The benefits of doing arts and crafts at home

Being creative before or after Zoom classes can help put our mind at ease


In between episodes of freaking out during the week of the winter storm, I picked up the craft of collaging, and I am glad that I did — it was actually really relaxing.

Practicing arts and crafts at home is an act of self-care. You definitely don’t need to be a talented drawer or painter — I am neither of those — and you don’t need that many supplies either. Even doodling counts!

Turning all of your focus and thoughts to creating something fun and low-stakes can be a big stress reliever. Instead of thinking about that assignment you need to finish or the big event you have planned for tomorrow, working on a craft can allow you to focus all of your attention and energy on that creative activity.

In this way, creating can be a really meditative experience. It allows you to be present with the artwork you are creating. And at the end, you are left with a final product (or feeling) that you can be proud of having made all by yourself.

Creating arts and crafts at home stimulates creativity, and it can be done with little effort on a college student’s budget.

Here are a few suggestions:

All you need for creating a collage is old magazines, newspapers or books that you aren’t afraid to cut up, scissors, a clean sheet of paper or cardboard and glue or tape. Start by cutting up old fragments of magazines, newspapers or books that grab your attention. Then assemble all of the fragments on your clean canvas and glue them together in an ensemble that pleases you.

Draw or doodle
This arts and crafts activity might be the most laid-back. All that you need is a pen or pencil and paper (mix it up with some fun colored writing utensils). You can draw or doodle at any time and in any place. This is a really laid-back craft that can cause instant stress relief.

Photo Walk
Get outside and go for a walk with your phone or camera handy. Be on the lookout for things, people or places that you think are worth capturing a photograph of. Try to find beauty in things that you normally wouldn’t give a second glance. This is a good craft to help you shift your perspective.

Creative Cooking
If you have access to a kitchen, whip up something new and funky with the leftover food in your pantry and fridge. Mix things you normally wouldn’t think of together and see how it turns out; this is a creative activity for those not afraid of failure, or, find a recipe that you want to try, gather the ingredients and give it a go. To be successful in the kitchen, the most important thing is being able to follow a recipe.

Pick up a pen and paper or open a new document on your computer and write something creative, or journal your thoughts and worries so that they aren’t floating around in your mind anymore. Writing can be a good and healthy practice of letting go of things that no longer serve us.

OK, hear me out. Close your door, put on some headphones and music and dance when nobody is watching — this is an excellent and healthy way to let out your feelings and express your mood. Although it might feel a little silly, who cares! Dancing is a wonderful form of self-expression.

Most of these options also provide us with a much needed break from our computer and/or phone screens. After Zoom classes and working on assignments on my computer all day, I find it especially important and beneficial for me to participate in an activity that doesn’t involve a screen. Mindfulness is important for our self-care, and getting creative is an easy and fun way to be mindful — just don’t take it too seriously!