All our lives we work hard, daydreaming about those untroubled, post-retirement days. This autumn of life provides ample time to connect with our loved ones and indulge in all kinds of fulfilling activities.
However life is all about balance, isn’t it? The gain in free time is accompanied by erosion in health. Hence finding the perfect hobby during these years is a craft in itself.
Hobbies not only help you pass the time but also keep you mentally spirited, physically active, and emotionally nourished and provide you with a creative outlet to emote and express.
Wondering which hobby you should pursue next? Scrapbooking is one such fulfilling hobby that not only covers all of the above-stated benefits but is also fluid enough to accommodate everyone’s interests and style. Read on to discover some of its many perks!
Work up the cognitive skills
“Old people are set in their ways” is an overused statement, but sometimes true. Something as creative as putting together a scrapbook can help form new neural pathways and fire up the old ones. Tasks like choosing a colour palette and arranging photographs in a constructive manner help stimulate the mind. Moreover, old photographs and souvenirs can bring back good old memories and help see things in a new light. If it’s not too overwhelming, seniors can also consider making a trip to the stationery shop and indulging in some childhood nostalgia.
Boost fine motor skills
Focusing on only the physical aspect itself, scrapbooking offers many perks. There are various tasks involved like using scissors to cut paper and pictures, peeling photo-safe stickers, opening caps, spreading glue, writing captions and so on. All of these can help revamp the seniors’ fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This can further help them in retaining their independence in carrying out basic day-to-day tasks and boost their confidence and self-esteem, thus starting a holistically positive chain of events.
A personal project
The beautiful thing about scrapbooks is that they are as unique as their creators. Other activities and games may require the seniors to follow certain rules and learn to do things in a particular manner. Meanwhile grasping on to earlier hobbies like playing a musical instrument or sports can prove to be challenging as well. All of this can result in stress and frustration, however with scrapbooking the scope for creativity is endless.
From dedicating one to their favourite sports team to using all the glitter in the world, one doesn’t even have to hold themselves back when it comes to the art of scrapbooking. The craft feels personal and meaningful and thus, the satisfaction derived is also intense.
Eases stress & anxiety
Many studies have demonstrated a number of benefits of crafts for seniors. Something like scrapbooking lets one get creative in a structured method. It enhances focus and sustains concentration. One can be in the moment, away from their problem for a while. This can prove to be a very therapeutic activity, thus helping alleviate stress and anxiety and promote mindfulness, similar to the effects of meditation and music.
Sense of accomplishment
Years of hustle for establishing a rewarding career and growing a family are finally done with. However, seniors often crave that sense of productivity and accomplishment again. Thus finishing a fun and creative project as personal as this one can be very fulfilling. The sense of accomplishment gives a boost to self-esteem and overall well-being. Patients with dementia and Alzheimers often find themselves overwhelmed because of a lack of control. The satisfaction derived from scrapbooking can be especially beneficial to them.
Sorting photographs, old tickets, souvenirs, postcards, etc provides a good stimulus. Seniors can make a scrapbook about their lost spouse or close friend, or their own childhood. It can help preserve the good memories fondly and process life more positively. In elderliness, seniors often find themselves reflecting on the life lived. Scrapbooking provides the opportunity to tell the story from their point of view and derive a sense of satisfaction.
Seniors can invite their friends over or host a monthly scrapbooking club. They can share stories and show each other photographs of the good times. A scrapbook would also make a great gift to family and friends. It can also be viewed as an opportunity to bond with children and grandchildren. Pouring over scrapbooks with friends and family facilitates good conversation and evokes a sense of nostalgia.
Remember, scrapbooking is not necessarily all about fancy stickers and stationary. A pressed flower from your garden, a wrapper of your grandkid’s favourite chocolate, a joke you still remember or a simple passport photo. It’s all about bringing together the smallest of details of all that you love and cherish, like a mosaic of your life. So, grab that tin of old knick-knacks and get started!