Enjoy some calm crafting with a mindful break and make a crochet coaster using our free pattern
In recent years, our work-life balance has shifted massively.
We find ourselves in a time where hustle culture is big and, particularly as a small business owner, busyness is often equated to success. It’s become a badge of honour that we proudly wear whilst in reality we’re just running ourselves into the ground.
We wake up in the morning and the first thing we do is reach for our phones. We’ve barely even sat up to register the beginning of a new day and we’re checking our emails, scrolling through Instagram and replying to messages. Our brains are already wired, no morning oat flattie necessary.
We tell ourselves we have to #hustleandgrind and spend our days devoting as many hours as possible to work. I speak largely about small business owners, but given the vast increase in those who are now WFH as a result of the pandemic, the work/life boundaries have fast become blurred.
Every minute our minds are stimulated making it impossible to switch off. We mindlessly reach for our phones every 5 minutes to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, twitter, refresh our feeds, check our emails, reply to our DMs, play that networking game and attempt to befriend that fickle algorithm. Even those with ‘regular’ jobs see their phones pinging with WhatsApp messages from work related group chats day and night – is it really possible to leave the office at the door anymore?
Hi, I’m Sophie and I’m a workaholic (or was, at least)
We’re a generation of workaholics; (I googled it, for a laugh and there is genuinely a WA support group which deeply concerns and surprises me although I’m not sure why when it’s obviously such an issue in society today). We feel guilty if we take a day off, stressed if we don’t. Relaxation is rendered impossible when your mind is racing with all the things that you ‘should’ be doing. As such, our lives have become a constant to do list where with each tick, another wild task appear, bit like a version of Pokémon, only far less fun .
If there’s anything I’ve learnt in the past 18 months, it’s the importance of a work-life balance. Previously, I 100% lived that #hustlelife. I worked a full-time barista job alongside my side hustle, Moloneymakes. I filled my Moleskine (highly recommend this format) to the brim with meetings and friend dates and spent most every evening and weekend working and knitting and keeping myself busy. I didn’t know how to switch off and to be honest, looking back, I’m not entirely sure how I managed to sustain my pace of life for as long as I did.
The power of a mindful break
One thing I did have on my side, however, was yoga. Pre lockdown I had a strong yoga practise. I would go to classes 5-6 times a week, to relish in the opportunity to move my body with instruction and allow my mind to clear. For me, stepping into the classroom sort of flicked a switch. It was a sanctuary, a mindful break; an hour I could switch off, where my mind and body are one and I am at peace.
See, I can’t be mentally writing up a to-do list when I’m holding a headstand. I can’t be writing out Instagram captions when I’m balancing in half moon. I can’t be planning my next design with each vinyasa else I’d end up flat on my face. Listening to the teacher lead me through a flow was a meditative remedy to my busy brain. I found focus and connection with my body right through from tadasana to savasana.
This connection between mind and body is something I can relate to crafting also. When I am stitching I find myself in a beautiful middle ground where my mind is kept quietly active counting stitches or mellowed by the motion of my needles or hook and my hands are busy moving rhythmically with each and every stitch.
Crafting is wonderful way to experience mindfulness
I’ve written about the connection and benefits of crafting and mindfulness previously, but the positive impact it can have is undeniable. It only takes a few minutes of crafting to see a noticeable reduction in your heart rate and blood pressure alone. Mindfulness itself also dampens activity in the amygdala (the part of the brain linked to fear) which can help fight against anxiety and depression. It helps take us out of our (over)thinking (over working) brains and back into our bodies. It’s a portal away from the hustle culture of today and a chance to slow down, to check in with how we’re really feeling and honour our body’s needs
So, in light of that, here’s a free crochet coaster pattern designed to invite you to relax and unwind with a bit of calming craft time and encourage you to take a mindful break. Sippin’ tea at your desk whilst working doesn’t count!
Instead, I encourage you to think of things that allow you to ground yourself and reconnect with yourself. Whether it’s lighting a candle and taking a moment to simply breathe, making a cuppa and observing the way it encompasses all your senses, or picking up your crochet hook to sip and stitch, take a mindful break in the way that serves you best.
Our simple crochet coaster pattern is a great stash buster which only uses 12g of cotton so one 50g ball will make you a set of 4 coasters. Each one takes less than 20 minutes, which is just enough time to find some calm and help reduce levels of stress. It’s a winning combination.
Download the FREE crochet coaster PDF now