20 May, 2020
There used to be a time when kids used to take pride in their scrapbooks, and diligently maintained it as a memoir. However, the art of scrapbooking lost its charm, especially when the digital Blitzkrieg happened. Today, most kids prefer to use digital platforms like Instagram as their scrapbook. And yet, there are a few who like to stick to the offline world of scrapbooks as well.
Interestingly, scrapbooking is not a simple activity done for fun. There is evidence that suggests that it has some health benefits too. In Western countries, many seniors have also taken to scrapbooking, and why not? Wouldn’t seniors be the ones who carry a lot of memories with them, which they want to share with people around? It is an enjoyable hobby, keeps you occupied, and enables you to leave some charming memories behind for your family.
What is it?
Scrapbooking could be a collection of anything that is near and dear to you, that you want to preserve forever. It could be a letter, greeting card, stamps, recipes, movie or air and rail tickets, photos of all momentous occasions, etc. For that matter, the choice is yours, and it could just be about anything. Though the word says scrapbooking, it is not necessary, you stick everything in a book. You could even collect and keep everything nicely in a box. Even decorating the box of memories that way you want it could be an added charm.
The multiple benefits of scrapbooking are mental stimulation, reduction in stress levels, the sense of self-worth by being engaged in a lovable activity, socializing by sharing the same with family and friends, etc. It could even be used as a gift item for family members on special occasions. Kids and grandkids would love to see some of the stuff about their early lives, as well as that of their grandparents. It could become a huge factor for family bonding and bridge the generation gap if any.
Improved mental acuity
One of the most important outcomes of scrapbooking for seniors could be improved mental acuity. Research suggests that going through the memories and recollecting the past, can aid with a process called neuroplasticity. This process helps in the growth of new neural pathways throughout our brains. This helps improve our cognitive capabilities and thus provides better mental accuracy. Looking through the scrapbook and trying to remember and recollect the events, people, and the experiences are good for the mental health of the people. It also puts them in a good mood and brings about overall wellbeing.
Anxiety can be caused by many factors, and most often in old age, it could just be the feeling of loneliness. Looking through the scrapbooks can provide a sense of calm, and reduce anxiety levels. One may get the feeling that there are people out there, who are our family and can be reached out to for help. Also, if you try to arrange these memoirs in a certain way, artistically, it keeps you occupied, and works as a form of meditation. Lower stress levels can help us enjoy other activities better, and help with an improved health scenario.
Improved motor skills
If you are using a physical scrapbook wherein you are sticking all your memoirs, that can help improve the motor skills as well. Your hands will be using scissors, glue, etc. to shape the memoirs to fit into the available space on the pages. This will not just improve your mental faculties, it also improves the hand and mind coordination. You will not want it to look messy and will pay attention to ensure that you do a good job. You may find that your skills improve as you go along, and this will put you in a good mood.
A socializing tool
Use scrapbooks as a socializing tool, by sharing it with your family and friends, if you feel so. You could have scrapbook sharing sessions with your family members that could turn out to be a walk down memory lane for all. By sharing it with your friends, you could discuss similar life situations and more. You could use it to run family quizzes about certain experiences and events and keep a family bonding going. This activity can bring in a sense of understanding among the family members, leading to better relationships overall.
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