A Crafter's Guide to Stress Relief

Sea Glass Mosaic Heart

Posted 8-7-17

Shortly after my father passed away, as my mother and I were standing at his grave replacing the flowers, I realized how my mother’s health had been affected by the loss.

The grief of losing someone you love so much is palpable. It affects not just emotional and mental health, but physical health, as well. Numerous studies have shown that the survivor in the relationship is likely to develop health problems in the weeks and months that follow.

In fact, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that individuals who had lost a spouse or partner were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke within the next 30 days. My mother suffered from a series of TIAs only a month after Dad passed away. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for revving up the body’s fight-or-flight response, and her’s took flight.

So, what can we do to prevent our own catastrophic response after the loss of a loved one?

First and foremost, focus on yourself. Trust me, I know how important it is to mourn, and I encourage it. But, I can also say from my own experiences, “Don’t forget about your own needs during this stressful time in your life.”

And, as always, I encourage you to take up a hobby or pick up where you left off with a hobby you already had going. As you know, my hobby is crafting – actually all things homemade. Follow the link below (click on Sea Glass Mosaic Heart) to learn how to make this beautiful sea glass mosaic and I hope you enjoy learning about the messages sometimes left behind by our loved ones.

Sea Glass Mosaic Heart

Pineapple Doorwall Decor

Posted 7-25-17

My mom once told me a story about the legend of the pineapple and how it was named for a spoiled little girl whose mother put the curse of a thousand eyes upon her. It’s a bit morose, but one day when you’re up to it, you might want to Google the Legend of the Pineapple and read it for yourself.

I much prefer the stories about pineapples that harken back to the days of yore – colonial times, when the pineapple grew to be a symbol of hospitality, friendship and warmth.

The first known encounter between a European and a pineapple was in November of 1493, when Christopher Columbus was in a deserted Caribbean village. He and his crew came upon piles of freshly gathered vegetables and strange fruits. They all enjoyed and wrote about the curious new fruit, which had an abrasive exterior like a pinecone and a firm interior like an apple.

When Columbus returned to Europe and introduced the sweet fruit to others, it was an instant hit. But it took nearly 200-years before gardeners were able to perfect a method for growing them. As a result, the pineapple remained uncommon and coveted – a symbol of royal privilege if received as a gift.

A hostess adorning her dining table with a hard-to-get pineapple said as much about her rank in society as it did about her ingenuity. The pineapples were in such high demand that some people would rent them to households by the day! Guests felt honored by a hostess who obviously spared no expense to ensure their dining pleasure. In this manner, the mere image of the pineapple then came to express the sense of hospitality that is characteristic of gracious home gatherings.

I love entertaining. Preparing for a party may be distressful to some, but to me, it’s another way to cope with some of the realities of day-to-day living.

This craft is a simple, quick and inexpensive way to dress up your front door with a pineapple made by your own hands, welcoming your friends and family into the warmth of your home.

Enjoy it and be sure to send me photos of your completed projects to info@handsofslc.org

Pineapple Door/Wall Decor

A Crafter’s Guide to Stress Relief

Posted 6-30-17

I’m a believer in finding ways to relieve the everyday distresses that cause anxiety or chaos. And notice that I said “distresses,” because I also believe that stress is actually a motivator. Stress can be a stimulant for engagement. We often set goals in order to have something to aim for, keeping us engaged.

Distress is the negative impact that comes with losing control of your stimulants. It’s a kind of negative whirlwind that gets imposed on top of your stimulation and can lead to poor decision-making, reduced creativity and just plain old exhaustion.

Finding healthy ways to rise above the chaos when barraged by anxiety is key. Chronic distress has been scientifically associated with a weakened immune system and poor sleep habits.

There are many  ways to tackle everyday distresses – meditation and exercise being two examples. But, another fun way to escape the torrent of worry is by engaging in a craft. Get creative.

How can crafting help?

1.       It strengthens your confidence in your own abilities.

2.      It takes your focus away from your anxieties.

3.      It makes you the “master” of your own therapeutic work.

4.      It could broaden you social horizons by taking classes.

5.      It can become a meditative experience.

That’s what this blog will be about – crafting. And the great thing is that you don’t have to be a really crafty or creative person to find relief from distress through crafting.

Each time a new craft is posted through this blog, you will be provided with all of the instructions and guidance to complete each project. And there’s no pressure of having a timeline.

I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of crafting for distress relief. I even started a group where about 12 of us meet monthly at each other’s homes to complete a simple project or two. The more engrossed I get in a crafting project, the less likely I am to turn to other unhealthy coping habits – like eating or falling down the black hole of social media.

The thrill of creating something is exhilarating.

Try your hand at this wreath, and let me know how you do. Email me at info@handsofslc.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

https://craftingsistas.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/fabric-strip-wreath/

WELCOME!

This blog is about using crafting as an outlet for distress relief.

Yes, crafting.

And the great thing is that you don’t have to be a really crafty or creative person to find relief from distress through crafting.

Each time a new craft is posted through this blog, you will be provided with all of the instructions and guidance to complete each project. And there’s no pressure of having a timeline.

I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of crafting for distress relief. I even started a group where about 12 of us meet monthly at each other’s homes to complete a simple project or two. The more engrossed I get in a crafting project, the less likely I am to turn to other unhealthy coping habits – like eating or falling down the black hole of social media.

The thrill of creating something is exhilarating.

Try your hand at this craft idea, and let me know how you do. Email me at info@handsofslc.org. I look forward to hearing from you.