Hello and Happy New Year!
With this post, I am going out on a limb that may very well crack and break beneath me, but I’m going to give a weekly personal challenge a go for 2023. [UPDATE: Ok, I didn’t make it for the whole year on this. I was still making things every week but I got behind on photographing and posting about them. But, I did get through 70% of the year and that’s good enough for me! Thank you if you followed along.]
I spent some time crocheting over the Christmas period and something interesting that I distinctly noticed was how good it made me feel to create what I did. It gets dark and gloomy here in Toronto in the winter, with the sun barely coming out at all on some days. That type of weather usually leaves me (and everyone, I assume) feeling kind of low, but I honestly noticed a mood lift resulting from creating something.
So, I looked up the mental health benefits that come with making things and found this article, which states :
“Research has shown that crafting, regardless of the medium you use, can bolster mood, improve self-confidence, and reduce stress overall. In addition, crafting has also shown to improve mental agility, improves both gross and fine motor movements, and also decrease cognitive decline. Crafting additionally has been shown to be a natural anti-depressant. Research studies have shown that those suffering from PTSD, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Insomnia and any level of chronic pain have achieved a reduction in symptoms by incorporating crafts into their lives.
Crafting creates a situation very similar to that of meditation. When engaged in a craft, you are focusing on the here and now. In those moments, time stands still. You are able to forget the stressors of day to day life and be part of something completely separate. In addition, crafting stimulates the production of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, that is responsible for pleasure and enjoyment.”
Encouraged by these findings, I’m going to try to consistently create in 2023, keeping it doable by asking myself to achieve only one success per week from the ongoing wish-list of things I want to try, and I’m going to publicly keep myself accountable by telling you about it here every week.
Maybe there’s some form of creative expression you’d like to challenge yourself to do at least once a week, and if so, please join me!
Of course, everyone’s list will be different but here’s mine …
I plan to do at least ONE of the following every week :
- Handcraft one item, or if it’s an easy thing, make several, or if it’s something that takes more time to make, share it when it’s finished.
- Create one blog post on this site (not including the Weekly Challenge update), or
- Post one video to YouTube, or
- Post one YouTube Short video (I haven’t done one of those yet, but plan to start), or
- Post 2 images to Instagram (photos are quicker to do so I’m aiming for 2 of them).
Here’s my achievement for Week 1
It involved creating an Instagram Account since I am very late to that party and, although I’ve admired many Instagram photos in the past, I have never joined in myself so I opened an account. It is called “LoulouVintageHome” and will focus on my love of vintage home décor.
And, to meet the challenge goals, I posted two images to it.
This is not a plug to get you to follow my new account, but it would be silly and strange for me not to tell you where it is (Thank you if you do follow me there, though!) :
In case you don’t use Instagram, the photos on this post are the ones I posted there. (Note: they may be a bit blurry here because Instagram is made to be viewed on a phone.)
Thank you for reading. I hope this inspires you to keep up with the list of creative things you’d like to do this year. Here’s hoping this doesn’t fall to the wayside like so many New Year’s resolutions do! Wishing you luck with your own personal challenge!