By Heidi Koffman and Emily Wottreng

It’s pretty fair to say that 2020 is the year of national anxiety and depression—and quarter one of 2021 isn’t looking much better. We already know team builders are an important part of creating team cohesiveness and unity, but most companies slashed team builders in their budgets trying to survive.

Below are a few reasons to begin planning a holiday or quarter one do-it-yourself (DIY) or crafty team builder for your company.

Get on the mindfulness and meditation wagon
According to the article “This is your brain on crafting,” by Jaqueline Wilson at CNN, crafting is akin to meditating. “[Scientists are] drawing connections between the mental health benefits of meditation and the Zen reached while painting or sculpting.”

Busying your hands with something that may seem less important frees up mental energy. Have you had anxiety over the lack of control felt this year? Rest assured, your employees have! Somewhere in the middle of stringing thread around hammered-in nails that becomes a string art masterpiece, you realize you can’t control the behavior of others, but you can make this. Crafting allows you to put your worries on autopilot and redirect your energy, changing the mood of your whole day. Doing this as a group in a virtual team-building environment allows individuals to be mindful together and share their accomplishments and creations.

Help employees combat anxiety and depression
Catherine Carey Levisay, a neuropsychologist, and wife of Craftsy.com CEO John Levisay says, “…. that creating – whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography (or) cake decorating – is beneficial to us in a number of important ways.”

The science is in
“Dopamine, in and of itself, is our natural anti-depressant,” Levisay says. “Any time we can find a nonmedicinal way to stimulate that reward center, the better off we’re going to be.”

The solution? Hit the reset button on your brain
By focusing on the repetitive motions of knitting, or the intricacies of creating a cactus painting, you tone down your sympathetic nervous system. This turns off what has been raising your heart rate and giving you that nervous tic, and turns on your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms you down. It’s almost as if your body was made to craft!

Craft Nights is a local women-owned business in Phoenix. They have shifted their business model from in-person craft parties, to virtual parties, specializing in corporate events and team builders to provide companies an affordable way to help employee engagement, virtually. They provide “to-go” craft kits for companies of all sizes that can be shipped straight to employees, delivered, or picked up at their local studio off 32nd Street and Shea. For more information, email hello@craftnights.com or visit craftnights.com.