for this $#!+. Whether it’s quilting, embroidery, or knitting, you get to connect, catch up, and take home something you made. Win!
5. When you make it, it’s one of a kind.
In an increasingly mass-produced world, creating something by hand has become even more special. Lately, mass-market retailers are selling products meant to look a little more kiosk-y. You can find cool earrings or scarves that look like you picked them up at the mercado. Then you walk into the coffee shop and it’s suddenly “Who wore it best?” when you see three other women with the exact same thing. But if you make stuff yourself? Problem solved.
6. Don’t underestimate the power of the brag.
Think for a second how it would feel to say these words: “Oh, this handmade pasta? I get it from a little place called MY OWN KITCHEN.”
7. Blow your entire day? Crafting will fix it.
We all have those days: screw up the presentation, forget to pack the kids’ lunches, spot a giant grease stain on your one “clean” sweater. Those days. And you know what? Sitting down to add a couple more squares to a quilt you’re stitching can turn it around. Seriously! When you’re tempted to funnel wine down your throat while watching reality TV, crafting helps you remember you’re still a rockstar, grease stain be damned!
8. Unleashing your creativity may protect against aging.
There’s now overwhelming evidence that learning new skills — especially skills that are fun and relaxing — might help you head off some of the bummers of aging. And when we’re engaged in doing something pleasurable, our brains release dopamine, a natural antidepressant. Most of us can use all the natural antidepressants we can get.
There are so many good reasons to try something. Maybe something you loved doing as a kid, something you always wanted to try, or something new — like the buttercream succulents you’re looking at above (yes, those little cacti are made of BUTTERCREAM) Hey, maybe you just want to watch a video of someone else doing something — that’s okay too! (Be honest: You’ve watched hours of shiplap restoration that you’re probably not going to try anytime soon.) Craftsy Unlimited gives you access to every Craftsy class, plus new and exclusive video tutorials weekly — and you can try it free for 7 days! So whatever you choose to try, start doing it right now. Go you!
The new Craftsy Unlimited subscription gives you access to a HUGE variety of Craftsy online classes. Since you get access to the whole library for free, the great thing is you don’t even have to choose, you can try EVERYTHING. Just get started!
Craftsy is the digital destination where more than 13 million passionate makers come to get inspired, create and share.