October 14, 2014

Sewing for my Mental Well-being

I went home to Australia for a short visit and noticed that the television network ABC (the Australian BBC) was really promoting Mental Health week. This made me super excited! Mental Health has unfortunately taken the back seat when it has come to Health, so to see it in the lime light was marvelous. I have worked in the area of mental health for many years now and I work in a holistic sense.... so what has this all got to do with sewing? Read on!

'Why is sewing good for my mental health?'

1. Beat Depression and Burn out. 
In this fast paced world, where many people live and breathe their 9-5 job, it is easy to get burnt out and experience depression. Having something else to come home to can provide some relief. I find that when I am having a difficult period at work, I know that I can shift my focus to my creative projects at home

2. Supportive Sewing Community

You are apart of a fantastic supportive community who are truly passionate about creating! They can brighten your day!

2. Develop patience, resilience and  persistence
Patience - Sewing can force you to slow down and take your time, so in a sense it can help to calm you. 
Resilience - We all have those projects which seem to go all wrong, so you need to be resilient to get through it. Bounce Back and persist!

3. Learn new skills and create new neural pathways!
Learning new skills is good for healthy brain development. Create those new pathways!

4. Experience Flow
I experience moments of flow when exercising and when I sew (or design or print). Flow is when someone experiences total immersion in an activity. For me it is intrinsically rewarding and I experience a feeling of serenity. Here is a good article on flow

5. Pride and satisfaction 
There is always an element of pride and satisfaction when you complete and wear a garment. My proudest sewing moment was on my wedding day when I designed and sewed many outfits for the occasion:)

6. Unleashing creativity.
Unleashing your creativity can be a great outlet for your emotions and it can make you happy!

Martin Seligman specilises in positive psychology and discusses creativity and mental health. So check out some of his work for more info!

Have you noticed the link between positive mental health and sewing?


  1. I totally agree with this - sewing is absolutely a flow activity for me. Often when I think it's just a frivolous fun way to pass time (and spend money!) I have to remind myself of how key creating is to my mental health. It's not just a hobby but something healing too. Great post! :-)

    1. Agreed! I like your use of the word 'healing'. If you are not feeling all that great, it sure can be a 'pick up'. (fabric shopping does this too, but yes it can put a dent in the bank account).

  2. Preach! The ABC initiative has been fantastic and you have totally drawn some great points out here. I am all about the flow of sewing- it is one of the few times in my life where my brain actually quietens down. Awesome post :D

    1. Totally! My brain quietens down too. I tend to have some attention problems (I get too excited about anything and everything) so I think that the flow experience does me some good.

  3. Awesome post! I totally agree with all your points.

  4. I sew to be creative, creating clothing I can't find in stores and personal enjoyment but basically when everything else in my life at times is chaotic or traumatic it definitely keeps me sane!

  5. Certainly sewing maintains sanity!

  6. I totally agree on this! I feel that sewing has helped me get out of many "down" occasions and I love having a tool to express my creativity!