Sewing quietly – Prioritising self-care.

sewing and mental health - prioritising self-care. By thisblogisnotforyou.comOh, hi! It’s been a while!

I’m back from yet another random blogging break. I wanted to start right back with a fun little project post, but now that I think about it, I’d rather talk a bit about shifting down a gear and putting self-care first. It’s such an important topic and it shouldn’t be brushed over by just going on posting the next cute outfit.

I have to disappoint you, there’s no big reveal or good excuses. I just took a while off blogging and social media because other areas in my life were a bit busier than usual.

Did you read my post a while back, about why we should stop making our hobbies stressful?

Well, I just basically followed my own advice! Since I started a further training course last year, the work bit of my work-life balance has a bit more weight to it. I have to study or go to seminars on weekends and have a bit more on my to-do list at work. Also there are times when my daytime job as a psychologist is more stressful and demanding than usual. This is why I took the “worky” bit out of my hobbies for a while. For me this sometimes also means blogging. As much as I love it, it can sometimes feel a little bit like work. To be honest, it IS work in the way that blogging for me is also a side business that needs to be run. It’s a very small business, but a business nonetheless. Emails, calls, project planning, taxes and all that. Editing pictures, writing content and managing social media is more or less the “fun part” of the business.

sewing and mental health - prioritising self-care. By thisblogisnotforyou.com

It’s hugely important to have the courage to prioritise self-care when needed. It does not mean being a selfish person, but looking after oneself, when your body and mind tell you to.

I’m a perfectionist and I take everything – including my hobbies – quite seriously. Feeling like I cannot live up to my own standards stresses me out endlessly and can be a source of anxiety. I love my blog and I’m fascinated that there are, oh, so many lovely people out there that have been following this little blog’s adventure for ages and still are enjoying content that I create. Taking a break sounds easy enough, but I noticed how much courage it still costs me to make a conscious decision that IT IS OK. This is the part you should always keep in mind: It is OK to self-care. 

The frozen blog had been a nagging thought in the back of my head before I consciously chose self-care before an overly organised hobby. It just felt so disappointing that I couldn’t make the time or have the energy to blog at the time. At first I thought I would disappoint blog readers if I just stayed quiet like that. I now know that it was rather my own feeling of disappointment over my lacking standards.

It’s hugely important to have the courage to prioritise self-care when needed. It does not mean being a selfish person, but looking after oneself, when your body and mind tell you to. Being anxious that others  might think you’re selfish makes it sometimes really hard to stand up for your own mental (and also physical) health.  When you actually find the courage to do so, the feedback in most cases is one of appreciation and understanding.

Now that I feel like I really want to – not should – share the next project, it’s a good time to ease back into blogging! During my offline-time I explored some other hobbies (like book-binding, knitting and crochet) and also delved into projects that I usually wouldn’t consider “bloggable”. (That sounds awful, right?) Mostly projects for kids or little personal gifts that I do not see fit to put up on the blog. I had a lovely but quiet creative time. I would even say it was therapeutic in a way, that I could use my hobbies again as counterbalance to work-related stress and immerse myself in funny little crochet projects and sewing for my friends’ babies.

Although I’m now swamped with emails of people almost aggressively offering guest posts, I feel like this break was more than worth it. Instead of adding to the stress, I could explore my hobbies as something incredibly refreshing and therapeutic. It helped to clear my mind and busy my hands on very stressful days.

Quiet sewing time is a source of calm and peace. Take it when needed.

The same applies to self-care in general. Just as you rest when you are physically exhausted, you need to allow yourself a mental-health time to balance things out again. I’ve been making the conscious decision to cancel an engagement in favour of self-care more often over the past year. I now also let other people know that I’m cancelling not because of time issues or scheduling conflicts, but because I feel stressed or drained that day and need to look after myself. So far, not a single person could not understand this. In most cases I even got very endorsing and supportive reactions. It showed me once again being anxious about other people’s opinions and reactions is wasted time.

sewing and mental health - prioritising self-care. By thisblogisnotforyou.com

Have you made similar experiences? Do you sometimes struggle with self-care or stressing out about even your own hobbies?

Please chime in, if you feel like it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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10 thoughts on “Sewing quietly – Prioritising self-care.

  1. Hi Charlie, although I love reading blogs I understand that they must be time consuming to produce. I think with social media there is a lot of pressure to produce something new and exciting all the time. I have told myself that sewing should be fun and a way of relaxing for me. I decided not to take part in any Instagram sewing challenges this year and focus on just the things I want to sew. So far some of these have coincided with challenges but that is happy accident. I am refusing to get sucked into the latest pattern pressure, etc and just enjoy my sewing time. I’m glad you have found a balance that is working for you. Lisa x

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your lovely comment! Yes, it’s so freeing and such a relief not to feel pressured to take part in everything and blog regularly and create amazing content etc. Doing something for the fun of it is a lot healthier! We shouldn’t make our hobbies into “work” we do when we get home from work…!

    1. That’s the question I’m asking myself! Sometimes it’s all a bit too much, and this is when I try to shift down a gear and de-stress a bit! I love all my busy hobbies and my work, but one can get caught up in way too many projects very quickly.

  2. I so understand the need for self care because I sew , crochet and do mixed media art . Several years ago I was being asked to crochet stuff for people all the time and it lead to me falling out of love with crochet infact I didn’t crochet for a whole year . Now I take time out every so often and I find I return especially to sewing more refreshed and more clear headed

  3. Several years ago I started saying “No thank you, I don’t want to” to things and I NEVER LOOKED BACK. Wanting to do something is enough, and not wanting to is enough, too! Sounds like this was a worthwhile time for you!

  4. Absoliutely. Last year I had built up a pile of fabric, patterns etc that I was pressuring myself to sew and it was beginning to overwhelm me. One morning I found a big box, put in all the stuff that I could do without making and sealed it up. My husband took it to the garage for me and I still haven’t asked him to bring it back. Nobody suffered from or complained about my decision and I enjoyed making 2 little snuggly quilts (my first) for my grandchildren.

  5. Charlie, this is exactly where I am right now. I bailed on a couple of church choir rehearsals and social things this week because of burnout from a stressful work situation as well as stress from… QUILTING! Unfortunately the quilting stress can’t be helped at the moment; I only have until May 26th to finish my son’s graduation quilt (there’s a big ceremony with all the graduates getting wrapped in their quilts with their families laying hands on them for a blessing — it’s a wonderful service but I feel so much pressure to get the quilt done in time and may have bit off more than I can chew in the time frame). Thanks for the very timely reminder that it’s much better to take a mental health day when you need one than to wait until you hit your breaking point and it’s a nuclear meltdown!

  6. Hello….found you from a pic on PINTEREST. I enjoy crafting blogs and it is nice to find yours. I struggle all the time with self care and with the death of my mom in Jan. Life has been even more so. Part of mine also is that I have fibromyalgia really bad and after 13 yrs of dealing with it, I still have a had time excepting it so I push more then I should. Looking forward to enjoying your blog.

  7. So many yesses. Thank you for taking time off, and thanks for coming back and writing about it. I totally feel you on the “stressful hobbies” front. My life has gotten incredibly busy over the past couple years, and sewing time got cut. But I still want to sew, so I find myself saying “yes” to project requests from friends and family- which I love doing. Sometimes it works out and I carve out time to sew and relax. Other times things get put off and become more and more stressful. Or I want/need an item of clothing, and keep telling myself I’ll make it when I really don’t have time! Or telling myself I’ll do a fun project after I’ve finished my pile of UFO’s. Learning how to say no to project requests (so I have less stuff I “have to” sew, and no to non-sewing things (so I can make some time to sew), has been key.

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