November 04 2020 – Caireen Brown
During this year of the pandemic I have seen a huge return to home crafts and in particular sewing. I think instinctively we know that when other things are out of control it can be extremely calming to sit down and create something from scratch, something entirely within our control.
I've been sewing my whole life. My Mum taught me and her Mum taught her. Of course in those days sewing your own clothes and mending clothes was an essential skill since clothes were expensive and not available the way they are now.
Sewing now is often more of a hobby and with the advent of throwaway fashion, an expensive one. However as well as being able to make yourself something completely unique, sewing also has many other benefits, such as -
- It's all consuming! - Maybe not an obvious benefit but bear with me. Being able to completely absorb yourself in a project helps to focus the mind and switch off your brain from other things. It aids concentration and is a proven way of improving your mental health.
- It's creative - The satisfaction of creating something new completely from scratch provides a huge sense of achievement and pride and we all need that. Didn't you know, sewing is a superpower!
- It's social - The sewing community is truly the most wonderful place. A place where we all appreciate each others skills and learn from each other all the time. No matter how long you've been sewing there is always something to learn. On social media there are thousands of sewing groups and in towns and villages country wide you will find a network of crafters delighted to chat about their love of sewing. A visit to your local fabric shop can turn into hours of sewing related chat and leave you feeling happy and lifted and who doesn't want that?
- It can help others - At heart as human beings we want to help others. Sewing is a fantastic way to do this. Whether it's making a blanket for a friends new baby or mending a hole in someone's jeans, you'll know you'll get that lovely warm glow from knowing you've made someone else's day better.
- It's fun - Anytime you have fun your serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates many of our most basic processes–including sleep, memory, body temp, and mood. Doing activities you enjoy that help you relax and connect with others naturally increases the body’s serotonin levels
So there you have it! If you sew already then you're already helping to protect your mental health and if you don't, what's stopping you? Come join in the fun!