The unexpected revival of life skills

Can’t find a face mask? Many people are sitting at their sewing machines and making their own.


There’s been a recent resurgence in the open use of life skills, like sewing, cooking, and gardening in response to the limitations resulting from COVID-19. 

In Stephanie Triplett’s January 2020 article “Is sewing a dying art”, Ms. Triplett said that “sewing has always been a way to make things that fit your needs, and the personalization that sewing offers is now drawing Millennials and Gen Z’s in.”

As face masks became harder and harder to find, people are sitting down at their sewing machines and getting to work to make their own. The homemade masks are as unique as the people making them with images on them ranging from sports teams and floral patterns to colleges and superheroes. Some of these sewing hobbyists are even making masks then donating them to local hospitals to address the ongoing need for personal protective equipment.

Much like sewing, some are taking their food into their own hands by starting a garden. With trips to the grocery store limited by curfews, mask requirements, and social distancing, growing your own food has become even more appealing.

In addition to providing food, UNC Health Talk explains that gardening is beneficial in ways that are especially valuable while many are working remotely, under or unemployed, and managing chronic illnesses.

  • Reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke
    • Gardening burns calories and strengthens the heart. Gardening is among the DIY activities that may be as good as formal exercise when it comes to reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Reduce stress
    • A Dutch study suggests that 30 minutes of gardening can lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • Improved sleep
    • The light activity of gardening has been associated with helping individuals sleep.
  • Quality time with the family
    • A time to bond with family and friends. Plus, early exposure to dirt has been linked to long-term health benefits for children including reduced allergies.
  • Cost savings
    • Grow the vegetables that tend to be expensive and that can be easily stored and preserved via canning, freezing, dehydrating, or pickling.

Gardening and sewing are two skills that are always beneficial. If you’re new to either of these skills, you may need some guidance along the way. NexGen EAP uses a holistic, integrated approach to supporting employees, including helping them explore a new hobby.

NexGen’s Virtual Concierge component is available to help locate local sewing classes or get tips for new gardeners. Let our experts can compile a comprehensive starter guide for sewing or gardening and deliver it to your email. 

Not sure if you have the money for a new hobby? Use your free 30-minute financial consultation to develop a budget for your new past time. Or, if you are soaring and want to take your hobby to the next level, use your free 30-minute legal consultation to discuss creating your own business with your new found skill. NexGen EAP is the comprehensive solution your employees have been looking for.

To learn more about NexGen EAP and how it can improve your organization, contact us today!



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