Well-being | Creative hobbies to our rescue

The craze for DIY and creative hobbies is visible, particularly on social networks. Many converts loudly proclaim the positive benefits of their activities, whether knitting, pottery or watercolor painting. Should we get involved too?


According to an American Psychiatric Association survey released in July, people who engaged in a creative activity weekly had better mental health. To reduce their stress and anxiety, 24% of them drew, painted or sculpted and 19% did crafts.

The writer and poet Stéphanie Filion organizes several artistic workshops, including collage and poetic zines. She asks participants (mostly women) to assess their well-being before and after the workshop. Even if her statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, the artist emphasizes, they noticed a 24% increase in their well-being.

A well-being that she herself rediscovered after experiencing professional burnout. His favorite artistic activity, writing, required a little too much effort. So she turned to collage. “I really reconnected with collage, something I did as a teenager,” explains Stéphanie Filion. I was so amazed at how good it felt that at one point I even quit my job. » She now divides her time between writing, collage and her workshops.

PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Stephanie Filion

Pascale Germain discovered a passion for pottery seven years ago. “I was just tired of eating from white plates made in China,” explains the trained engineer with a laugh. And then I said to myself, hey, it would be great to make them myself. » After taking pottery classes and renting space in a workshop, she fully equipped herself at home. The one who started pottery out of interest saw the beneficial effects on her daily life.

Making ceramics requires a lot of letting go. I really like this process and so when I have both hands in the clay, I would say that it is mindfulness meditation.

Pascale Germain

A way to disconnect

“Being fully aware of what is happening and getting away from our concerns, because the arts tend to occupy all the space, it allows us to disconnect,” explains Pierre Plante, art therapist, psychologist and professor at UQAM .

When she sits in front of her pottery wheel, Pascale Germain stops thinking about work and her “to-do list,” as she describes. Some psychologists have already documented this state of flowan optimal psychological state that involves concentration, absorption and pleasure.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY SYLVIE FUSADE

Sylvie Fusade, art therapist

As soon as we immerse ourselves in a creative hobby, there is “an effect of relaxation, anti-stress relaxation and self-realization,” explains art therapist Sylvie Fusade.

Benefits that could also be found in sporting activities, underlines psychologist Pierre Plante. However, he believes that we can benefit from art, which is above all a mode of expression. “Often you also learn about yourself,” he says. Without forgetting the playful side, one of the focal points of Stéphanie Filion’s workshops. “People really need gaming in their lives,” she believes.

The importance of the process

“I focus my workshops a lot on the question of process and I try to do the same thing for myself,” says Stéphanie Filion. So, it’s bringing me back to what I’m doing now and what matters is doing it. » The writer particularly enjoys cutting out images and words here and there for her collages, “it’s as if I’m collecting ideas”.

“Often, individuals tend to want to create by making a plan,” says Pierre Plante, who suggests that people instead experiment. Why not try letting our brush or our needles guide us for our next work? “It’s about enjoying the process and not always looking for an end goal,” he says.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY PASCALE GERMAIN

Pascale Germain’s homemade pottery workshop

There is no need, therefore, to create something perfect. “It sometimes gives us something other than what we have in mind, it can lead us to make great discoveries,” explains Pascale Germain. While initially, the pottery enthusiast remade all her dishes, she is now more into exploring. “Sometimes I don’t have a plan at all!” she says. I take my turn. And then, what I think is a vase will become a bowl or vice versa, it doesn’t always work the way I want. »

Creativity, the main driver of these activities, can be useful to us in several areas of our lives. “It’s something addictive, it’s a good drug,” concedes Pierre Plante.

In DIY, we often do with what we have at hand, underlines art therapist Sylvie Fusade. We are therefore obliged to find solutions to concrete problems.

You exercise your creativity in something very simple, but it also opens channels. Afterwards, we can apply it for more abstract activities.

Sylvie Fusade, art therapist

Like solving a problem in our personal life or at work.

Take time

How can we integrate a creative hobby into our daily lives? You have to dedicate time to it and prioritize the activity. “The big challenge for people is not having the equipment, it’s taking the time and justifying taking time for yourself,” believes Stéphanie Filion.

“I really encourage people to dive into something, then look at what happens and not judge themselves,” advises Sylvie Fusade.

“We often have a desire, something that excites us, but we always have the feeling that it is not for us,” believes Pierre Plante, who recognizes that it can be destabilizing at first.

And how do we find an activity that we like? The choices are numerous, so you can experiment with materials or different hobbies. Many courses are also offered in workshops or in city programming. Not forgetting the videos on social networks. So, shall we get started?


reference: www.lapresse.ca

Leave a Comment