Feeling Stressed? Try These Arts and Crafts

If you’re feeling anxious and worried, you’re not alone. The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) reports that more than 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety. 18% of the population combats anxiety every day. Anxiety is a problem that can fester when it’s ignored. Bottling up your fears and emotions will make your anxiety worse. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of “what ifs.” Instead, find healthy ways to express what you’re feeling. Everyone needs a creative outlet for stress.

Crafting can be an excellent way to manage your anxiety. Arts and crafts aren’t only for kids and times of boredom. Craft projects provide anxiety relief by relaxing your racing mind. You can shift your focus from stressful thoughts to a fun art activity. Creating something beautiful with your own two hands may boost your confidence. People who do arts and crafts before bedtime generally sleep better too. Crafting is a great DIY expressive art therapy for many people. Below are some arts and crafts project ideas to help you defeat your anxiety.

1. Diamond Painting

Diamond painting is a newer craft that may help switch off your anxious brain. Diamond painting is similar to paint-by-number kits and cross-stitch. Beautiful painting patterns are printed onto sticky glue paper. Using a pen-like tool, you’ll place resin diamonds called drills in the correct squares. Your stress will be silenced as you arrange the shiny gems into a lovely portrait. Once finished, colorful diamond paintings can be framed to add sparkle and happiness to your room.

2. Adult Coloring

Children have been coloring for years, so why can’t their parents? Adult coloring books are increasingly popular to help unwind and induce a state of meditation. Adults can find thousands of detailed, intricate coloring patterns to help unwind. You can use crayons, colored pencils, or markers to color inside the lines. Coloring puts you in the drivers seat as you pick each color.  Whether it’s coloring beautiful mandalas, flowers, animals, and landscapes you’ll notice it may banish your negative energy. 

3. Crocheting

Crochet has been a form of anxiety relief since the 19th century. Crochet is a needlework art that involves pulling a curved hook through yarn loops. Unlike knitting, you won’t have to juggle two long needles. Learning basic crochet stitches is easy with how-to YouTube videos. With some practice, you’ll start crocheting hats, scarves, handbags, and blankets for everyone. Crocheting gets you lost in repetitive hand motions to relax your mind and just flow. Here are some starter kits that you can try.

4. Sculpting

Creating a clay sculpture could help you sculpt a better mental state. Simply kneading your fingers into clay stimulates your brain and senses for a calming effect. You can also let out pent-up anger by smashing and whacking the clay before you form your design. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Mold the clay into whatever shape inspires you. Whether it’s a vase, rose, or turtle, carve your design and then simply let it air-dry. If you don’t have clay, you might consider using playdough, beeswax, or putty. We’ve listed some of the best clay for sculpting here.

5. Collaging

Collaging perhaps gives you the most freedom of expression. Collages are assembled from various kinds of paper, images, and fabrics. With glue, you attach each item onto paper or particleboard for a cohesive display. Unlike some arts and crafts, collages can become three-dimensional with several layers of materials. Collaging works great for anxiety relief when you focus on uplifting messages. Pick a positive theme, such as family, puppies, fashion, or music.

6. Rock Painting

Do you live near a beach, riverbed, or forest with an abundance of rocks? Turn them into works of art. Rock painting is a therapeutic craft that brings many people joy and comfort. Start by scrubbing the rock clean of mud and dirt. Apply a base coat of acrylic black or white paint. Then, let your imagination run wild and paint away. Rocks can suddenly transform into colorful creatures like frogs and rabbits. Spray on a weather-resistant sealer and exhibit painted rocks in your garden. Our family loves to go on hikes; while we’re out we look for rocks to paint and then on our next hike we leave our painted rocks for other hikes to find and enjoy. It’s a fun and simple way to unwind and maybe even uplift someone else’s spirits through arts and crafts.

7. Baking

Baking is uniquely an edible art and craft project that can sometimes literally melt away your worries. Getting in the kitchen helps many bakers feed their soul and stomach to cope with anxiety. Break out your old family recipes and start mixing. Baking cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, and bread galore can take a big bite out of your nerves. Don’t forget about decorating your baked creations too. Have fun with arranging colorful sprinkles, frosting, fruit, and candies on top.

8. Woodworking

Creating something out of wood is a good way to boost your confidence and feeling of accomplishment. There are lots of guides here that will show you step by step directions on how to make countless items out of wood, like this wine rack.

We encourage you to channel your anxious energy into whatever creative endeavors speak to you. Arrange a gorgeous floral centerpiece for your table. Sew a vibrant dress or blouse to brighten your day. Go for a nature walk and snap some photos. Create a scrapbook filled with happy memories. Blend your own candles with aromatic, healing essential oils. Use an embroidery machine or hand embroider to embroider a pillow with a funny saying that makes you giggle. Art and craft projects incorporating any medium can help you overcome anxiety and stress while creating something beautiful. 


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