Dealing With Anxiety

Today, an extract from The Little Book of Sewing. It feels appropriate.

Did You Make That Small

You can’t sew if you’re anxious; you can’t be anxious if you sew.

In 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK, but being mindful is proven to reduce anxiety. What does being mindful mean? It means devoting time to your thoughts and feelings, often by engaging in a deliberate activity that you pay attention to without judging. Sound like sewing?

From personal experience, I know that sewing can be a brilliant way of dealing with anxiety.

handstitching silk hem

When world or life events beyond my control agitate me, I take out a piece of sewing. Often, I turn to a smaller task that forces me to work slowly and concentrate but isn’t as mentally taxing as, say, trying to ease in a sleeve head or neatly insert a zip.

Some examples of mindful sewing tasks might be:

• Hand stitching a hem

• Cutting out pattern pieces

• Tacking temporary stitches

• Embroidering a motif

If you want your sewing space to be your sanctuary, build slow sewing into your acts of self-love. Your serotonin levels will thank you!

Screenshot 2020-03-24 at 17.43.00

‘I am always aware that I am continuing a tradition that human beings have learned all over the world for centuries. What we are doing is both important and inconsequential.’ Blog reader, Rachel Begley

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8 Responses to Dealing With Anxiety

  1. Hand sewing zips is very simple, adds a nice couture touch, and is usually faster than faffing on the machine!

    • didyoumakethat says:

      Great tip! It’s ages since I’ve done a hand sewn zip insertion. Hmmmm…

      • I’m completely self-taught, pre-internet tutorials, and I ‘discovered’ it for myself, after many failed, messy machine zip insertions. A while back I did the ‘couture dress’ course, and hey! I’ve been couture for years!

  2. A big part of it is that it is very grounding to be physically touching objects like fabric and needles etc., plus it is taking action, so the anxiety can be pacified in those ways. It’s good all around!

  3. Lodi says:

    What a small world – I live less than 100 miles from Donnalee! I guess this demonstrates how close we all are. Sew on my friends!

  4. Caroline says:

    Here in Belgium we are in our second week of allmost complete lockdown. Yesterday my daughter and I have started cleaning out the sewing/library/storage room. The last few years it has become more of a place to dump unwanted things, like old schoolbooks. Not a relaxing place at all, It is so bad that I no longer had the courage to start a sewing project, when I look around there is stuff everywhere, it is overwhelming. It will be a lot of work but i hope it will be nice to be there, and i can get started with my Summersewing in a more mindfull enviroment.

  5. MrsC says:

    Oh yes. We chose to stay open until close of business today although I felt increasingly anxious about whether this was wise (NZ is going into total lock down in 30 minutes) but also, SO many people who craft and sew needed to take supplies home so they can make thigns and destress doing it. Lots of new to crafting people bought cross stitch stuff, knitting and crochet stuff with the intention of hitting up youtube. It’s amazing. Everyone was polite, considerate, careful and supportive.
    I am exhausted. I am also donkey deep in plans for my own i-sew-lation projects!!

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