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We know the past year has been a challenge, whether that’s been homeschooling, keeping the nation going as a key-worker, missing family and friends and so much more besides. However, we had an inkling that there were some positives to take too.

Today (6th May) we’ve teamed up with model and mental health advocate Katie Piper to share the interesting trends we discovered in a recent survey, and to offer a little advice for keeping up some of those good habits we started in lockdown.

Katie Piper Cricut Joy

Together, we’re urging everyone to carve out just half an hour a day of #TOYO (time on your own). We believe this simple principle will help us all maintain the positive aspects from the past 14 months and help us keep a balanced state of mind as ‘normal’ life resumes.

The TOYO principle

Katie says: “The past year has been a hard time for many and we’ve had to adapt to a lot of change. But as this research by Cricut shows, many did enjoy the extra time to themselves.

“Personally, although I’ve really enjoyed spending more time with my family, it’s also been lovely to carve out a little more time for myself when I can and I’ve loved using my Cricut.

I think post lock-down it’s important that people still remember to earmark time for themselves each day, ideally a solid half an hour.

Time on your own. or #TOYO, is important for us all and can make a really positive impact on your wellbeing and outlook on life!”

The headlines

Here are some of the key findings from our survey:

  • A third of British adults (35%) preferred lockdown to normal life
  • Over half admitted to feeling happier during lockdown compared to pre-restrictions
  • Having more time to relax and more time to oneself were the key factors
  • One in ten people surveyed (9%, which equates to almost five million UK adults) would prefer lockdown not to lift at all

The research found that a huge proportion of adults across the UK used the additional free time in lockdown to pick up a new hobby or skill – something 25% did, rising to 37% for adults aged under 35.

Cooking (20%), exercise (20%) and baking (16%) were found to be the top three most popular ‘lockdown hobbies’. However, creativity was also found to flourish, with 14% of hobbyists turning to art and 13% to crafting.

Amongst those who took up a new hobby, it became a key part of their routine, spending on average four hours a week honing their new skills.

The research found that learning new skills had a very positive impact on them over the period – 45% of those who learned a new hobby or skill experienced a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.

It was revealed that those that took up crafting and creative hobbies noticed the biggest impact on their mental wellbeing, with three of the top five hobbies to improve mental health being: sewing (54%), crafting (52%) and drawing or painting (52%).

However, with lockdown lifting, more than five million UK adults (based on 11% of the population) are worried their mental health will suffer as ‘normal’ life resumes – perhaps indicating why some preferred lockdown life. 

Over a third (37%) cited worries about losing time at home and a fifth (21%) said they simply feel nervous about the idea of making social plans.

The research found that UK adults feel that in order to look after their mental health and wellbeing, they need 34 minutes a day to themselves.

That’s why together, Cricut and Katie Piper, are calling for Brits to safeguard half an hour of TOYO (Time On Your Own) each day.

Kathy Hodson, UK & Ireland marketing manager at Cricut says: “It’s amazing to see all the creative skills people have developed in the past year and there clearly is a desire to keep them up amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

“And with Cricut, you can. Whilst we may not all have spare hours to spend on hobbies anymore, there are literally thousands of creative projects to be made with Cricut in as little as 15 minutes. And the feel-good factor when creating something yourself only adds to the benefits. 

“So if crafting is your thing, or whatever it may be, make sure to book out some me-time and keep mindful post lockdown.”

Make Katie’s Projects

In November 2020 we worked with Katie Piper to develop some ideas for craft projects that would help us all to spread some #MessagesofJoy.

Read about her projects here and follow the links below to make her projects in Cricut Design Space.

Katie makes a card using her Cricut Joy in this video.

We worked with Opinium to conduct research amongst 2,000 adults between 16th and 19th April 2021.

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