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Can your hobby actually lower your stress level and/or your blood pressure? Dr. Ian Piper from Kingston University did an experiment at a needlecraft fair. By testing volunteers' blood pressure before and after stitching, he found that the results taken after even just a few minutes of cross-stitching were much lower!
When a hobby can cross over into mental and physical well-being, it can become a wonderful tool for keeping healthy. Cross-stitching can provide not just physical well-being (in lowering stress levels) but mental satisfaction comes from creating beautiful, unique gifts for those close to you.
Some tips to help make the most of your stitching time, here are some helpful hints:
„X Make your stitching area as comfortable and well-lit as possible.
„X Get all the supplies you'll need for your project together and have them handy. (I use a basket to keep all the supplies together for each project I work on)
„X Give yourself enough time to complete projects for holidays or gift-giving. Nothing creates more stress than failing to meet a deadline, so give yourself plenty of time for those types of projects.
„X If you come to a large block of one color floss, stitch it in small chunks. Also goes for backstitching. I love to cross-stitch but hate to backstitch so I do it as I go along.
„X Give yourself permission to splurge on your "stash" every now and then. And even if you don't plan on buying anything right now, looking through cross-stitch catalogs is fun, relaxing, and can give you ideas for the future.
„X Above all, don't forget that you stitch because you like it! If you are not in the mood, don't force it. Pick up the needle when you are ready!