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Research suggests people should take a break from social media and get crafting instead

By Mark Hayhurst 23 Nov 2017

The mental health charity Mind has released new research suggesting that spending too much time on social media is impacting on mood, particularly among younger millennials.

The research also found that getting creative could be the answer and so Mind is calling on people of all ages to get creative and sign-up to hold their own Crafternoon.

The general population poll of 2,051 people found that almost half of people aged 18 to 24 (49 per cent) say that spending too much time on social media negatively affects their mood, higher than any other age group. In stark contrast to this, the research also found that almost seven in ten people aged 18 to 24 (68 per cent) find that doing something creative lifts their mood.

Four in ten people aged 25 to 34 (41 per cent) and almost the same aged 35 to 44 (37 per cent) also agreed that too much time spent on social media negatively affected their mood. However, doing something creative could be a great antidote, as almost seven in ten (69 per cent) 25 to 34 year olds agree that getting creative boosts their mood.

Women were more likely than men to find that spending too much time on social media affected their mood – more than a quarter of women, compared to just over one in five men (w: 28 per cent, m:22 per cent). Women were also slightly more likely than men to find creative activities lifted their mood – seven in ten women, compared to six in ten men (w: 70 per cent vs. m: 63 per cent).

The research also found people living in the North East (32 per cent) and North West (31 per cent) were most likely to say that they find spending too much time on social media has a negative impact, with the East Midlands (19 per cent) least likely to.

Regardless of age or location, Mind is encouraging people to take a break from social media to get together with friends, family or workmates and put on their own Crafternoon, the largest craft-based mental health fundraiser in the country.

Crafternoon is part of Mind’s festive fundraising drive and means getting together with friends, family or colleagues and holding an afternoon of creative fun. Whether it is card making, knitting, crocheting, or bauble making, previous research suggests crafting of all kinds can be good for our mental health. Anyone can host or take part in a Crafternoon at a time that suits them.

Whether you organise a Crafternoon at work, school or at home, inviting everyone you know to enjoy a fun, craft-themed event while raising funds for a good cause can boost both your mood and your wellbeing. Lots of people have told Mind they find creative activities like colouring in and needlework particularly therapeutic because they help you relax and unwind, focus on producing something and can even offer the chance to spend more time with loved ones.

Free Crafternoon guides, full of tips and ideas, are available at www.mind.org.uk/crafternoon so you too can unleash your creativity and help Mind make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.

Karen Bolton, head of community & events fundraising for Mind, said: “As useful as social media can be for keeping in touch with people, it can also become overwhelming at times. People often tell us that online contact can’t replace spending quality time face to face with friends and family. Crafternoon is a great way of having some time away from social media doing something creative with people you care about. We’re really hoping people will support us by organising their own Crafternoon in the run-up to the festive season. It’s the perfect excuse to spend time with family and friends and, even better, it’s a great way to boost mental wellbeing.

“Creative activities are particularly therapeutic because they help you switch off from day to day pressures, turn negative thoughts or feelings into something positive and give people the opportunity to socialise. Crafternoon helps to improve your mental wellbeing while supporting Mind and their life changing work.

“Every penny raised will make a huge difference – just £50 could answer six calls to the Mind Infoline which provides vital support when it is needed most.”

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