My husband said he is going to cut my access to the internet because I keep finding cool projects to make that require his help. He’s kidding of course. I think.

One of my traditions for the holidays is to make at least one new decoration each year, particularly ornaments for the Christmas tree. As usual this holiday, I went to the local craft store for a few items that were needed for this year’s project. It was amazing to see so many others at the store doing the same thing. There was a sign near the check-out counter that declared “Crafting is cheaper than therapy.”

What is the definition of crafting? It is basically an art, trade or occupation that requires a manual skill with careful attention paid to details. Great synonyms for crafting are arrange, brainstorm, create, devise, discover, imagine, plan, shape, etc. (One of the things I like to do is craft sentences.)

Being involved with a craft – anything creative actually – allows you to focus on the task at hand. No distractions. Those creative moments are actually a healthy way to take your mind away from everyday problems and stress. You become completely absorbed in something that makes you happy.

Creative pursuits like crafting can also help deal with life changes. We’re at the edge of a transition stage now that our sons are older. I have more time to do projects again and this will help me adjust to the boys moving on with their lives.

Here are a few great healthy reasons why you should use your imagination and make time for crafting:

It can be a form of meditation. Focusing helps calm your mind and clear your thinking. Knitting is a great example because it requires repetitive and rhythmic movements. Many people, my mother included, like to knit or crochet because they find it relaxing after a stressful day.

Will help improve your focus. There’s a lot to be distracted about in daily life. When you are working on a creative project you need to really focus on it to get the desired results. It’s great practice for your mind – improves memory too - and in the long run you will discover that other tasks can be completed faster.

A great way to connect socially. Many people like to be part of a group for get-togethers. You can learn from each other and help others through that common connection. One of the best presents I ever received was from a knitting group in California. They each knitted me a hat after I lost my hair last year from chemo. One of my high school friends initiated this. Priceless.

Provides a sense of accomplishment. A hobby like crafting can lift your mood while it is in process. The end product shows that the challenge was met. This sense of pride in yourself can make you less anxious and more confident in your abilities.

A simple way to find yourself. You don’t know what you can accomplish unless you try. Don’t set yourself up to do the same thing over and over again. Be open to learning new things and explore new outlets. Discover what’s inside of you. Art and creativity can never disappoint.

Teaches you not to give up. When you learn something new and don’t get the hang of it like you expected, it’s normal to get frustrated. Keep trying even if it’s not perfect. A few side effects are patience and persistence.

Get into the habit of some type of creative pursuit. I plan on asking my mom for some crochet lessons this Christmas while I still have her around. What are you planning to create?