Making art and craft every day keeps the doctor away!

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Making art every day keeps the doctor away!Art and craft comes in many forms and shapes, so to speak, from (creative & expressive) writing – including so-called journaling – to knitting, crochet, woodcarving and woodworking, and everything else in between.

Your health and personal well-being, according to studies, can benefit when you make time to be creative? And, apparently, it is true! Whether you write, draw, scrapbook, or create quilts, do woodcarving, or whatever in the arts and crafts department; when you engage in something creative, your mind and body benefits.

Expressive Writing fort instance, whether it is just journaling – that is what once was called keeping a diary and done by a so-called diarist – will eanble you in other areas to better be able to put your thoughts on paper, even if the paper is but virtual.

Writing has been found to grant practicioners a host of long term benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Fewer stress-related visits to the doctor Improved immune system functioning Reduced blood pressure

  • Reduced absenteeism from work

  • Quicker re-employment after job loss

  • Improved working memory

The Science of Google's 20% Rule

Some may have heard of Google's 20% rule, some maybe not (and I must say I didn't until I came across it), which allows employees to spend 20% of their time on side projects they are passionate about. What seems on the surface to be a huge sink in productivity actually saw huge boosts for both the company and their employees.

Side projects, it turns out, boosts work performance and productivity.

A study conducted by San Francisco State psychology professor Dr. Kevin Eschleman and his colleagues measured the effect of creative hobbies on over 400 employees. They found those who had a creative hobby were more likely to be helpful and creative on the job as well as more relaxed and in control.

The finding from the research indicate that organizations may benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.

Creative activities are likely to provide valuable experiences of mastery and control, but may also provide employees experiences of discovery that uniquely influence performance-related outcomes.

Creative Therapies

There is now a whole emerging field of people who employ the arts to help people heal. It is called Creative Arts Therapies, and according to the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA), it encompasses a wide range of modes of expression including art, dance/movement, drama, music, poetry, and psychodrama. One could, obviously, also be sarcastic here and say that there is always someone – or quite a number of people – who find a way of making money from “strange professions”.

Creative Arts Therapists are human service professionals who use arts modalities and creative processes for the purpose of ameliorating disability and illness and optimizing health and wellness. Treatment outcomes include, for example, improving communication and expression, and increasing physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social functioning.

When you undertake these activities, whether for yourself or with the guidance of a Creative Art Therapist, you stand to benefit by making art.

In a world full of distractions and stress, it can be difficult to find time to be creative but considering the outcomes time should be made available and not just for us adults but also and especially for children (and young people). Their lives have become far too structured and stressful and, aside from unstructured play, letting them get into creative activities, more or less on their own, could be of great benefit.

© 2018