From instant meals to smartphones, modern convenience has dominated our lives. We did not need to learn to iron our clothes, sew a button, or perform a quick faucet fix. In only a few taps or clicks, we could get top-notch services for those problems, anyway. But the COVID-19 pandemic hits. Suddenly, most of us have slowed down and found ourselves wandering back into learning old-school DIY skills.
There’s value in old-fashioned DIY skills. Beyond saving money on home services, learning these old-school DIY skills can give modern individuals a much-needed mental health boost, a profound sense of community amid a socially distanced world, an interesting way to connect to our past, and so much more.
Crafting Can Calm Your Mind
Sure, it’s exciting to focus on a completed DIY project. But there’s so much more than the final output. For one, the entire process of fixing or creating something from scratch is an effective way to de-stress. In a time of crisis, our fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in as our brains are wired to pay great attention to threats. That’s even if the threat is an invisible virus. Sewing, knitting, or working on a DIY kitchen renovation demands focus. It can pull your attention from an invisible threat to your tedious task at hand.
Also, the repetitive actions of sewing or retiling a kitchen floor can elicit a relaxation response against the collective trauma of enduring a pandemic. That response is similar to how calming meditation is.
Learning a New Skill Can Help You Meet New Friends
It has been a challenge to find new friends amid a pandemic. Even as restaurants, gyms, and clubs reopen, some people still have a lingering feeling that they need to keep their distance from others. But when you learn a new skill, you can easily become part of a group of like-minded individuals. After all, it’s easy to talk to strangers about a shared interest, be it online or in personal interactions.
Say you’ve developed woodworking skills in the past year. You can quickly connect with new friends by merely asking about good equipment in a Facebook group of woodworking enthusiasts. And once you’re comfortable going out with strangers again, you can then take those new friendships to another level.
DIY Home Projects Can Give You a Great Sense of Accomplishment
When was the last time you handled a project at work from start to finish? Today, most jobs require workers to handle or oversee a single or a few tasks over and over again. Say you work as a writer at a digital marketing firm. Since your job is to write copies, you won’t likely see how the salesperson in your company managed to secure a new client or how the customer provided after-sale services to that client. While focusing on your job is great, not knowing what happens to your copies after doing it doesn’t give you much of a sense of accomplishment. Compare that to performing a home project on your own.
For example, you want to redecorate your glass conservatory at home. You have the chance to be present in the entire process—from securing new but rare furniture to wiping the glass windows before showing the finished output to your loved ones. That can give you a profound sense of accomplishment. That can also provide you with a mental health boost, which you may especially need in a time of global crisis.
Old-fashioned DIY Skills Allow You to Connect to the Past
When you create something with your hands, you get to go back to the fundamentals. You get to tug at the primal energies, which can assure you that you’re still part of humanity. Also, learning old-fashioned DIY skills allows you to connect to the past. Learning to tend your vegetable garden can take you back to those days when you used to tag along with your grandmother as she harvests tomatoes at the farm. The same goes for learning a dying art such as blacksmithing. Mastering to forge cast iron perfectly can open a lot of opportunities to learn more about medieval times.
The Bottom Line: Never Stop Creating
The act of creation can have a powerful impact on your well-being. So, the lesson here is this: never stop creating—with or without a pandemic. And if you run out of new things to do, give old-school DIY skills a try. Old-fashioned DIY skills can give you a chance to slow down and calm your mind—no matter how fast-paced the modern world is.