Random Ramblings

Crafting and Mindfulness – or, how to stay sane during the holidays…

In the crazy run up to Christmas, it’s easy to get so swept up in the desire to create the perfect holiday that you end up doing, doing, doing. No relaxation, no self-forgiveness.

But that’s not what crafting or the holidays should be about! So I thought I’d share what keeps me grounded, serene, and patient. Most of the time…

Ok, quick confession, because it explains how I found mindfulness: I have bipolar disorder. Used to take lots of prescription stuff for it. Now I take one pill a day and mindfulness does the rest. In fact, I don’t even have to check in with a doctor or psychiatrist anymore because mindfulness has been so effective!

Mindfulness is at least as effective for depression as anti depressants. Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran an article discussing the benefits of mindfulness for depression.

But you don’t have to be depressed to use mindfulness! If you find you are stressed, overeating, grouchy or spacey, mindfulness can help! If you find that you are constantly thinking about all the stuff you need to do + worried about stuff you can’t control, mindfulness will save you all that mental faffing! If you find that, instead of enjoying dinner with your family, you can’t stop adding more tasks to your ‘to-do’ list, you are a great candidate for mindfulness.

But here’s the most important piece of information for crafters: you can craft and practice mindfulness at the same time! I do it all the time!

It’s hard to describe what mindfulness is. Here are a few things I’ve found on the web:
Be Mindful is a UK campaign promoting mindfulness – there’s a free ‘stress test’ you can take, plus some pretty good general information.
About.com has an information page devoted to mindfulness. The information isn’t very detailed, but it’s a good introduction.
Psychology Today magazine has a very good introduction with some really great links, plus a really in-depth article about how to start practicing mindfulness yourself.

Another easy way to get into mindfulness is to buy a book or cd by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I’m not affiliated with him in any way. This book comes with a fantastic cd with some guided meditation sessions, long and short.
Or you can look for mindfulness on itunes and find guided meditations there too, for pretty cheap.

If I told you that you (and your family!) could be happier and more serene, and it would take 10 to 20 minutes a day, wouldn’t that be worth checking out? And I’ll confess this as well: if I get out of the mindfulness habit, my family notices and asks why I’m so stressed and grouchy. So I’ve learned the hard way that family happiness really only costs me about 15 minutes a day.

Also, I went on over to RANDOM.ORG, put in the numbers for the giveaway, and gill’s number came up!! Congratulation, gill! I’ll try to email you, but if you haven’t heard from me, email me with your address and I’ll send your ornament out for you!

Thank you everyone on blogger and at the Hive, I really appreciate the support! And I’ll be back really soon with a small embroidery pattern that you can accomplish in one afternoon with only 4 colours! Perfect for decorating gifts!

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