I used to think knitting was hard. I would always drop stitches, and end up with a “hole-ly” mess. However, recently I’ve rediscovered how knitting can be a very relaxing way to let go and relieve stress. I’m almost due to have a baby, and out of respect to my late grandmother who taught me knitting, I thought I’d try to make my son a blanket. This was truly ambitious considering I’ve never really finished any of my previous knitting projects, other than dish cloths.
I purposely chose a very simple 18th century pattern. It’s litterally knit 3, purl 3, and that’s it all the way across, with the last stitches being knit for the border. It’s soft, pretty, and feels like I’m doing something productive, while still relaxing. The other thing that is cool, is that while I’m knitting, if I catch myself ruminating on a problem, or starting to let my mind wander to stressful things, I bring myself back to the 1-2-3 pattern. I focus on my breathing slowly in and out as I knit, 1-2-3, purl 1-2-3.
If you’re a guy, you might not even think this article pertains to you, but honestly, you can translate knitting into any repetitive motion hobby/craft. What about hand sawing wood? Just the physical back and forth of cutting, breathing, and finding a rhythm while doing something that’s productive. Sanding and painting I imagine can be a similarly soothing activity.
Whether you’re knitting, doing embroidery, cutting wood, sanding wood, crafting does help relieve stress. When you’re done, it becomes a peaceful reminder of time well spent. It reminds you that you took the time to do something that was stress relieving, relaxing, mindful, and ultimately leaves behind something of yourself.
Here are some links to tutorials on knitting if you’d like to try it 🙂 Remember, start out simple!