Feeding your Soul

We can’t always be consumed with work and business.  Everyone needs an outlet and some selfish time. Something you do for you and yourself alone. Something that takes the mind elsewhere and nurtures and feeds the soul.

Every now and again someone will ask me what I do in my spare time away from designing and creating Neckwear so rather than tell them, I just show them.

With the long, dark evenings and miserable weather setting in deep, this is the time of year when I have the biggest urge to indulge in my favourite past time.  Hobbies can play an important part in a person’s self-care regime and be a good way to maintain positive mental health particularly at this time of year when for many, mood can be low.  Partaking in my hobby offers me a comfortable space to express myself and in doing so it helps me to think, problem solve and reflect on all aspects of my life including business, creating a clarity of mind needed to face the daily challenges that come my way.

Hobbies and past-times can say a lot about a person; they can give insight into a person’s passions, skills, strengthens, and personality and can help you to understand what motivates and makes them tick.

Quite often it forms a metaphorical ‘safe place’; one that soothes, offers calm, solace and a sense of mental escape in the midst of an otherwise chaotic life. For some, a hobby is needed to liven up an otherwise mundane existence, raising adrenaline levels in a way that normal everyday life never would.  It can be a way of bringing like-minded people together or take them away from toxic ones. And hobbies have the power to unleash hidden talents, build on low confidence and allow others to be seen in a different, more elevated light.

What you gain from your hobby doesn’t or shouldn’t have to be explained or understood by others. It isn’t about money or gain or seeking praise from others – all they need to appreciate is that it makes you happy.

Some people have more than one – and why not! Different hobbies quench different thirsts and having multiple hobbies can allow one person to scratch more than one itch.

The level of knowledge and skill gained from being dedicated to a hobby should never be undervalued or underestimated… My hobby is something that I have enjoyed, put in a great deal of energy, time and money into and honed in a great deal of skill from for nearly 40 years. It was the catalyst for me starting my business; A happy accident that I will forever be grateful for and wouldn’t change for the world.

My hobby never fails to put a smile on my face when I am down.  In times of despair it has been my lifesaver, my safe haven and my refuge. My creative outlet; A place where am free to think non-conformist thoughts and transform these into tangible ideas. When many would reach for a bottle or overindulge on cake, I would pick up my fabric and scissors and start to create. Being able to articulate myself and my personality through creating my own clothing makes me feel empowered, gives me a sense of well-being and helps me to feel comfortable in my own skin.

My hobby is more than a simple past time; it is an intrinsic part of who I am.  I have no choice in partaking in this past-time as I couldn’t stop doing it if I tried.

I recall one of my earliest sewing memories was when I was about 6 years old. I was sewing a skirt for my baby doll from an old scrap of white satin fabric my mum had given me. I recall painstakingly sewing each stitch by hand and almost finishing my creation when I pricked my finger so bad that I bled all over the fabric and it was ruined. It hurt. Really hurt. But I remember getting another piece of fabric and being determined to recreate something that was just as beautiful and made me feel as proud as the one that was ruined…   On reflection, perhaps this was the first sign that I had the sewing bug.

What do you do to feed your soul and what does it say about you?

To gain further insight into my hobby, check out and follow my personal blog on www.instagram.com/sjdesigneruk – You never know what else you might find out!

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