Craft to Heal with Nancy Monson

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<ul><li>1.Craft to HealNancy MonsonCreativity, craft and health writerHealth coachAuthor of Craft to Heal: Soothing Your Soul withSewing, Painting, and Other PastimesEmail: nancymonson@earthlink.netWebsite: www.nancymonson.com</li></ul> <p>2. Life is Stressful Most Americans today are feeling moderately or even very stressed out and they know its affecting their health American Psychological Association, Stress In American Survey, 2011 2 3. How Crafts Can Help:Psychological Benefits Relieve stress Help you relax Distract you from worriesand from overeating! Give you a feeling of achievement Raise your self-esteem Allow you to examine your inner feelings and express them Boost your mood Can be shared with others3 4. My Divorce Quilt: Through theWringer4 5. My Divorce Quilt: Close Up 5 6. Home Sewing AssociationStudy 30 women Five tasks requiring similar eye-hand movements Sewing a simple project Playing a card game Painting at an easel Playing a hand-held video game Reading a newspaper Measured gauges of stress before and after doing fivetasks Results: Sewing was the most relaxing Journal of the American Medical Association. 1995;274:291. 6 7. HeyI Did a Study! 11 women (9 in crafting group,2 in control group) Ages 37-64 Craft an hour a day for a week Take stress survey before and after crafting Craft group: Everyone benefited, with modest toexcellent results Control group: One person had no change after reading/watching news, one person felt increased stress 7 8. Chronic Illness Research British studies of women with chronic disabling illness Can do craft despite ill health Fills a void in their lives when they couldnt work anymore Distracts them from thinking about their illness and from pain Enables them to express their grief Provides a social network 8 9. Cancer Research Studies of people living withcancer show crafts and art-making allow them to be morethan just someone with cancerAllows them to do somethingmeaningful with their livesDecreases depression andanxietyImproves self-esteem9 10. Crafts for Every Mood When youre sad try quilting, sewing When youre anxious try knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch When youre reflective or pensive try scrapbooking, collaging, photography When youre angry try ceramics, sculpting, gardening10 11. Physical Benefits of Crafts Your mind has a powerful impact on your body By releasing negative emotions through creativeendeavors, we can help heal ourselves11 12. Creativity and Aging Study Older adults followed for 2 years Those who participated in creative activities such as jewelry-making and singing: went to the doctor less often used less medication were less lonely and depressed12 13. Spiritual Benefits of Crafts Crafts can help youreconnect with yourauthentic self, your corebeliefs and values, andyour higher power Creativity guru JuliaCameron says the act ofmaking art is actually aform of prayer As gifts of the spirit andto the spirit, they bringbeauty to the world 13 14. How to Reap the HealingBenefits of Crafts14 15. Find a Craft You LoveNot all crafts appealto all peopleSome are MarthaStewart types wholove detail-orientedcraftsOthers are morespontaneousMatch your craft to your personality! 15 16. Make Time for Your Craft Reframe your craft time in your mind: Its not a self-indulgence, its a medical necessity If you stop taking a drug, youll lose the benefit the same is true for relaxing activities such as crafts 16 17. Make Space for Your Craft Give yourselfpermission to taketime for yourselfandmake a place foryourself in yourhomeeven if its onlya bag filled with yoursupplies! 17 18. Build a Network of Crafters We need to interact withothers to stay healthy Life-long learning andhaving a strong socialnetwork are two of thekeys to healthy andhappy aging Crafts and hobbies canward off feelings ofloneliness and isolationand help caregiversreach loved ones 18 19. Exercise to Stimulate YourSenses Helps you get unstuck when youre faced with creative roadblocks Calms and energizes you at the same time Reduces stress Boosts your mood 19 20. Enjoy the Process Once youve madesomething, no matterhow pretty, theexperience is over What you make is onlythe residue of howmuch fun youve had,says fabric artist DianeEricson 20 21. Forget Perfection Let your craft challenge you, not drive you crazy Perfection is exhausting! Give yourself permission to be imperfect and to play Allow yourself to be abeginner or wherever you are on yourpersonal creativity journey Dont compare your work to that of others21 22. Crafty Is as Crafty Does Carry your creativity with you every day andevery way to reap its healing benefits You have to own your creativity, develop it,grow it like a garden, says Diane Ericson All human beings are creative Creativity can take any form...doing a craft...gardening...cooking...solving a problem at workwriting in a journal22 23. Crafts arent just fun theyre therapeutic!23 </p>