Use Crafts and Hobbies to Manage Stress

It’s National Craft Month. At the beginning of the pandemic, many people took up new hobbies and turned to crafts to fill time. But as weeks turned to months and now we have hit the one-year mark, people have dropped their projects. We encourage you to pick them back up again!

There has been news that stress eating, staying home and inside and eating from boredom has led to significant weight gain amongst most Americans. We could see it in ourselves, but knowing that Americans on average gained 1.5 pounds a month during shelter-in-place orders is a little surprising. Overall, 61 percent of Americans said their weight changed undesirably this last year. There is no point in beating ourselves up about it. This last year has had so many challenges! Nothing could have prepared us for it.

Definitely cut yourself a break,” said CNN’s health and nutrition contributor Lisa Drayer. “Eating is one of life’s pleasures, and the pandemic was so stressful, it’s understandable that we ate more of our favorite comfort foods — and more often and in larger quantities.”

We should all move on from the weight gain. After all, we can always get back on the path. But, one of the biggest hurdles, it seems, is finding a new coping method for stress to replace comfort eating when you are anxious. The pressure of the pandemic hasn’t completely passed yet. More and more people are getting vaccinated, and it’s wonderful. The daily death toll is going down, and it’s great. We’re hoping that everyone will have access to a vaccine by May 1. There is a lot to be pleased about. But, right now, you might still be feeling worried and still be stress eating.

Crafts and hobbies are a great way to bust stress and fill time without eating. You don’t have to paint the Sistine Chapel to make a project worth your time. It doesn’t have to be anything you want to keep or display. One person on our team made a cross-stitch project so ugly she took pictures to send her family to make them laugh. But, it filled her evenings for over two weeks. She stayed away from her pantry, and she had a great time doing it!

Men reading this might think that they are less interested in crafts. But there are traditionally masculine crafts like whittling, model building and fly tying. They are neat projects to learn. All of the supplies and be bought inexpensively online to try.

Crafts can reduce blood pressure and depression as well as help you cut down on snacking. Crafts can also cut down your perception of chronic pain and help sharpen your mind. They really are worth trying as they are something to occupy your thoughts, time and hand. You might find yourself with a new hobby. You’ll at least find a distraction from the kitchen!

Banner image: Jasmin Schreiber via Unsplash
March 26, 2021

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