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The benefits of meditation are countless, from reduced feelings of anxiety and stress to increased compassion for yourself and others, and getting a better night’s sleep. Studies have even found that meditation can actually change the structure and function of your brain for the better.

So yes, meditation should really be part of your self-care routine. But if the thought of sitting still and trying to empty your mind fills it with racing thoughts of worry – fear not! We’ve rounded up three creative outlets so that you can practice mindfulnes­s – the essence of meditation – to improve your mental health.


“Research shows that craft activities like sewing release the feel-good hormone dopamine while providing a distractio­n from worries, giving people a creative outlet, a sense of accomplish­ment and helping people feel happier,” reveals Ernest Arulkumar, managing director of Singer.

Using a sewing machine can be an incredibly mindful experience, thanks to its tactile elements and its ability to engage all your senses.

“You see the needle whiz up and down and hear the machine whirring, and at the end you’ve created something beautiful you can actually wear,” says Ernest.

For someone who finds it difficult to switch off, the step-by-step process of sewing requires concentrat­ion and creativity, and also leads to a sense of accomplish­ment.

“During the process of creating your masterpiec­e, you enter a Zen-like state of flow, and the distractio­ns and worries of the outside world can slip away for a while,” Ernest explains.


OK, it might be a chore you hate, but hear us out with this one. Sally Flower, a Konmari Method-trained organiser and founder of Home Sanctuary, explains that apart from not being particular­ly nice to look at, clutter can actually have a negative impact on our physical and mental health.

“The foundation of mindfulnes­s is to be aware of the present moment, acknowledg­ing and accepting feelings, thoughts and sensations,” explains Sally.

Rather than just moving through the motions of tidying as if we’re on autopilot, Sally says we can bring ourselves back to the present by stopping to look at an item we’re putting away – noting its texture, colour and feel.

“Intentiona­lly connecting and appreciati­ng our home is an ideal way to slow down

a wandering mind,” she says. “Just by taking notice [of] what we have in our home and giving every item an intentiona­l place to return to after use, we are acting with intention and bringing mindfulnes­s into our lives.”


“Allowing your mind to focus on something out of the norm does wonders for your mental health,” says Isabella Masia of Belsflora, who explains that flower arranging helps her find a sense of calm and clarity.

You don’t need to be a profession­al florist to enjoy the meditative joys of flower arranging, Isabella says. Instead, you just need an open mind and desire to create.

“Why not head down to your local florist and try picking out a few contrastin­g bunches, and see where the colours and textures take you?” she suggests.

Isabella adds that scents can also help by allowing you to be present in the moment, as well as give your mental health a boost.

“I work with dried lavender at times, which has its own healing properties to calm the mind,” she explains.

 ?? ?? Copy Zooey Deschanel and switch off with a cruisy weekend cook.
Copy Zooey Deschanel and switch off with a cruisy weekend cook.
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