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On Saturday it was a World Mental Health Day. Mental Health is a subject that is talked about a lot more than it used to be. However, it always seems to be so much easier to talk about someone else’s mental health than your own…or at least that’s what I find. Whether we like it or not, mental health affects all of us. We all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and those we love both physically and mentally. There are lots of different things that contribute to good mental health. Some people keep a gratitude journal, while others like to meditate or exercise. For me, though, it has always been crafting.

My Story

in fact there is nothing I hate more than people giving me sympathy

Before I start, this is not a sad story, in fact it is a very positive one. I must also add at this point that some mental health issues need professional help and in some cases medication so always speak to a professional health care advisor if you are struggling with mental health. I am just sharing my own personal experience and what helped me.

As a child I was always the quiet one in the group, believe it or not. As I reached my teenage years I started struggling with severe anxiety. It caused many problems with my health including panic attacks and non-epileptic fits. I was told by countless doctors that there was nothing wrong with me and that I should stop pretending and stop wasting their time. It certainly did not feel like I was “just pretending”. After a year of this, I finally decided that it was time I took control! I did some research on how to cope with anxiety attacks and took it one day at a time. It was a real turning point for me because I started to realise the strength of the mind. It has taken many years to get a grip of my anxiety and I still have a constant battle every day with negativity and self-doubt but it is a battle that I am determined to win every single day!

Now, I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me because this is actually a positive story about mental health. From my own experience I learnt the power your mind can have. It made me realise that anxiety should not have to stop me from achieving anything I put my mind to.

Crafting for Your Mental Health

I have learnt over the years how I cope best, which will be different for everyone, but for me it is embroidery. Crafting and embroidery has been a massive part of the process. I would set projects for myself that would really challenge me. If I thought to myself at the start of the project “there is no way I could do that!” then I would practice, practice and practice some more until I succeeded! The feeling afterwards would give me so much confidence and with each project my self doubt got less and less.

There is something incredibly therapeutic about embroidery. The repetitiveness of each stitch, the sound of the thread as it passes through the fabric, plus it’s screen-free! It has the ability to completely absorb all your attention until suddenly you realise that you are focussing on nothing but each individual stitch.

I hear so many people say that embroidery is something they could never do! What I hear however is “I don’t have the confidence to try it!” Embroidery is not just a therapeutic craft but it also has the ability to build confidence, especially if you are a nervous stitcher. That is why for World Mental Health Day I have released a simple FREE embroidery pattern so you can have a go at embroidery for yourself. I have countless videos on the Knowle Craft Instagram page and I am currently adding videos to the Knowle Craft YouTube channel so you can follow along and learn to embroider one stitch at a time! I would love to see how you get on with this pattern and hear your story. you can leave a comment or send a message to me via the contact page

Happy Stitching

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