It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by our daily routines and the endless demands of the digital world. Checking apps, attending meetings, scrolling through social media, reading news online, and replying to emails can make it difficult to switch off. As a result, you feel either distressed or stressed (or both).
Mindful practices can help you manage these feelings of stress. While most people think that “mindful practices” involve yoga, healing crystals, and “all things zen,” it’s not always like that. Mindful practices can be hobbies that calm the mind. One popular hobby that can help you keep calm is sewing.
Knitting and sewing go beyond searching the Internet for dress patterns or making sweaters for your pets. It is a calming activity that helps you keep your worries at bay. In some cases, it can help people manage their depression and anxiety.
So, if you’re looking for a calming activity that can support your mental health, sewing is good for you. If you need more convincing, consider the following.
Sewing as a Mindful Activity
Engaging in a mindful hobby like sewing can help you pay attention to your feelings and thoughts, which is good for your mental health. Being creative nourishes your well-being since you are exploring possibilities. With sewing, you’re focused on two things: the thread and your thoughts. What do you want the result to be? At the same time, how are you feeling today?
Sewing gives you an outlet to focus energy. It can also give you a sense of accomplishment, which boosts your mental health.
Finally, sewing can also be a form of meditation. You’re concentrating on what you’re making: the construction, the materials, and your sewing technique. Your focus is not on the worries of the world but solely on the stitches that you make.
Sewing as a Distraction from Negative Thoughts
When knitting or sewing, you’re giving your mind a break. In one study, researchers encouraged patients with anorexia to try knitting as a hobby. According to the study, 74 percent of the participants felt more relaxed when they knit. Sewing helped them feel more distracted or distanced from any negative emotion.
When you’re overwhelmed with emotion due to negative thoughts, it helps to subdue your thinking by focusing on other things. Since knitting and sewing are delicate crafting projects, you’re focused more on these activities instead of your worries for the day.
Sewing is more fun when you do it with another relaxing activity like drinking tea or watching your favorite Friends’ Christmas episodes.
Sewing Helps You Be More Mindful
Sensory overload happens when you multitask too much. It’s impossible to stay balanced and relaxed when you’re doing more than one task at a time. You can eat your dinner while watching your favorite series, texting your manager on your phone, and simultaneously write down the next day’s to-do list. This scenario doesn’t even factor kids and partners into the equation yet. When you’re thinking about multiple things and trying to do everything all at once, it’s easy to get exhausted.
Never underestimate the importance of focusing on one thing. When you do one thing at a time, you’re practicing mindfulness.
Stitching forces you to be mindful. You are fully immersed in the project. When you sew, you do it step-by-step since doing a shortcut might ruin your project. When you sew, it’s impossible to multitask since you have two hands, and you need both of them for every step. Many sewing projects demand you to be in the moment without stressing you out.
If your thoughts are still running around while you saw, perceive your senses. Focus on the scissors cutting through the fabric, the sound of your sewing machine, or the feeling of the material laced between your fingers.
Sewing Gives You A Sense of Accomplishment
Finishing any project feels like a big win. Wearing or even holding something that you made from scratch gives you a feeling of satisfaction. A sense of accomplishment does wonders for your self-esteem.
And it’s not just about making sweaters or clothes and ticking off your bucket list. Sewing teaches you new skills. It encourages you to improve. At the same time, you have more opportunities to be more creative. Sewing also sharpens your problem-solving strategy (especially when your project ends up in knots of thread).
Sewing as an Effective Coping Strategy
If you’re struggling with stress or are suffering from depression or a lack of drive, sewing can help you cope. It’s a big package of a sense of self-confidence, accomplishment, and being at the moment. It offers a healthy distraction.
Sewing is also a structured activity that encourages you to work on a project at your pace. Since it’s a step-by-step process, you can stop anytime without feeling frustrated. Sewing isn’t just a household chore. It can be a healthy coping mechanism for anyone who feels exhausted or overwhelmed. So, if you feel tired or stressed, consider sewing as your new hobby.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.