Every time you open a newspaper or turn on the radio at the moment all people want to talk about is how depressing this first week back to real life is after Christmas, and this year with rain and floods and snow and goodness knows what next, it could be more depressing than ever, no?
I often tell people that patchwork keeps me sane. Often they've just told me how cutting fabric up into tiny pieces, just to sew back together again is surely the first sign of madness?!
I find having a creative outlet - mine is sewing - but it's true of all creative activities, is absolutely the best way to ward off 'Blue Mondays' or any other day of the week. Having a 'project' on the go, separate from your 'real life' of deadlines and dishwashers allows your brain to recharge, fills you with optimism ( every project feels like 'the one' when you start it) and lets your brain rest in the now. I have a psychologist friend who often recommends 'mindfulness' as a great brain exercise - letting your brain immerse itself in something now, this minute, more absorbing than the TV, not allowing space for reflection or worry about the past or future. Patchwork definitely fulfils all of these criteria, not even allowing for it's wonderful capacity to make you lots of friends, another critical thing in warding off blues!
If patchwork is the panacea to all ills - the Farmers Wife Sampler must be at the pinnacle! Is there anything more cheerful than the feeling you get when you finish a few of these blocks? If you've got the January Blues, I heartily recommend you give them a try!