Thursday, 23 May 2013

Creativity and Wellbeing

I was recently reading a post on Tilly and the Buttons that mentioned Stitchlinks. I'd never heard about it and my curiosity was piqued. 

It is a movement that promotes wellbeing through creativity.  Now I've always felt that making something makes me feel better about all sorts of stuff, and since we've had a garden, DH and I also find that an hour pottering in the garden has a brilliantly relaxing affect on you.  It doesn't matter what cr@p you've had to deal with during the day/week, concentrating on weeding, mowing the lawn, sowing (or indeed sewing!) seeds etc is great at making you forget about it all and your mind is free to wander and relax.  Sewing, embroidery, crafts have the same affect on me, so I was thrilled to hear about Stitchlinks and their work.

I've mentioned it here a few times and people who have known me long will know that I regularly travel with my handiwork (eg see Madame Defarge strikes again), which is also advocated by Stitchlinks.  I stitched most of my first commission of 2013 during my daily commute.  And I remember knitting a jade green sweater for myself when I was travelling on the school bus (I had a 'thing' for jade back then and even had a jade coloured camera (which was no good when trying to take discreet photos of someone I fancied!)).  Having taken textiles at GCSE and A-level too, I was often seen carrying odd-shaped parcels to and from school (the classic must have been my soft-sculpture microwave which is still in my parents' attic!).  And in the days before 9/11 I'd even take my needle, thread and Swiss army knife on board planes and stitch my way on holiday - oh how I miss those days!  At least they're not banned from trains and buses :-)

So, if Stitchlinks can help people who feel isolated, suffer from depression etc cope better with day to day life by knitting, stitching, crocheting their way to a happier life - good for them!  I'm all for it and will certainly try to advocate creative activity as a way to 'put life into perspective' again, when things seem to be getting out of hand.
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