In this episode, I am sharing some tips on making cross stitch a habit and how you can fit it into your busy day.
You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the blog post.
Making Cross Stitch a Habit
Time to Cross stitch
We all wish for more time to cross stitch, but the reality is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Instead of waiting for more time that is never going to come, you have to claim and take that time for yourself.
And try not to feel guilty when doing this – easier said than done, I know. But you must find ways to fill yourself up and recharge your batteries if you are going to give to others. And if cross stitch is one of those things that fill you up then you not only deserve it, but you need it. It’s essential.
The need to sacrifice
Usually, when we are building a new habit, we need to let something else go. And actually, that’s a good thing because we can replace old habits that we don’t want anymore with a new cross stitch one!
You may have to give up watching so much T.V. or leave the cleaning until later or spend less time on social media.
If you are feeling negative about this just think; what is better for your emotional, spiritual and mental health… Scrolling social media for an hour before bed or cross stitching for an hour before bed?
You need to be aware of how we are actually spending our time and if those activities are actually filling you up. If they are then that’s fine! But if they’re not then you might need to change them.
For example, if you scroll Instagram for half an hour looking at what everyone is making then come away from it all negative, thinking “I would never have time for that”. But you have just spent half an hour on Instagram. That is not filling you up and that’s what I’m talking about.
It’s also important to think about why you want to cross stitch more. Maybe you picked it up during lockdown, or a friend does it and you think it looks cute, or you need something to do to keep your mind off smoking while you’re trying to kick that habit.
That actual reason doesn’t matter but it is important that you have a reason. So that when you are sacrificing something it doesn’t feel quite so bad. And/or when you do sit down for an hour of stitching instead of being “busy” you feel less guilty.
How to make cross stitch a habit
The biggest way I find time to stitch is “gap-stitching”.
Most of us fill gaps or lulls during our day with social media, T.V. or non-productive type of things.
And sometimes this is totally OK and no guilt or shame is intended here. We all need to “veg out” sometimes – myself included!
But we could also fill those gaps with cross stitch.
Think of some times in your day where you are always doing something like watching T.V./going down a rabbit hole on Pinterest, smoking, eating from boredom rather than hunger, etc.
Just start to be aware of them over the next few days and write them down if that helps so you can keep track of them.
You’re going to swap that gap-filling habit with a cross stitch filling habit.
Here are some examples:
You usually get into bed and scroll your phone for an hour before bed. And you don’t want to do this anymore because you are finding it hard to fall asleep.
You need to swap your phone for your cross stitch project, so it makes sense to keep your project bag near your bed.
When you get into bed the bag will prompt you to put your phone down and pick your project up.
You’re at home all day with 2 young kids and during the afternoon they usually play on the floor in the living room. You can’t leave them alone so while they’re playing it’s easy to just pull your phone out of your pocket.
But maybe you don’t want them to see you on your phone a lot so you want to swap this for some cross stitch. So it makes sense to always keep a project in the living room. Then you can pick it up any time the kids are happy on their own.
You may be thinking “well they only play for 5 or 10 minutes before moving on so what’s the point in pulling out my project?”
But all of those 5/10 minute stitching sessions add up. Say this happens 3 times a day, that’s half an hour a day. And even if it only happens once, I like to say “10 minutes of stitching a day, keeps all the stresses away”.
10 minutes of peaceful stitching can make such a huge difference to your day.
You have been at work all day and just want to come home, eat snacks and zone out. This is totally fine a few times a week, I used to do it a lot and as I said, I am not setting out to make you feel guilty in any way. We feel enough of that already.
But snacking and zoning out every night can have a negative impact on our well-being. I know for me, most of the time I’m snacking of an evening not because I’m hungry but just well… because! So let’s pop a bit of cross stitch in there.
If you usually come in and head straight to your room to get changed it makes sense to keep your project there. Or maybe you head straight to the fridge; keep your project next to it.
It can just make you pause and think, “am I hungry right now?” and become aware of how you feel.
Once you start stitching, thoughts of snacking usually diminish and if you are truly hungry then your belly will let you know!
Maybe you can relate to all 3 of those (I can most days). Well, that’s where I love having multiple projects on the go and keeping them scattered around the house. Then any time there is a gap I can pull out my project.
Sometimes I even keep one in the car for when I’m waiting at the school or travelling.
There is a way to make this easier too that involves stitching in half stitches first when you have focused time and then going over those half stitches during those gaps (I share more about this in this episode about tips on cross stitching more).
You can also have a cross stitch routine. I love combining a set routine with this gap-stitching so that if my routine goes out the window I still have my gap-stitching to fall back on.
I share more about my cross stitch routine here. There is an updated post coming soon though!
I hope this helps you fit more stitching into your busy days!
Extra Cross Stitch Posts
- Should you worry about unfinished cross stitch projects?
- Enjoy the process of cross stitch.
- 5 finishing ideas for your cross stitch.
- Cross stitch theme days.