The unfortunate reality, is most of us now know more about building websites than building furniture or machinery. In society, there’s an increasing importance placed on digital life, and digital success, than there is in the physical, tangible world. As such, many hands-on hobbies like crafting and carpentry are seeing a resurgence, as people rebel against the fast-paced, hectic demands of life lived online.
If you’ve been feeling digital fatigue, but are short on ideas for how to reconnect to working with your hands, then look no further…
Make your gifts, rather than buying them
The existence of speedy delivery services, such as Amazon Prime, means gift giving doesn’t need to be well-thought-out and planned anymore; should you forget it’s a loved one’s birthday, you can buy them a gift to be delivered almost immediately. This flexibility is good in a number of ways, but also encourages shoppers to buy at the last minute, and maybe not consider their gift gifting as much as they used to.
Next time you’re celebrating a loved one, why not give them a handmade present with sentimental meaning? You will find no shortage of inspiration and tutorials online, to make anything from a dress for a 1-year-old, to a necklace for your mom, or a uniquely infused bourbon for your father. Indeed you don’t have to go it alone, search online to see what workshops are available in your local area and try pottery throwing or painting, or flower arranging to create that perfect gift.
You will reap such satisfaction from making the gift with your own hands, and they will absolutely love receiving something so heartfelt and special.
DIY around the house
With a bit of determination, it certainly is possible for you to do most of the tasks you’d usually hire an odd-jobs man to do around the house. YouTube has a great selection of easy-to-follow videos giving detailed directions on tasks like tiling, grouting, and tinkering with an old car; follow orders carefully and you’ll be a DIY-whizz in no time!
Of course, every good worker requires good tools. So, if you’re just doing a few bits and bobs around your home then ask your friends if you can borrow the necessary items from them. However, if you think you may get into working with your hands around the house, seek advice from experts — maybe Tool Nerds – and begin setting up your ideal toolkit.
For an even more in-depth introduction to the world of DIY, why not see if there are any classes going on at your local community center — a six-week course in carpentry for instance — and then get yourself a membership at a nearby wood shop. It’s incredibly empowering to connect with a new community, over a shared love for a hobby.
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Cooking and baking: the sweet smell of success!
Few things are as rewarding as spending an afternoon in the kitchen, then sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labor — and everyone else in the house will appreciate it too!
You don’t have to be a confident cook to start developing your culinary skills. Unlike making a gift, or attempting DIY in the home, cooking and baking is relatively low cost and totally no pressure — unless, that is, you promise a wedding cake for a friend… which isn’t recommended unless you’re very sure of your talents!
While it is easy to rely on microwave meals, or fast food delivery, there’s so much emotion wrapped up in food, and you can truly put your heart and soul into a family dinner or tray of cupcakes. No bother if you make too much: share it with the neighbors, or aim to make treats for your next PTA meeting. Then you can enjoy all the fun of baking without the guilt of eating it all after!
Flex those green fingers
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a backyard or access to a community garden, there’s something very satisfying about working the land; it seems to taps into the very essence of humanity and primal nature. What’s more, there’s a pressing need for conservation support in many places all over America, so you could truly put your hands to good use by getting involved.
Start small, by bringing some houseplants into your home. Then, if you’re up to it, graduate to rehoming flowers and saplings in your backyard, before offering your services to community endeavors. You’ll benefit from the fresh air and interaction with neighbors, as well as reconnecting to tactile work. Gardening and conservation brings all walks of life together; young and old.
One of the most sensorial ways to work with your hands is undoubtedly learning massage. There are a host of different styles to explore, including Thai Yoga massage, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and Ayurvedic. Worry not, you can also learn self-given massage techniques too, so that you can benefit from this skill just as much as your friends and family!
Check in with your local beauty parlor, or yoga studio, to see if they recommend any beginner’s classes in your area; it’s a safer bet than taking on an online course, as you don’t want to risk injuring yourself or someone else by pressing too hard, or on the wrong place.
The benefits of working with your hands
Regardless of which route you take to start connecting again with tactile, physical pastimes, the benefits are generally the same. By putting down your cell phone, and closing your laptop, you open yourself up to a new world of satisfaction and connection with natural materials, and other people!
Indeed, you may be feeling a yearning or temptation to start working with your hands again — after all, our ancestors built a whole society with their hands, and these days we’re reliant on other people and digital services to do the things we could do ourselves. Don’t hesitate to explore your tactile talents anymore.