arts and crafts

Craft a creation

There may be times during psychiatric drug withdrawal when you’re looking for a stress-free distraction but want to do something constructive at the same time—to find an activity that leaves you with something tangible to show for the time you’ve spent. For many people in withdrawal, taking up crafts fits the bill. There are many options to choose from, with a broad range of levels of focus required from fairly “mindless” activities to ones that may demand and challenge your concentration.

You may already have a skill that you like to practice, or you may be learning one from scratch—no matter. Both familiar routines and new endeavors have something to offer in keeping your hands occupied and providing a focus that is outside of what’s happening in your body or mind.

Craft stores (and their online counterparts) are a treasure trove of ideas and supplies. Inexpensive materials can also often be found at local thrift stores, while many common household items such as pens and pencils, paper, sewing kits, or hand tools can be put into use for arts and crafts.. As for the how-to instructions, many free or low-cost crafting classes are offered out of community centers, arts stores or people’s homes, while the web is a bottomless fount of helpful and often free written guides and videos.

Here are just a few of the craft activities that people have reported to be a good distraction during withdrawal:

  • Build with Legos. The beauty of this activity is that you can select the range of difficulty you feel up to.
  • Construct a birdhouse. You may have feathered neighbors who would appreciate this one!
  • Create something with a kit. For those who don’t want to worry abut the hassle of finding all the needed parts for a craft, this kind of project can be very satisfying. You might consider a birdhouse-, puzzle-, or stamp-making kit.
  • Do needlepoint. Some find the guided, repetitive movements to be very calming.
  • Go to a “paint your own pottery” studio. This is a good excuse to get out of the house, while having a quiet activity to immerse yourself in.
  • Knit or crochet. If you already know how, clicking away with the needles can be soothing—and if you don’t, it could be a way to challenge your brain to learn something new.
  • Learn how to do origami. Some of these paper sculptures are easy, some more complicated; all are beautiful.
  • Make bracelets or necklaces. It’s surprising how even a simple creation using beads, stones, or other materials can become a gift-worthy object.
  • Put together a scrapbook. This can range from a random collection of interesting pictures or objects to a tactile documentation of a certain period of your life.


knitting ball