Enjoy the Process | S3E31

In this episode, I am talking all about enjoying the process when you are cross stitching and not worrying or comparing yourself to others.

You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the blog post.

Enjoy the Process of Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is not work

I run many stitch-a-longs throughout the year, the latest one being my Countdown to Christmas SAL (if you don’t know what a SAL is you can read all about them here). And every time I run one I see people getting discouraged because they fall “behind”.

This is especially true for my Christmas SALs as we usually want those finished in time for Christmas, so there is almost a deadline put upon us.

But here’s the thing.

This is not work. This is your hobby. Deadlines do not exist when you are doing something for fun.

OK, it’s a little bit of work for me as cross stitch is literally my job. But it’s still my hobby.

Putting this time stress on ourselves means that we are not enjoying the process of cross stitching, and that’s usually the best part. And definitely the most beneficial. Sitting with your project is meant to relax you, not cause you extra stress because you think you’re never going to get finished. It will, little by little, day by day.

The comparison game

The reason this feeling happens so much with a stitch-a-long is that the pattern gets released in small parts to you, live and you can literally see on social media how slow or fast people are stitching. And so what do we do? Compare ourselves to others. And I say we because I do this too sometimes. Not as much, but it still happens.

But here’s the thing … “comparison is the thief of joy” as
Theodore Roosevelt said. Comparing our speed of stitching to someone else’s is robbing us of all the joy and peace we feel when we cross stitch and can leave us feeling bad and stressed about time.

It’s lovely to come together and talk to other stitchers about a pattern; it’s my favourite part of stitch-a-longs but it’s not so fun if that leads to comparison.

Everyone is in such different places in their life right now. Some of you might be in lockdown, living at home and not able to work right now so you have literal hours a day to stitch or you might be a working mum who can squeeze in half an hour at the end of the day.

We cannot compare ourselves to people on the internet when we don’t know their exact circumstances. And if you find yourself doing this you might need a little break from social media to just enjoy your own stitching, your own speed, and get your fun and joy back.

So I just wanted to encourage you today that it’s totally normal to feel these feelings, but I don’t want you to feel them and it might be a warning that you need to step away from social media for a while until you feel better about where you’re at.

You deserve the time for your hobby

And please also remember that I truly believe you deserve and need at least 1 hour a day for yourself. That can be in 5-10 minute breaks through the day, an hour in the morning, half an hour twice a day.

And fill it with the things that fill you up and bring you joy and I’m assuming that is cross stitch.

If you’re feeling negative about how much time you have for your hobby right now, that might also be a warning that you need to give yourself more time during the day. I know it’s not always possible but try and grab those moments wherever and whenever you can.

And remember that no one is going to give you that time, you have to claim it for yourself and not feel guilty for doing so. Tell yourself every day that you deserve this time and you will soon start believing it.

You are amazing, I hope this encouraged you, and here’s an action step for you. If it’s safe to do so, right now grab any project, set a timer for 10 minutes and sit and work on it. Breathe, don’t worry about where you’re at with the project, and just enjoy the process.

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