On days when you might be feeling a bit stressed, anxious or just low on energy, it is helpful to have an activity that can take your mind off of things, and help you calm down. Bookbinding is one such activity that can help ease you out. The process of bookbinding can be a meditative and calming experience, providing a range of benefits for mental health.
First – what is bookbinding? In very simple terms, bookbinding is simply the process of making the physical structure of a book, from start to finish. There are many different techniques for how you might bind a book. If you’ve never made books before, a saddle stitch, or pamphlet stitch book is perhaps the easiest place to start.
Here are 4 reasons why bookbinding can benefit your mental health:
Bookbinding is repetitive: When you make books by hand, you spend a big chunk of your time tearing and sewing paper together. This process is highly repetitive, and one of those things which does not create a huge cognitive load for your brain either. The repetitive motion of bookbinding can have a soothing effect on the body, similar to other types of mindfulness practices like knitting or coloring. The act of bookbinding requires focus, attention to detail, and patience – qualities that can help calm the mind and distract you from whatever it is that is bothering you.
Side note: There are plenty of ASMR videos on bookbinding on Youtube if you want to check them out!
A finished book can provide a sense of accomplishment and control: The process of creating something from start to finish can be incredibly rewarding. Completing a bookbinding project can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride, which can be empowering and boost your self-esteem.
No screens! The act of bookbinding can also provide a break from digital devices and screens. Constantly looking at screens can be highly stress inducing. Bookbinding offers a tactile experience that can provide a welcome break from the digital world. Additionally, the physical act of bookbinding can be a form of self-care, as it provides an opportunity to disconnect and focus on oneself.
It’s creative! Bookbinding can be a great outlet for your creativity, acting as a great stress buster. There’s no limit to the permutations and combinations you can try. Here’s a list of twenty creative materials for your DIY books!
Connecting with others who are also into bookbinding: Bookbinding can also be a social activity, providing an opportunity to connect with others and build community. Joining a bookbinding group or workshop can provide a sense of camaraderie and support, as well as an opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. I joined a leather working class in San Francisco some time back, and enjoyed how I met so many different people through a shared interest! (side note – why classes are amazing!)
If you are interested in trying bookbinding as a therapeutic activity, there are many resources available. Local art supply stores may offer bookbinding classes or workshops, and there are many online tutorials and resources available. If you want to stay at home and start quick and easy, check out this post on 10 resources for bookbinding beginners.
Categories: Book binding, Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Make stuff, Quality of life
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