Hidden upsides and silver linings to being stuck at home

April 14, 2020

I’ve had several friends tell me how now that they’re stuck at home, their garage has never looked so organized, the garden is pruned, and even behind the fridge is cleaned; and it’s only week 4 of most people’s isolation! What’s next? Endless scrolling through Netflix recommendations? The kids are likely to kill each other soon. How are we going to get through this?!

Many of us live fast and frantic lives. We’re productive, we’re multi-taskers, we’re jugglers. When everything suddenly slows down, we are forced to reevaluate how we will continue being productive.

But wait. 

Didn’t we say we wanted to be less busy? To have fewer commitments? More undistracted family time? To have time to think? To be creative?

I love how blogger Jen Millard explains it. 

“When all of this is over…

My children will have remembered how to play together

Life will be slower and more delicious

Mundane tasks and errands will seem like a joy

Fathers will have a greater appreciation for stay-at-home mothers

Mothers will have a greater appreciation for fathers who share the load

Going to the gym will be a privilege, not a chore

I will take a break from social media

I will not be afraid to watch the news

I will keep checking in on my friends” 

Slowing down is good for us 

There’s a lot of evidence that slowing down is actually good for us. Not just for our wellbeing, but it can even help – not hinder – our productivity. Revelations come from clear minds. Ideas are born from times of constraint.

Isaac Newton and William Shakespeare are only the most famous examples of creativity coming from times of quarantine. What about Ruth First? First was an anti-apartheid campaigner who was eventually murdered for her work in South Africa. Textile artist Clare Hunter wrote of First:

“Faced with long-term imprisonment in solitary confinement, she took up needlework to take control of her time. On the back of her lapel she stitched seven black lines to mark her days, but then would unpick one or two as if to gain time, or go forward at her own pace by sewing down the days that lay ahead. Hers was an act of both rebellion and self-preservation.”

This period might be a gift

Even if it feels weird, being forced to slow down our hyper-connected, hyper-social lives may give us exactly what we need. Whether that’s time to form even deeper bonds with family, time to reflect, or time to express ourselves creatively.

We’ll all remember this period, so let’s not rush through it. Instead, let’s see the silver linings in the dark days. The Stitchery is sharing simple projects through this period to help you be creative without leaving the house (see below for this week’s project). These projects are good to do alone, or with kids. (You can also find a variety of projects at thestitcherystudio.ca/collections/patterns or thestitcherystudio.ca/collections/kits.)

My challenge to myself for this period is to let go of perfection, and focus instead on pause. The space in our homes may be limited, but the space in our heads is limitless. Let’s go explore.

This week’s free project is face masks. Check out our Face Masks post for instructions and tips.

We love to see what you’re sewing! Share your makes with us by email or tag us in your pics on Instagram or Facebook @stitcherybc.

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