Mindful Making

September 08, 2020 0 Comments

Mindful Making

While a global pandemic continues to change and shift the world we live in, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. There is a lot of uncertainty about when it will end, if things will ever be ‘normal’ again and how to cope with the ‘new normal’. For many folks, quarantine and lockdown is a blessing in disguise.

For others it’s the opposite because they thrive on action and being on the move. To combat restlessness, it’s a great idea to engage in hobbies during the extra time spent at home and even learn new things.  Many folks have developed a passion for crafting and DIY projects during quarantine. One particular craft that has been resurfacing is the art of macrame.


Benefits of Crafting
Macramé along with other types of craftwork has many benefits which include:

Stress Relief and Mental Clarity
Macramé has a soothing effect on the mind. Focusing on the task at hand allows a person to feel more positive emotions and calm. The motions and movements involved create a meditative atmosphere where it’s just you and your craft. You focus less on stressors and negative emotions and ‘tune out’ and replace them with uplifting thoughts and vibes.

Enhanced Brain Productivity
Learning macramé and creating art awakens both hemispheres of your brain, you become more in touch with your ability to focus, think quickly and learn. When you learn a new skill, you are creating new neurons and strengthening bonds between brain cells and receptors. 

Self Esteem and Confidence Boost
The feeling you get after you complete a task boosts your self esteem and confidence. The fact that you tried, learned and created wonderful art is motivating and something to feel proud of.

Improved Motor Skills
Using your hands, learning knotting patterns and executing them can develop the muscles in your hands, fingers and arms. It improves dexterity and over time the speed at which you can carry out the movements involved. It’s therapeutic on a physical level as well, especially for persons who may have had injuries or ailments. Crafting with children helps them to develop their fine motor skills as well which enables them to do other activities easily such as writing.

Develops New Skills
Macrame isn’t just an art-form. It’s also very functional as you can create items you can use, gift or even sell. When times are hard and money is tight, you can develop your skills and produce professional quality products to get you out of a tight spot.

It Creates a Fun Challenge
Being at home for long periods of time can get boring. Art and crafts help to quell these feelings and create new challenges for your mind and body. Macramé is a skill that you can constantly build upon. You start as a beginner and ‘level up’ to create more intricate patterns.  Reaching these expert levels is no easy task and you have to keep trying, building and practicing to achieve it.

The Resurgence of a Vintage Craft
Many of us may associate macramé with grandmothers knotting away on their rocking chairs, creating their signature doilies and placemats. However, there has been a resurgence in vintage handicrafts. You are sure to find proof of this while browsing sites like Pinterest which is a haven for art and craft connoisseurs.

Going back to basics and putting a modern spin on old art and crafts has been trending for some time. With the popularity of YouTube, many tutorials and how-to videos are readily available for any curious crafter to view. Blogs and other online resources have a vast range of information about crafts and how to get started.

You can find patterns to try, learn about the materials required and where to find fibre supplies. You can even connect with other crafters on social media or forums to share ideas, tips or ask for advice. The community aspect can be very beneficial to those who are alone for quarantine and provide a place to make friends and discuss topics other than crafting and macramé. Such forums allow individuals to show off their corona craft, congratulate each other on improvements, and create a friendly, supportive environment.

Both children and adults have taken interest in these traditional crafts. The history of the artform, various methods and patterns are intriguing to learn about and put into practice. It takes us back to simpler times, which allows us to appreciate past traditions and embrace the present. With new advancements in technology, production of materials and the supplies needed to macramé, it’s much easier to dive into crafting.

Healing Art
The mood boosting qualities of macramé and other art can have many positive impacts on mental and physical health. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, ADHD and other mental illnesses can manage and even overcome some of the symptoms associated with their mental issues. Improved concentration, stress reduction and an overall sense of achievement are common outcomes of crafting macramé, knitting, weaving and other handicraft methods.

 Macramé evokes a calming effect with its repetitive knotting and the limitless creative possibilities. It gently coaxes you to focus and you become relaxed, entranced and stabilized. Having a flow of positive emotions and ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine has a healing effect on your physical body as well. The less stressed you feel, the better your body is able to carry out its natural functions. Studies have shown that patients suffering from ailments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s were able to reduce negative symptoms and behaviours whilst engaging in art and crafts.

In times of uncertainty and distress, taking up art and crafts allows you to restore balance. Your senses become engaged, your heart rate beats at a steady pace and the feel of the textures between your fingers can be truly therapeutic. When the world is going crazy outside, you can escape into your own little zone of calm and clarity.

 

 





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