Many articles and blog posts have been written about the importance of mindfulness and taking time out for your self and your mental well-being. Colouring books for adults has become very popular in recent years as well as the resurgence of journaling. In my teenage years, I went through a bout of depression after seeing the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. For an unknown reason at the time, I found writing and colouring books to be therapeutic. I even remember asking my mum to buy some more colouring books as I had already finished off the kids colouring books that we had around the house (from when my siblings and I were younger) and I needed something a bit more challenging.
As I’ve gotten older and I’ve gotten back into cross-stitch, I’ve found cross stitch to be just as thereputic as colouring in and journaling. When I’m stitching on my own, I’m able to focus solely on the task at hand and have some music, tv or flosstube playing in the background. On the days when I’ve let life get to me and I’m stuck in my head (i.e. I’m unable to vocalise the mood I’m in or I know I’m in a bad mood and it’s best for me to not talk too much), I use cross-stitch as a way to focus my attention on something positive and methodical. Additionally, when my family and friends ask why I do cross-stitch, my regular reply is ‘it’s one of the few things I can do where I’m allowed to get angry and annoyed at myself and I can’t get fired for it!’
What I hadn’t expected or anticipated was the number of people who have written about cross stitch and embroidery being thereputic! I have known for some time that other forms of creative arts such as writing, painting, sculpting etc. have enormously positive affects for people who need a way to channel the energy they have and express their thoughts and feelings. Susan Luckman (Professor of cultural studies), Kate Dwyer and Robin Shreeves (freelance writer) are just three of the many people who have written about the positive affects of cross stitch and embroidery as ways for people to reduce their anxiety and stress levels.
Which may be why subversive cross stitch like the above image, has become so popular and given cross stitch a new lease on life. As it has given people an alternative way to express themselves and communicate their thoughts and feelings that they may not have otherwise had words for.
So how has cross-stitch and the creative arts helped you? Have you been able to help someone through cross-stitch? Alternatively, do you have a favourite saying or quote? Have you put it into stitches? I would love to hear about your experiences!
- ‘How craft is good for our health’ – article posted on 27 July 2018 by Susan Luckman (viewed on 3 January 2019)
- ‘Why crafting is good for mental health’ – article posted on 13 March 2018 by Robin Shreeves on the MNN.com website (viewed on 19 January 2019)
- ‘Why art therapy, colouring books and creating stuff reduces stress’ – article by Kate Dwyer on 3 January 2019 (viewed on 3 January 2019)
- ‘Crafting keeps you healthy’ – blog post by Kelsey Loughman on 2 March 2014
- ‘Subversive Cross Stitch‘ – cross stitch pattern book by Julie Jackson
- ‘Colouring books for adults‘ – Dymocks bookstore