My mental health isn’t something I normally discuss, but with recent events in my life, it’s at the very front of my mind.
I am usually a resilient and laid-back kind of person. I get things done, I’m organised and highly motivated. Recently, this has not been the case. Due to several work-related incidents (which I can’t talk about so don’t ask me) I have been anxious. More than anxious actually. I have been on the brink of collapse, unable to breath, eat or sleep for the oppressive weight of my anxiety trying to suffocate me.
What I have been able to do (slowly and not as effectively as I normally would) is craft.
Making for Mental Health
Making things is a mindful and meditative practice. It can take a whole lot of brain space to figure out a sewing pattern. Turning to 2D pieces into a 3D wearable garment. This streamlined focus gives an attainable goal for that day. Working through small steps, totally blocking out the world as you make.
It can also be the repetitive physical process of crochet, knitting or weaving. Holding enough mental space for the activity while letting your brain wander and rest as it needs to.
As Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin say in their book Craftfulness (2018); “Making reaches into the place where ideas are sparked and where problems are resolved.”
I use this philosophy (which I have always held in my own heart) to help me through this dark and challenging time. Making with my hands helps me to feel in control of my world. I feel inspired to hope and to dream of better days to come when this storm passes.
I have a long way to go in my recovery but by focusing on making, I am sure that I can make myself whole again too.
Get Started Crafting
If you are looking for a craft to help you with your mental health, I have made some DIY Craft kits and PDF Patterns which you can purchase from my Etsy Shophttps://www.etsy.com/au/shop/AmyofMelbourne: Mindful Making with Craft
If you need help dealing with mental health or found this post triggering in anyway, please reach out to Lifeline or similar services in your area.