So we all saw the online tutorials light up this past spring with our stay at home orders. You could take a class on baking bread, painting, gardening, and crocheting…the possibilities were really endless. But do you know why you and the rest of the world gravitated towards it at the speed of a dead sprint? Well a growing list of research is showing that hands-on activities can boost your mental and emotional wellbeing. Your body and mind were naturally moving towards activities that could help heal, distract and boost happiness.
We are naturally programed to pay attention to threat and our alarm bells were sounding by April. Doing something with your hands gives you something to have control over and this can help turn down the volume on those alarm bells. It also gave our brain a distraction, something new to learn and broke (at least to an extent) the stress cycle. I don’t know about you, but I’ll give anything a try if it means a possibility my cortisol levels will decrease. I’m sure my heart will thank me later.
My most favorite part about being creative during COVID has been my acceptance of doing it not to be good but because it makes me feel so darn good. Ten to fifteen minutes into painting while listening to some Pandora had me in a Zen like mindset or dancing around with a paintbrush in hand-either way the happy hormones had started to kick in.
Like with anything we preach here in the mental health world, it is all about consistency. Remain steadfast in your creativity and you will start to slowly feel, think and see the positive shift.
Bake. Bring out your inner Picasso. Beat those cortisol levels!