Over the past year I think it is safe to say that many of us have picked up new hobbies and past times in an effort to keep our minds active and our hands busy. The unexpected benefit of all these new hobbies though are the benefits to our mental health, something that I have really been thinking about the last twelve months.
I read a really interesting article entitled How the Arts can heal and it struck a chord with me and it came as no surprise that apparently 81% of knitters with depression who were questioned said that knitting made them feel happier. Whilst another study also showed the benefits of of creativity on our mental health, there is no getting away from it but crafting, painting, keeping busy with hobbies definitely makes us feel better mentally. And that is something that I really hope will continue over the coming months and even years.
For me it has been painting by numbers, for all sorts of reasons. Mostly I tried painting and I was rubbish at it. Like truly awful. It is like the gene that gets me beyond stick men never developed in me and no amount of watching Bob Ross on Sky Arts channels helps me, and in fact it has the opposite effect. My inability to paint anything beyond what could charitably called abstract frustrates me and does exactly the opposite of make me feel better. Painting by numbers, therefore helps me be creative AND produce something that people won’t instinctively laugh at.
In the past doing something like paint by numbers was seen as a bit of a childish hobby with the paintings being a bit old fashioned, or childish. In the past year though things have really changed and the pictures available now are stunning, with people sharing their efforts on instagram, all of them worthy of space in the most fashionable of houses.
Painting by numbers means we don’t have to come up with a design.
It takes the pressure of us, all we have to do is choose the design we want to do and all the foundations are done for us, leaving us free to focus on the creative side.
Everything you need is in the box
You don’t need to find an obscure colour to get the sky just the colour you have in your mind, it will be included. As will brushes that are just the right size.
You can do it anywhere
Because everything fits in the box it makes it easy to transport it. Take it away for the weekend with you. Into the garden. On to the beach. You don’t have to worry about carrying larger pots of paint etc.
Once you have chosen your design you can open the box and lose your self, focus on mindfulness, and escape into being creative and when you are done you can step back and say “I did that”. How great a feeling is that?
Image of painting by numbers courtesy of Shutterstock