Why you need crochet in your life & why mindfulness will happen with it!
Okay, so before I tell you my story and what I think, I want to point out that in no way am I a medical professional and this is my opinion and only the way I understand things.
So a few years ago if you said the word mindfulness to me I would have said ‘what the heck is that’ When it was explained to me I would have just laughed. BUT it works and is super important.
When I had my second child, about 5 months in I started suffering pretty badly with anxiety. It was due to many things going on at the time and having a new baby was just the thing that tipped me I think. I had no idea what anxiety was really and I did not understand what was happening. All I knew is that I was not myself and I found myself in situations where normally I would be totally fine, sat physically shaking. It made no sense to me. I was happy, I had two beautiful kids, my business was going well, I had great friends and a very supportive husband. All of a sudden I wanted to scream all the time. I was agitated, had no focus or energy?
Reading about anxiety and hearing people say they suffered from it, I still had no clue what it was. I wonder whether I really understand it fully now, however I have learnt to manage it and work on it every day.
Because I had just had a baby I was still being seen by a health visitor. I told her how I felt and I was referred to a councillor for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). I would highly recommend this to anyone as it really helped me. Now I remember sitting in this ladies room, she was probably about the same age as me if not younger, thinking to myself, what the bloody hell is she going to be able to tell me that’s going to make me feel better. After a few session she introduced mindfulness to me.
At first I found it incredibly hard to do and a bit stupid if I am honest. Mindfulness is essentially stopping and taking notice of what you are doing. How many times have you eaten food and not actually taken any notice to what it looks or tastes like? We all live really busy lives and anxiety and stress effects more of us than we would like to admit.
Sat feeding my baby I tried to be ‘mindful’, listening to him feeding, being aware of the noises around me but it was not working for me. I just could not relax. I tried to be mindful many times in lots of different situations, but no luck.
Then I picked up a crochet hook
At the time I don’t think I even realised I was being mindful. Its only in the last few months nearly 2 years later that I think I have truly appreciated how much crochet has helped me. That repetitiveness of stitches, especially in blankets, makes you stop thinking about everything else. It almost removes all those worries and makes you concentrate and focus on what you are doing. Once you get into a rhythm with crochet you find yourself just ‘doing it’, not having to read the pattern. This is when I find it easiest to be mindful. I can sit and crochet and really listen to what’s going on around me. I can relax, switch off and focus on the NOW.
People tell me that knitting can help you become more mindful. For me, it does not work the same way. I have recently started creating beautiful blankets with repeated patterns. This of course is great for my business as I can sell these patterns and the kits but it has more been for ‘me’. When its been a long day or I feel myself getting agitated, I can sit and crochet. I don’t need to worry about complicated patterns, its just one hook, beautiful colours and a nice repetitive stitch.
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to teach people how to knit and crochet. To pass this skill on to other people and hopefully help them manage anxiety, depression or any other problems they may be facing. Its not a cure but it certainly helps and well you get to collect beautiful yarns and make beautiful blankets so whats not to love.
Mental Health Week
With it being mental health week, I wanted to share my experience. We all need to share this stuff. Its painful, hard and scary but talking about it really helps and people should not be ashamed. Talk about it to your friends, family, strangers, me. Just make sure you keep talking. It can creep up on any of us when we are least expecting it.
You can find out more about mindfulness from the NHS website
If you would like to know more about our workshops please do get in touch and you can find all my new blanket kits on our website.