Things That Will Make You Feel Good.

Want to guess how I wrote this email? Or where I wrote this? The photo might be a tip-off ...

I left the madness of my home, after having a particularly frustrating moment with my daughters (who don’t want to be learning online and who can blame them) and I went for a walk. And I dictated this entire update into my phone.  Yes, it was long. Rambling. This is the edited version of what I wrote/said. 

More than a few times in the last week (and more than I like to admit), I could feel my stress increasing and my headspace a little off-kilter.

Here’s the scene: my kids were scrappy. My husband was trying to get too many things done, per usual. We needed to go for groceries, there were dishes all over the counter, the floors needed mopping, the toilets needed cleaning, my task list for the studio was a mile long and nothing seemed to be getting done the way I wanted it to.

Familiar? Is this also your reality right now?

As I was surveying the scene and feeling my blood pressure rise, I took a breath. A really long breath. I realized that the best thing I could do in that moment was to just walk away. To give myself the opportunity to go and do something by myself, for myself, without anybody else around.

So, here's the thing.  Whether it's a walk, a moment outside with a coffee, a few rows of your knitting, creating space to breathe and calm down is a MUST.

I've written about the mental health benefits of doing things with our hands on my blog and on LinkedIn. Recently, I re-read this article and this one and they all drive home the same point: 

Making things helps to lower our levels of mental distress, improves our mental functioning, increases our life satisfaction, calms us down, promotes successful aging AND there are even studies that show long-term social and cultural benefits from art/craft.

I’m trying to help you find something creative to enjoy, something that will give you a release, something that will make you feel better.

I believe this so fully and so profoundly that I left my full time job and regular paycheque earlier this year in order to do this work. 

I'm a case in point. Every single time I sit down to pick up something that I’m working on, I honestly feel my heart slow down and my stress start to dissipate.

So, what am I currently working on? Crocheted poufs, a woven triptych, a whole new line of handspun yarn, woven baskets, and embroidery. Oh, and I'm trying to figure out how to clean, prepare and spin dog hair. Yes, you read that correctly. I'll share that process over on my @intheply IG account, if you're interested (or grossed out?).

If you need a little inspiration and a place to start, take a Ply Studio workshop. Perhaps you're saying 'but Carmen, I'm TIRED of online everything!' ... and yes, I agree. But it's what we have right now. Ply Studio WILL be offering in-person workshops in my beautiful studio space and outdoor garden starting in September. But for now, you can pick up a new skill (and I'll send you the supplies straight to your mailbox!) in the comfort of your own home. 

And here's some incentive: take a workshop, buy some supplies, support me. In return, I'll support your creative journey and help you have fun and feel better. Use code GRATITUDE21 at checkout for 15% off anything.

Take it easy. Give yourself a moment today. AND if you just can't stand the thought of taking online workshop (cool), and still need some inspiration or a new way to approach things? Take a walk and dictate that next email or heck, even a full report, into your phone instead of sitting at your desk. It will change the way you write, perhaps what you write about and make you feel better.  

- Carmen xo

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