You know those times in your life that just suck? I’m there right now & like most of us I’ve been there before too. But this past week I’ve noticed something different about my current disposition. While I’m really sad (much too much family drama), I’m not as bad off as when I’ve faced similar depressive periods. I contribute this more upbeat mood to crafting- supportive friends not withstanding.I like to fancy I beat all my problems over the head until I can find some sort of peace, but more often I end up dwelling & ruminating in a bad way. By wearing the things I’ve made I’ve given myself a distraction & a mental boost. It helps me focus on the positive things in my life.
It’s been an especially nice realization because a few months ago I mused about this very thing- could wearing my me-made garments improve my overall mood. Who doesn’t like to be proved right? This is not to say that wearing self-made items will significantly improve everyone’s mood or that Blammo! all depression will be zapped away. I only mean that in my case it’s made a noticeable difference.
I can’t remember on what blog I read it, but it summed things up perfectly so I’ll paraphrase- knit to create your own warmth in an otherwise cold world.
All the things I’ve made help carry me through my day, gentle reminders of what I’m capable of doing & that I’m able to shape the world around me, albeit in small ways. They’re little bits of beauty that I created- nothing to change the world, but enough to put a smile on my face.
Of course I’ve also been sewing & knitting like a mad woman.
There’s all sorts of anecdotal evidence about knitting being similar to meditation, i.e. helps with depression, encourages mindfulness, etc. Most of my knitting happens during my work commute. Although I can ruminate an awful lot while knitting, the mere act is soothing & I’m trying to be more mindful about it. A recent search into knitting & meditation showed me that some knitters do things you would during meditation. When thoughts bubble up just acknowledge them, then let them go. My early, faltering attempts have proved helpful.
And when I get home I sew. Often much too late into the night, which doesn’t always yield the best results. But making progress & being close to finishing a garment makes me feel excited & helps me concentrate on the good things. It’s also hard to feel woefully depressed when there’s so much pride & satisfaction to be had from finished projects.
Have any of you noticed a difference in your day-to-day disposition when you wear something you’ve made every day? Even if the only me-made thing I’m wearing is socks, it makes a difference. Have such small things helped you, or does the outfit you’ve made need to be particularly well-executed & special for it to boost your mood?