How Crafting Can Save Your Health

By Kristin Sidorov
The do-it-yourself movement is in full swing, and homemade decorations, foods, and fashions are all the rage. Getting crafty is a great way to find a little "me time"-and it just so happens to be a top-notch stress reliever that can actually help you relieve pain, control blood pressure, beat back depression and anxiety, and aid in sleep.

Recent trends (home pickling, Etsy shops, flea markets) have breathed new life into the pursuit of crafty interests. Today, it's a broadly chic category that can contain pretty much anything that gets your creative wheelhouse working. The key is finding the right project for you. From photography to knitting, DIY carpentry projects, and cooking, you can turn it into your personal diversion from the stress of everyday life.

VIDEO: "We Can Pickle That" (from IFC's Portlandia)

It works, too. Doctors and therapists have suggested creative outlets to help cope with and relieve stress for years. Our lives demand a lot from us, and a new study shows that women are especially guilty of self-imposed stress with jam packed-schedules, leaving themselves little to no free time. But enough is enough. That same study shows a huge correlation between taking time for yourself and happiness-and really, is that surprising?

Focusing some of that productive energy toward a relaxing and enjoyable pursuit can do a world of good for your overall health. Try carving out some time every day for something entirely unrelated to your everyday duties. You may find that it helps you delegate and manage your time more efficiently, while you develop skills you never knew you had.

Here are some great craft-centric ideas and blogs to get your creative side buzzing:
-Not Martha
-Angry Chicken
-The Purl Bee
-Martha Stewart's Craft Dept.
-Makes and Takes
-One Pretty Thing
-The Crafty Crow
-Whip Up

Tell Us: What are some of your favorite crafts and hobbies to relieve stress?

Related Links:
Buy Big Ass Book of Crafts 2
Stress Management Checklist: How to Stop Worrying and Just Relax
The Secret to Stress-Free Days
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