There are many simple ways to improve your mental health, all of which are easy to access and open to everyone, young and old. Recent studies have considered links between arts, craft and mental health. Much like the connections found between play and mental health, the results have been positive.
Craft And Mental Health – The Findings
The findings are quite simple: the study, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that people who participated in arts and crafts feel happier, calmer, and more energetic the next day. Arts and crafts could consist of anything – jam making, crocheting, knitting, drawing, creative writing, digital design – but what they all have in common is that they are relaxed and creative.
Under the heading of ‘arts and crafts’ you can find an activity to suit anyone, regardless of age, ability or interest. Even colouring books, of which there are now a wide range for adults as well as children, can produce the same calming effect.
Arts and Crafts in East Berkshire
Engaging in arts and crafts activities can be something you can do in your own home, but if you would like to learn something new or have the added benefit of social-engagement then you can visit any of the following:
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes – The WI are famous for their craft activities, and they are currently enjoying a surge in membership around the world. The WI is open to women and girls of all ages.
Sustainability Centre – This is something a bit different, combining crafts with eco-sustainability. With these classes you could learn hedgelaying, wood carving, or clay oven building, amongst many other things.
CoolTan Arts – In particular see their Knit For Peace workshops, specifically aimed at improving mental health. These classes are free to everyone.
Ascot Heath Library – The library hosts a variety of classes with tea and coffee provided. Activities can include knit and natter, creative writing, camera club, and sewing and art sessions. For more information on activities in Ascot Heath, email [email protected] or call 01344 884030. Other local libraries will provide similar opportunities, many of which are free of charge.
Art classes in Langley – This company provides a huge selection of arts and crafts classes for children as young as 6 years. Activities include painting, silk painting, calligraphy, pottery, and food art.
Messy Monkeys – Based in Sunningdale, Messy Monkeys gives parents and children the opportunity to play and create without the hassle of cleaning up afterwards. The aim is to allow very young children to explore the use of colour and texture, and use their imaginations. Messy Monkeys classes are great for any young child.
Local Libraries – Most local libraries hold after-school and school holiday arts and crafts sessions. There are also sessions available for pre-school aged children. These classes are particularly good because of their low cost of £1 per session.
Artspiration –Artspiration hold a number of classes across Berkshire. Each class is aimed at 5-12 year olds. Their aim is to introduce children to art and craft with additional learning benefits, without putting pressure on children to create beautiful, complete artwork immediately.
For more ideas for arts, crafts and messy play sessions and classes for children, netmums.com has a fantastic list of everything available in your area.
The best things about arts and crafts is that it can also be done at home and it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of skill or equipment. Something as simple as a colouring book and pencils could help you feel calmer, happier, and boost your overall sense of wellbeing.