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‘Happy Hookers’: creative well-being

Photo credit: Total Shape

 

The Guardian released an article this week focusing on how creativity can support mental and physical well-being. Progressive GPs across the world are beginning to prescribe creativity as a treatment, a bit like how exercise is now prescribed in the UK. The 'Happy Hookers' are crochet enthusiasts with a difference...

As you can imagine, we were very pleased with this article and our colleague Fran wanted to learn more.

 

Creativity on prescription

I was intrigued by this article on creative well-being. One of the examples involved GPs in Australia who are now offering an 8-week programme called ‘Creativity on Prescription.’

Initially the GPs were reluctant to recommend craft and the arts as a therapy, but after recent studies demonstrated the effectiveness, they began to appreciate the preventative and curative health benefits of creativity. 

I believe a daily dose of creativity is the best medicine; it focuses your mind and stops you thinking about the things you are worrying about. 

 

Well-being and crochet - are you a 'happy hooker?'

The article was inspired by the work of acclaimed medical researcher at the University of Wollongong, Dr Pippa Burns, ‘Happy hookers’ which makes links between well-being and crochet.

Burns surveyed more than 8,000 crocheters, and found that 89.5% of respondents reported the craft made them feel calmer, while 82% felt happier.

 

‘With rising rates of mental health disorders being reported globally, it is imperative that we investigate economical and accessible ways to increase relaxation and reduce stress. While there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence as to the positive effects of domestic crafts on mental well-being, there is little empirical research in this area. As such, we aimed to explore perceived links between crochet and well-being.’

 

If you are a happy hooker, or want to be, you can to learn more about Dr Burns' research via the full article here. 

 

What was your lockdown craft saviour?

We all know someone who says ‘I’m not creative… I don’t have an artistic bone in my body’ but we know different at CraftCourses. Everyone has the potential to be creative and to embrace the benefits of it.

Like Professor Burns, I have embraced the art of crochet through lockdown. Like many of us, I went through a phase of feeling isolated and pressured to pretend that ‘everything was normal' and paint on a smile, when the world around me was in turmoil. I needed a new craft that I could give my full attention to. I used online tutorials to begin with, lost my patience a few times, cursed the crochet hook, and then as I got to grips with structured methods and improved my skills, my confidence and satisfaction grew.

I worked on simple projects for beginners first, like crocheting a headband and then worked on more complex pieces, even learning the art of amigurumi crochet.

 

Some examples of Fran's crochet projects through lockdown

 

Creative well-being workshops:

 

Crochet workshops

In-person, online and kits

Crochet is a therapeutic craft that you can really lose yourself in. It is also a practical skill, you can create gifts for loved ones or fantastic accessories for yourself to enjoy. 

From £8.95

 

 

Colour therapy

In-person, online and kits

The colours you choose in your home and garden can have a major impact on your well-being. Learn more about the colours that make you feel good.

From £49

 

 

 

Sewing workshops

In-person, online and kits

A popular choice for students who wish to focus on a practical task and improve their mental well-being is sewing. Students of all ages can enjoy this craft ArkdeFo offer an online workshop for 8-12yr olds. 

ArkdeFo online workshop £80

 

 

Drawing workshops

In-person, online and kits

Whether you are drawing a beautiful mandala or a still life bowl of fruit, drawing can be a meditative tool. A perfect craft for beginners or those looking to refresh their skills. 

From £8

 

 

Needle felting workshops

In-person, online and kits

Needle felting has boomed as trendy craft in the last 12 months and many people have benefited from the therapeutic process of turning raw materials into works of art. 

From £10

 

 

Painting workshops

In-person, online and kits

Whether painting 'en plain air' at your favourite spot, or creating a portrait of your family pet, painting can be a quiet pleasure and focus your mind on a positive outcome. 

From £5

 

 

Well-being workshops

In-person, online and kits

Some of our workshops are specifically geared to supporting you with your physical and mental well-being, you can try making your own handmade soap, sculpt with clay, create your own herbal remedies and lots more. 

From £8

 

 

Are you in favour of arts on prescription?

Have any of you had a social prescription? We would love to hear what your experience was and how easy it was to access via your GP. 

Based on the research, do you feel this is the way forward? And how has your experience led you to this belief? 

We love hearing from you so please Contact Us with your stories!

 

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