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I used to work in a psychiatric hospital

Every year the first Saturday in the month of April is national Handmade Day. I love the idea of National Handmade Day not only because of how much handmade is (and has been) a part of what I do. But also because there's a lot of amazing benefits from creating with our hands. I've personally experienced wonderful things from making with my hands as well as having the opportunity of seeing others benefit too.

I used to work in a psychiatric hospital and the part I loved most about my work was giving the patients opportunity to create. Sometimes that was in cooking group, volunteer group, other times completing projects in sewing group or zentangle group.

No matter what the group was it always warmed my heart to see patients finding their flow in working with their hands. To allow them some time to let their stressful situations fade into the background while they finally got to be fully present without letting worry control their thoughts.

I loved to watch how learning a new skill by hand boosted their belief in themselves and brought more smiles to their day as they realized they could do more than they thought. My truly favorite part though, was when tiny perspective shifts started to settle into their daily patterns of thinking.

When they would take the idea of slowing down, being curious, trying things without attachment to the results or engaging their senses a bit resulting in being a bit more present in the moment. Sometimes some patients would realize they could do these same things in their regular daily routines to have an impact on their thoughts, mood and behaviors. And those times were pure magic to observe.

This is truly what making and creating with our hands is about for me and this is why I'm so pumped National Handmade Day is a thing. You can read a bit more about my personal experiences with handmade here, here or here.

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