If you are reading this post in real time then you are perhaps coming to terms with the fact that we are about to start another 3 weeks of staying at home and social distancing. Or if you are one of those amazing people that are continuing to support the community in some way; you are combining these troubling times with work.
It’s stressful to say the least isn’t it! Some of us are facing unemployment and / or uncertainty about what the future might bring, and also many of us are worrying about loved ones – that perhaps we are now only speaking to virtually!
I think it’s only natural that we are going to have times where we feel low, worried, bored, anxious, helpless, frustrated and lonely. I’ll be the first to confess that I’ve been find everything quite hard to deal with at times.
Now with a slogan like ‘keep calm and crochet on’ I bet you can guess what I’ve been doing to try and help keep my worries at a lower level – that and drinking copious cups of tea!
The wonderful thing about crochet is that it has that mindful quality of making you present in the moment. You have to concentrate on what you are doing sometimes so you can’t think of other things, or you can just let your fingers dance with the yarn and feel a sense of peace from a repetitive project.
Here are some suggestions that I’ve been trying to do to try and take care of my mind and body;
Do things you enjoy: When you are anxious, lonely or low you may do things that you usually enjoy less often, or not at all. You could re-discover reading, writing, playing games, doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, jigsaws or drawing and painting.
And if you just love crochet but you’ve lost your crojo how about looking for a new project? I’ve got loads of free patterns that I’ve now bundled together on Ravelry if you are looking for some inspiration.
Join a CAL / support others: CALs are great places to make friends, feel part of a community and work on a large project. Just by being there you might also be able to help those around you by answering someones question about something – it could make a big difference to them and can make you feel better too.
Connecting with others: Thanks to apps like Zoom, WhatsApp and FaceTime you can keep in touch with friends and family and see their faces at the same time. I think it really does make a difference to not only see someone’s voice but to also see their face! I’ve also sat in with some fab virtual crafting sessions with friends to – there are many virtual knit and natter groups popping up everywhere, just keep an eye out for them.
Talk about your worries: It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless about what is happening right now. Remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling with family and friends can help them too. If you don’t feel able to do that, try these NHS recommended helplines.
Look after your physical wellbeing: Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. I’ve been joining in with the free PE sessions with Joe Wicks each morning and it really has made me feel a lot more positive (and I’m not really a typically exercise kind of gal!).
We’ve also been trying to get outside whilst the weather is nice – we are really lucky to be close to areas of space we can freely walk around in without seeing hardly anyone, but even just a walk around the block to get a bit of fresh air can make a world of difference.
Look after your sleep: Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep, this is the one I’m really struggling with at the moment! I’ve started listening to audiobooks to help me get to sleep, or rather than tossing and turning I get up and go and crochet for a bit to calm down.
Another important one for me has been to try and managing my media intake, as it can make me feel more worried. I try now, especially before I go to bed, to not look at a screen and just read before turning off the light.
Do you have any other suggestions that you’ve been doing to keep yourself active and drive down stress? I’d love to hear them.
Wishing you all the best wherever you are!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx