Tuesday 26 January 2016

The therapeutic effect of being creative

Art and creativity have an important role to play in improving the health and well-being of individuals. Therapeutic effects include relaxation, a way to express yourself and can lower blood pressure. In addition, these effects can boost the immune system and reduce stress.

sewing mends the soul, hand sewn, embroidery, quote, hoop, vintage, fabric, sewing, text, handwriting

For me, hand sewing is one of the ways I like to relax. I find concentrating on the stitches helps me to focus on the moment, like a form of mindfulness. I also like the sense of accomplishment when I reach the end of a sewing project. I run my fingers over the stitches and feel proud of my handiwork. Once one project is complete, my mind jumps to the next idea. It's definitely an outlet for my creativity.

Over the past nine years I have created many pieces using hand sewing techniques. Such as Happy Cat Waving inspired by a drawing my niece created when she was six. I love to embroider some of my favourite quotes, like this Dr Seuss nugget from "Oh the Places You'll Go". More recently I have sewn an applique version of my vintage fabric rabbits and a nostalgia inspired fortieth birthday canvas for a friend of mine.

I have enjoyed making every one of them and yet I often don't have the time to sit down and stitch. Or I don't allow myself to have the time. I think it's indulgent to sit down with fabric and threads when I could be doing something more 'important' such as housework, paperwork, food shopping. The less than thrilling tasks a busy home requires to keep ticking over take priority over sewing.

I've recently blogged about wanting to protect my mental health and embrace my creativity. So why don't I make something that makes me happy a bigger part of my life? It's probably a question many busy people ask themselves whilst trying to juggle work and family life.

I took part in a Story of Mum "Make Date" on Twitter a few days ago. These "Make Dates" are great fun and offer "a chance for mums to get together on twitter and tweet while we attempt to do something creative - like doodling, taking a photo, writing poetry, making stuff or even squidging plasticine. We give ourselves some creative me-time and connect with other lovely mums."

Whilst chatting to the other Mums I talked about wanting to get back into sewing. Many of my projects sit abandoned in a box upstairs because I 'don't have time' to complete them. My New Year blog post focussed on a popular Anne Lamott quote and the wish to "embrace a big, juicy creative life' and resolve to do less of the things that make me feel bad.

A combination of absorbing the Anne Lamott quote and the Story of Mum "Make Date" gave me the impetus to pick up my sewing again. I completed this vintage fabric "Sewing Mends the Soul" embroidery hoop last week. It's not a ground breaking piece of textile art, but it makes me smile.

This year I am going to aim to create at least one sewing project a month. I will blog about my creations and use the hashtag #craftingismytherapy over on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I would encourage everyone to make some space in their life to tune into creative pursuits. Whether it's painting, throwing some clay on a wheel, metalwork, music making, carving wood or doodling...whatever inspires you creatively. Just enjoy taking the time to do something that makes you happy.

Grab my badge below...

Me You and Magoo

if you'd like to sew more of my sewing projects, I have a board over on Pinterest:

Follow Pouch : blogging + craft's board Hand embroidered wall art on Pinterest.


Unknown said...

So true! And so delighted to 'meet' another sewing enthusiast - there's something so lovely about fabric and buttons and making something new. I love your work :) And yes, being creative is definitely good for relaxation, good for well being, and basically good for the soul. And yes, we seem to constantly fall into the trap of placing it as a lower priority to all the other stuff like housework etc. I wonder why that is? I, like you, am aspiring to lead a more creative life this year - feel free to check out my blog which is capturing some of my endeavors, would love to know what you think. I'll enjoy following your pinterest board of all your makes, they are fab. Have a great day :)

Coombe Mill - Fiona said...

I totally get it but can't sew to save my life, I'll stick with watching your delights and doing all my no sew crafts! #sharewithme

Let's Talk Mommy said...

Oh yes I can relate crocheting is the same for me. Very therapeutic indeed. Keep it up and what a great goal and hashtag to start lovely. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round of #sharewithme

Unknown said...

Fabulous idea for a new linky - have added a couple of posts but will try and head back over the month to comment on some others. Good luck, I think it will really take off x

Me, You and Magoo said...

I really hope it can grow into a supportive community. I tend to prioritise so many other things over crafting & it's often hard to find time. But I want to try and create at least one project each month!

The messy brunette said...

That hoop is gorgeous, I love embroidery, trying my hand at a piece at the minute. I love putting crochet mandalas in hoops also. I definitely agree crafting is therapy, keeps me sane but my bank is not so happy!. Thank you for this link up its great to see other peoples creative talents at play.

Anonymous said...

I agree it's important to take time out, sewing or rather embriodery is new to me but loving it. Crochet is my wind down

Maria P. said...

I was just thinking about all the unfinished craft and art projects that I've started but end up in limbo because I get caught up in the busy-ness of life. Your post has inspired me to make more time for myself to do what makes me smile - thanks!!


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