Everyone knows that midterms can be overwhelming. Even though we’re only halfway through the semester, many of us might feel like there’s no way to escape from the crushing workload we find ourselves trapped under. But even if this is your most busy semester yet, you still need to take a moment to partake in some much needed self-care. You could use a face mask or take a nice bath, but we’ve found that sometimes those activities can’t distract your brain enough to help you truly wind down. Instead, we have a suggestion that won’t leave you feeling like you’re “wasting” your time: crafting!
Before you roll your eyes, hear us out: crafting has long been used as a form of diversional therapy (that is, a type of therapy that takes your mind off of stress or negative thoughts). When you participate in an activity that occupies both your mind and your hands, you can’t help but be fully absorbed. And on top of that, the process of making something (as opposed to distracting yourself by just watching Netflix) leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that you might be yearning for during this project-laden week.
This isn’t just an anecdotal phenomenon. In a 2009 study, 74% of patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa who were given knitting lessons and supplies reported that the activity lessoned the intensity of their fears and helped quiet negative self-talk in their minds. While crafting won’t make all your problems go away, it does give you the mental space to calm yourself down so that you can have a moment to breathe. That time away from your stress could very well help you to better focus on your tasks when you do decide to get back to it.
So how can you put these therapeutic tools to use? We recommend taking advantage of some of the amazing resources available for students in the Workroom. Located at 623 S. Wabash on the 1st floor, the Workroom is loaded with tools and supplies you can use to start your next crafting project. They have everything from the basics like paper, paint, and glue, to incredible tools like industrial sewing machines, a button maker, and a vinyl cutter. And the best part? It’s all free!
The Workroom is perfectly set up for you to let your creative self shine. So whether you’re in need of a moment to breathe, a space to get some creative work done, or just something to do with your hands while you brainstorm ideas for your next project, the Workroom has you covered. Head on over Monday through Thursday from 9am – 5pm, or Friday from 12pm – 5pm to start crafting your way to a better state of mind!