How to Release Post-Holiday Stress with Crochet

How to Release Post-Holiday Stress with Crochet

By Kathryn Vercillo

The holidays are such a wonderful time of year. We spend time with our family and friends, stay busy with activities and celebrations and enjoy all that we are so lucky to have. They are also hectic, though, and the whirlwind of activity is followed by a few weeks of re-adjusting to our regular lives. Crochet can be the perfect thing to help you find your center again as we start 2013.

Mindfulness Crochet

Mindfulness basically just means that you pay close, focused attention to what you are doing in the present moment. Some of the benefits of mindfulness include:

  • Immediate sense of relaxation
  • Appreciation of the present moment
  • Reduced stress, depression and anxiety
  • Renewed energy after experiencing this downtime
  • Increased ability to focus throughout the day

You can use crochet as a way to practice mindfulness. Simply slow down the act of crocheting and try to pay attention to every detail of what you are doing. Notice the colors of the yarn as you work, the way that the hook feels against your skin, the thoughts you have when dealing with a frustrating stitch pattern, the satisfaction you feel at the end of each row. Simply pay careful attention to the craft in your hand and try to release any other thoughts as you work.

Many people find that difficult crochet patterns are best for mindfulness crochet because they force you to stop thinking about other things and pay attention to each step of what you are doing. For that reason, you may want to try a new technique, such as learning how to do Tunisian crochet. Alternatively, you may want to choose an intermediate or advanced-level pattern. Some good free intermediate patterns include Katherine Eng’s Brilliant Buttterfly Pillow and Sam Shubitz’s Lace on the Bias top (Crochet Today, Jul./Aug. 2010).

Rhythmic Crochet

While difficult patterns do encourage focused concentration, you can also get a lot of benefit from very simple patterns that utilize the same basic stitch pattern again and again. These patterns lull your mind and body with their rhythmic repeats and physically reduce your stress. Sarah Graham’s Super Simple Charity Blankie is a good example of a project like this one.

Crochet as Self-Care

The holidays are a time when we gave a lot to others. That’s a great thing to do but it’s also very important to practice self-care. January is a great time to indulge yourself with crochet. The main way to do this, of course, is to simply take the time to crochet because you enjoy it. Make your crochet area as comfortable as possible by adding favorite candles, music or blankets to your work area. If you really want to treat yourself then take the time to crochet something unique for yourself. A necklace, sweater or socks are great treats that you can give yourself to de-stress as we start this new year!

There are a lot of wonderful patterns to choose from in our upcoming March/April 2013 issue that would be great for a rare item that you make just for you! For example, you may want to crochet yourself the Stained Glass Necklace by Robyn Chachula or the Petunia Hat by Linda Permann or try one of our many free patterns online to enjoy a relaxing, healthy New Year with crochet.

 

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I didn’t know that I could reduce post holiday stress by using crochet. It takes a lot of time and patience from my side to adjust to my daily routine once a week passes by in holidays. Thanks for the tips. more information

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I didn't

Have the stress about the holidays but I certainly appreciate all of Kathryn's tips.I especially appreciated the idea of creating a special place for me to crochet. The more candles the better!