DIY with a side of dopamine? Yes, please.
Though I’ve tinkered with crafts for years, it was only about seven years ago when it really took hold in my life as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. A cross country move and subsequent breakup led me to fill my weekends with projects around the house – making a home for myself with found and thrifted objects, getting great satisfaction from a fresh coat of paint and a little elbow grease.
In 2013, I stumbled upon a custom fragrance shop in New York, The Fragrance Shop NYC, as I was looking for an activity during a New York visit – something aside from eating and drinking my way through the city (a novel concept!). It was, in a word, magical. I selected the fragrance notes that appealed to me most and handed my choices over to the perfumer. She mixed and played and tested for the next two hours, resulting in two custom blends that I still treasure. Although I did not do the actual mixing and measuring, I fell in love with the process and the feeling and I wondered - could DIY beauty be the ultimate form of self-care?
Make a Candle, Ease Anxiety
To this day, like so many people I deal with anxiety – in fact, Approximately 40 million American adults — roughly 18% of the population — have an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. While nothing is a complete cure-all for me, I have found crafting and creating to be an incredible tool in dealing with anxiety! I find that when my hands are busy creating a perfume or candle, I shift into calm mode – after all, as the old saying goes “busy hands are happy hands”.
While I can’t make a generalized professional recommendation in terms of addressing anxiety, I can speak from personal experience. A hobby such as making your own self-care goodies can be incredibly therapeutic. There is a calm that sets in and a satisfaction that comes from doing something with your hands for yourself or as a gift for others. We can think about it as having a similar effect of cooking and baking. This article on Smithsonian.com cites a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology that suggests “people who frequently take a turn at small, creative projects report feeling more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives”.
Making is Meditating
Crafting your own self-care and beauty products, like cooking and baking to ease anxiety, delivers an emotional benefit similar to meditation and breathwork. The action of making something with your hands forces you to be focused and present (and bonus, your hands will get messy so no social scrolling during your DIY session). You also have the benefit of a structured activity with a beginning, middle and end which can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Let's Make Something!
At Costa Craft Beauty Co. (C-OH-sta), we believe in self-care rituals and the therapeutic benefits of making your own lotions and potions. Our mobile DIY beauty workshops are available in the greater Los Angeles area, Palm Springs and Orange County. We’ve helped over 2,000 people create their own unique, custom self-care goodies through our DIY perfume, candlemaking and body scrub workshops. Invite us to your studio, boutique or home for a DIY Beauty Workshop where you can enjoy the benefits of creating something from scratch. It might just be the feel-good boost you need! Learn more about our DIY beauty workshop in Los Angeles here.