Skills Learned at No Place Like Home Include Stress Management

December 31, 2013

If your 2014 New Year’s resolutions include getting healthier, you may be surprised to learn that picking up a needle and thread can help. Most sewing enthusiasts will talk about disappearing into their sewing spaces and not coming out for hours. But did you know that there’s more than creativity going on in there?
Clinical studies have revealed the stress-reducing benefits of sewing. You could say “a stitch a day keeps the doctor away.” The Home Sewing Association commissioned a study that compared five different home-centered pastime activities that used similar eye-hand movements and involved both experienced and novice sewers. Using biofeedback technology, changes to physiological indicators such as heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration rate, and skin temperature were recorded. The results indicated that sewing not only helped the women to relax mentally, but the subjects experienced drops in heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration as well.
NPLHThe stress-busting results come as no surprise to custom clothier, author, and sewing educator, Mary McCarthy. Mary agrees with the study results and adds “When I am in my sewing studio, my mind takes a mini-vacation from outside worries and influences. Stress melts away as I manipulate the fabric and thread and begin to see a project take shape.”
“I’m not a TV watcher so I go to my sewing room,” says a NPLH customer. “I find myself hurrying to finish what I need to do so that I can go sew. It feeds my soul.”
Another customer commented, ”So much of my daily life I spend giving to others, taking care of grandchildren, teaching Sunday School, caring for elderly parents, that eventually I begin to feel empty and drained. My sewing room is my sanctuary where I can regenerate my soul, exercise my creativity, or just enjoy the process of making something. An afternoon at my sewing machine gives me the strength to face the next care giving situation, and I am a better caregiver because I have had time to restore myself.”
Activities such as sewing are good for kids too. Sewing stimulates a child’s creativity and serves as an effective tool in building self-esteem.
“Parents today have the difficult task of regulating their children’s screen time,” says Shawn Delker, instructor for NPLH Quilt Shop. “This is made all the more difficult because the video gaming industry purposely makes their games addictive. Sewing with both boys (yes, my boys both learned to do some sewing) and girls gives a creative outlet, encourages eye-hand coordination, provides practice with small motor skills, teaches patience and direction following (both verbal and written), besides allowing for parent and child interaction. In addition, the parent and child have a useful product at the end of a project; it may not be perfect, but it is something of which to be proud.”
So as you are making your New Year’s resolutions, a plan for a healthier lifestyle should include a good diet and lots of exercise, but consider including stress management activities like sewing as well.
No Place Like Home now has the “Block of the Month” quilt finished (Jo Morton, Prairie Rose) and hanging in the shop. Stop by and take a look. The classes for this project start in January. There is a limited supply of kits, so sign up now.f


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