As much as the holidays are a time of joy, they can also be stressful. This is especially true when we are separated from ones we love. During times of stress, self-care is important, which includes starting or maintaining healthy habits. Believe it or not, quilting is one of those healthy habits.

1 . Quilting reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.

It provides a mental break from activities or situations that could be increasing stress in our lives. Since it has the potential for relaxation, it makes sense to make the most of that time. Schedule time as often as you can to relax. By scheduling it, you are making space for it in your life. You are staying healthy.

Just as important as making the time, is making it the right time. Each of us has a time of day when we work best. Are you a morning glory? If so, try to quilt early in the morning before everyone else is awake. Are you a night owl? If so, try to quilt in the evening when everyone else is resting, reading or watching TV. Picking those times to quilt, give you the greatest potential for a positive experience.

The amount of time needed to complete a project is also critical. Whatever time you think it will take to finish a project, multiply that by 2 1/2.  The realization that it will take more time gives you space to make mistakes, deal with issues as they arrive, and not stress over looming deadlines, even if they are self-imposed.

2. Quilting boosts concentration and cognitive function

Puzzles have been shown improve mental acuity. They help us exercise our brains and think of things differently. And quilts are definitely puzzles!

3.  Quilting provides a productive outlet

It is no secret that finishing a project makes you feel good!  Alternating between small projects, which will give you a quick pick me up, and harder or longer projects, which challenge your brain are a good combination.

4. Quilting provides community

Whether you meet with other quilters at a guild meeting, workshop, class, shop, bee, or online, quilters tend to stick together. We form tight communities to share tips and tricks. We help each other finish projects. We give our projects to communities for children, veterans, elderly, and others in need. That giving is the hallmark of community.

Quilting is therapeutic, so make time for you.

Happy Quilting!