Sunday, 3 June 2018

My Happy Head {Quilting}

I cannot stress enough just how important it is to give yourself a mental break from life. I don't need to list and theorise, or share social experiments for you to know that I am right. We all know the feeling of having everything fall on top of us, the pressures of every day life begin to engross our entire beings and we quickly reduce ourselves to followers of the system. That's not always a bad thing but in regards to mental health it is really good for you to be able to break up the monotonous cycle of the everyday with the joy of having fun. Now I have always lived to be active. It got really hard when my two children were younger and over the course of 6 months began to withdraw from the exercise classes I loved. It was devastating and unfortunately a cycle of depression then ensued. There were other facts to me feeling low but I stopped the only thing I had. I stopped the 'me' time, the moments where I wasn't a mother, or a worker, and I just became part of the every day cycle and had nothing to step out into. Letting that activity go meant more than I realised at the time. I, of course, was tired and probably felt a bit lazy and just got out of routine with doing stuff. Leaving that bit of my time out quickly meant that I had nothing to look forward to, or plan for. The importance of finding that hobby again then became a goal. After some therapy, I discovered that exercise is the main healer of any mental health issue. And not necessarily marathon training or anything, just walking, running, getting out and giving yourself that time. That's what the medicine is, the head space to be just you and that is why a hobby is such an important thing. For your own personal health and well being you need to find yourself something you can enjoy and look forward to. That is so important in the whole creative process. Do you notice that if you have a hobby, you spend a lot of your daydreaming time planning it? I bet you don't even notice but just think, instead of having nothing to think about and letting negative thoughts get in your head you create a way where there isn't room for that kind of negativity. You literally don't have time for it as you are planning and thinking about your hobby.

Quite quickly into quilting I realised that it started to take up my head space. I would see colour and light everywhere. I noticed more about fabrics, and in the simple way, even how in the clothes I was buying it was used. I spent time getting back into Pinterest, a place where I had just found myself getting jealous of how perfect everything was. It was now my source of inspiration and a place to get lost in and it felt good. I was planning, creating, learning and just having a go which all began to help me find space for something that made me happy again. I have started running, I can feel the change and just the other day I admitted to my husband that I had been feeling negative but was so happy that I was able to actually sort myself out. I hadn't needed the tears or the outdrawn talks, I have just got my space back and solely through finding a new creative outlet.

It's amazing what giving yourself that extra space can do. Like I said, the mental break you can give to yourself opens up a whole new platform to looking after your mental health. We all need that! 


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