How Sewing Benefits Your Mental Health and Wellness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to discuss how sewing benefits mental health! Whether you’re quilting, hemming, stitching, or upholstering, sewing serves as a cathartic creative outlet and rewarding form of self-care. Who knew needle and thread could have so many mental health and wellness benefits? We did! That’s why we’re so passionate about sewing.
Top Ways Sewing Benefits Mental Health
1. Creativity Makes Your Brain Happy
Sewing is a great way to unleash your creativity—and all of those wonderful endorphins! Studies have found that being creative improves your mental health, brain function, and physical health. That’s a hat trick of benefits!
No matter where you are on your sewing journey—advanced and creating your own patterns from scratch or picking up your very first project—you can mentally benefit from sewing. Start getting creative by selecting the fabric or fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind piece. Or, customize something you already own. You can embellish clothing, pillows, and more with custom embroidery. You may also make alterations to make something uniquely yours.
Whether you’re adding sleeves, shortening the hem, or tailoring a garment to your exact measurements, sewing your own clothing is a fantastic way to express yourself and show the world who you really are! This kind of creative expression feels great and can make a big impact on your mental health and wellness.
2. Sewing is a Source of “Flow”
If you have a sewing project that only requires mindless stitching, rather than intense focus, you can tap into a state psychologists call “flow.” If you have ever become so absorbed in an activity that you totally lose track of the time, you have experienced flow!
When you are in a flow state, you feel energized, present, mindful, and totally focused on the activity. This allows you to temporarily forget about anxieties or other things that bog you down. Taking time to focus instead of multi-task also makes you feel less scatterbrained and harried.
There are many immediate benefits of flow activities, and some researchers believe that frequently engaging in flow activities can even increase long-term happiness! So next time you find yourself “in the zone” while working on a sewing project, know that you are doing yourself some big favors for your mental health.
3. Sewing Can Be a Social Activity—And People Thrive With Social Stimulation
Feeling like you are part of a community has major benefits for your mental health—especially in this day and age. Sewing may seem like a solitary activity, but you can make friends and find a community through sewing!
Quilting bees, for example, are common events where people gather to work on their quilts. Even if you aren’t a quilter, there are many clubs and groups you can join that focus on sewing. You can head to Facebook Groups to find birds of a feather that speak to your soul. If you can’t find a group, you can start your own! Just grab a few friends that love to sew—or want to learn how—and you’ve got your very own sewing club. Whether it’s a Zoom meet-up or in person, you’ll get a chance to chat, share your creativity, and benefit from a social setting.
These kinds of groups are a great example of how sewing benefits mental health. A sewing group brings people together to talk about their shared interest, help each other with their projects, and learn from each other. This can be a very positive experience that builds lifelong friendships. Even if you don’t personally know other sewists, there are many online groups and forums you can participate in as well to enjoy many of the same benefits.
4. Using Your Hands Is Good For The Soul
Are you a fidgeter? You may want to seek out an activity like sewing to keep your hands busy. Sewing is a great tactile activity that can help relieve some of that nervous energy and create a better mind-body connection. There is something so soothing about putting your fidgety hands to work to create something physical!
For many people, a mindless tactile activity can even help them focus. The tactile activity can act as a kind of lightning rod, keeping the mind from wandering to more distracting thoughts. Try watching an online lecture or a TED talk while working on a simple sewing project and see if it helps you pay attention! It’s amazing how many ways sewing can benefit mental health.
5. Sewing is Calming
When you have had a hard day, working on a sewing project can be so soothing. Okay, maybe not ripping out zippers. But the vast majority of sewing is fun and soothing!
For many people, sewing can feel like a way to channel your pain and negative emotions into something positive. Creation in any form can have this effect, but there is something about sewing that feels especially personal. Maybe it’s because, after you’re finished, the art you have created is something you can wear, carry with you, give to someone you love, or snuggle up to.
You may have learned your sewing skills from someone close to you, and sewing reminds you of your connection with that person. Then, when you show someone else your sewing project, you feel a sense of pride, an emotion that psychologists tell us is important for mental health and wellness. Sewing is powerful!
We hope you have learned something about all the incredible ways that sewing may benefit your mental health! Feeling ready to start a new self-care routine in the form of a sewing project? Check out our shop for everything you need to get started.
*None of the above are medical claims. Please consult your physician about your mental and physical health.