Today I want to talk about sewing burnout, or what I do when my sew-jo goes flying out the window.
Burnout is a real thing, and it can happen at any time and with any kind of activity. Ever get that feeling when you go to the fridge or freezer, you open it to get something out for dinner but even though it is stocked to the brim you just have no desire to make something …cooking burnout.
How about when that pile of dirty washing gets so large you cannot open the laundry door…yep housework burnout!
In all seriousness, burnout can strike at any time and it can happen to the thing we love the most, our sewing. It is kind of inevitable that when you spend hour upon hour of doing the same thing you are bound to get to the point where you are a little sick of it and need to take a break. There is nothing wrong with needing to take a step back from doing the thing that we love most.
I am going to share my tips on how I deal with and come back from sewing burnout.
Tip number one:
Repeat after me, ‘Dear sewing, I love you, you bring me peace and joy and I enjoy our time together, but I’m feeling a little tired, a little uninspired and I think we should take a break from each other. It’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll be seeing you soon ‘.
The first step in overcoming burnout is to first acknowledge that you are experiencing it. If you sit down to sew but have no desire to pick up your needle or you just cannot pick a project to work on and the thought of choosing one leaves you feeling a little anxious, safe to say you are experiencing burnout.
Know that it is not just you, it can happen to all of us. I have experienced it many times at various levels. Sometimes it is just a day, sometimes a week, sometimes it is five or so months (although I kind of mostly blame being pregnant for that no sew-jo stint!).
Once you have acknowledged that your sew-jo has temporarily gone walk about, it is time for my second tip…
Tip number two:
Yes, that is right, embrace the newfound time you have for other things. Your sew-jo has not got up and left the building for nothing, your body and brain is telling you that it needs to take a break, so take one! Go for a walk, ride a bike, have a picnic in the park. Lie on the lounge and binge watch a TV series (my current pick is Bridgeton on Netflix). Read a book or magazine, read two or three. Free your mind to explore and concentrate on other things that still bring you a little joy and peace to your day.
Tip number three:
Go on an adventure. Whether you go for a bush walk, explore a waterfall or a town you have never been too, getting out and exploring is a wonderful way to refresh your mind and find new sources of inspiration. A walk through an open scheme garden could help inspire the next colour palette for your quilt. A trip to explore the architecture of old buildings can awaken new ideas on pattern, form, and function. Simply just getting away from it all and thinking of nothing but simply just being in the present can be seriously good for your mental and physical health.
Tip number four:
Try something new.
Now is the perfect time to try something different, a new craft that you have been curious about. Losing your sewing mojo does not mean that you cannot be crafty at all. Get yourself a starter kit, jump on to YouTube or attend a workshop and learn a new crafty skill. You might just find another crafty passion, or you will just enjoy being creative and make something beautiful.
Tip number five:
Chat to your crafty friends
If ever I feel like I have hit a bit of a wall with sewing, and I am feeling little down with the state of it all, I find reaching out to my crafty friends, my tribe, to be extremely helpful. Just chatting about what projects, they are working on, what stitchy plans they are making can help lift my spirits and get me inspired and motivated to pick up my needle.
Tip number six:
Have a tidy up.
I do not know about you, but I find a good tidy up and spring clean can be very cathartic. Tidy up your projects. Put away the ones that you are not working on for another time, rotate in an old project you have not worked on in a while. Sometimes just switching up what you are stitching on can help get your sew-jo back on track. Organizing your notions and fabric scraps can also not just make you feel great (and keep everything tidy), but it can remind you of something that you bought for a particular project and get you motivated to start it.
Tip number seven:
That could be as easy as scrolling through Instagram, or head over to Pinterest. Watch or listen to a crafty podcast. Go for a visit to your local patchwork or craft shop. Flick through a patchwork book or magazine. These days the avenues we have to find some inspiration are many and varied. You might be inspired to try a new technique, you may discover a new shape or pattern to try. Most importantly it might just remind you of why you love Slow stitching and EPP so much.
I hope you find these tips useful when losing your sew-jo. We are lucky indeed to have found this wonderful craft of ours that enables us to connect to ourselves, to our past, present, and future, and to connect us to each other.
Miss Leela x