By Sheila Reist

The pandemic is beginning to lift, but during the height of it I had experienced a lot of negative feelings to a degree I hadn’t before. I struggled with anxiety about the pandemic and current events, fear of what the future would bring, loneliness from missed time with family and friends, and feelings of intense sadness as time progressed and nothing seemed to be looking up.

At some point I realized that I had to make what I could of the situation and that maybe taking a break from television and the internet would be more fulfilling. Fortunately, I had been encouraged to keep myself occupied when I was growing up, so I’d already had a background in crafting – but even for those that haven’t tried it, there are so many affordable kits available it’s pretty easy to get into.

A lot of creative things I usually enjoy, like drawing and painting, are more open-ended and felt overwhelming at the time. After doing some research, I came across a bunch of different kits on Amazon and found one that I thought I’d really enjoy which was a dollhouse miniatures kit. The dollhouse kit appealed to me because I liked them growing up, but there are so many styles of miniatures, that though I thought of them as very feminine, they really run the gamut of interests! Like the idea of a tiny restaurant, barn, car, or museum? There’s almost certainly a miniature kit for it.

What I loved about the kits was they really hit that sweet spot of having something to do, but without having to make any big decisions which I found to be very stress-relieving. There are always directions to follow and with kits, they usually come with everything you need so you don’t have to worry about having to purchase a bunch of tools, wood, or other knick-knacks (just be sure to check you don’t need to order glue or tweezers for instance).

Miniature crafting has been a huge relief to me, and I think it can be worth the try for anyone looking to occupy themselves. It’s relatively low cost and can be made cheaper by using materials you already have laying around; it’s screen-free so you can make some time for yourself that’s away from news, social media, and television; and most of all it’s just so satisfying. Each little item that’s completed comes with its own feeling of success – of something having been accomplished. These little lily pads of peace and personal satisfaction helped me through the harder parts of the pandemic, and will be something I rely on in the future when I’m feeling stressed.

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