Arts and Crafts Therapy: Embroidery for Depression
Therapy can be wonderful, and medication is the answer for some. But doesn’t your depression demand that you have a counterpoint for everyone who suggests more fruit and yoga is the answer? Indifferent shrug? I’ll take that as a yes!
Introducing Therapy Arts and Crafts: Embroidery for Depression. It won’t cure you, but it will give you something to do with your hands instead of clicking between the same 4 apps while laying on your bed in a towel for the better part of the weekend!
Today we’re going to talk about embroidery, the art of decorating fabric with yarn or thread. If it was decorating fabric with sweat, you would have already done it during your afternoon nap, but that’s simply not its definition.
Embroidery requires that you make the fabric as taut as your nerves to easily weave the needle in and out. You can do this using a wooden hoop – circular, like your thinking patterns. Oh no, don’t start thinking about what happens when you die – that’s an especially bad one.
You need to pull the fabric taut while tightening the hoop, so this part is a little easier with a friend, but if you’ve pushed them all away with your crying jags and inability to see the positive in anything, you can definitely make do alone.
The fabric should be relatively thick – unlike your skin, so paper-thin that the tone of your boss’ “hello” this morning made you wonder if she’s mad at you – and the needle as sharp as the self-deprecating wit you use to try to assuage the fact that being around you is a total bummer. If you accidentally pick yourself, don’t worry, the pain and blood will remind you what it is to feel.
Now, you’ll need to choose a design. I know, decisions are hard, especially when they have almost no consequence. Try to choose something simple to start with, so you aren’t tempted to turn this cheerful crafting experience into another piece of evidence that you ruin everything.
The traditional cross stitch patterns make every pixel of your design a tiny X. This method works if you are trying to fill a large expanse of time, like maybe the rest of your life, but we all need to get back to important tasks like laying on the floor for no reason and going to bed when it’s light out, so a slightly easier method works by drawing the lines or words directly with the thread, using different stitches to create different textures.
Here is a really handy list of options.
After tracing or roughly sketching your image onto the fabric with chalk, like a companion to hold your hand through a half-hearted attempt at artistic expression, you can begin using your stitches to create your image. Use your best judgment, even though it’s been shown to be questionable, and don’t be afraid to get creative, pouring your muted indifference and quiet misery into your work.
When you’re done, step back and marvel at the accomplishment of creating something. You did it. It might be ugly. It might be useless. But you made something that didn’t exist before. And hey, maybe next time, you’ll hate it just a little less.