Knitting May Be Better For Anxiety Than Yoga or Mediation
The most important part of self-care is the word "self." Something that relaxes you and takes you out of your own head may not work for everyone else.
If you're not having any luck with the Headspace app or yoga, you might consider picking up some knitting needles.
Knitting has been the go-to relaxation choice for countless people, spanning hundreds of years and multiple generations. But it may be more useful than ever in today's high-stress world.
A Digital Detox
The wonderful thing about knitting is that your journey can begin online at Yarnspirations to buy your supplies and pick out a pattern, but the rest of the experience is all based in the real world. You can shut your phone off for hours.
Many of our current relaxation and mindfulness techniques are still somewhat dependant on technology. If you've ever been buzzed with a work email notification in the middle of a Headspace meditation, you know how quickly it can snap you back to everything you're trying to escape.
Knitting gives you the chance to truly unplug.
Mindfulness in its Purist Form
The impact that mindfulness can have on anxiety and stress is well-documented. But, the form that mindfulness can take will (and should) vary greatly from person to person. Yoga is famously great for this, but it's certainly not for everyone.
The basic act of mindfulness is doing something that brings you into the present, while helping you connect with your body and the physical world around you. It can be anything that makes you stop thinking about what you've done or what you need to do, grounding you into what you're experiencing right now.
For some people, this could be a nice long walk. For other people, it could be shooting free throws in the driveway. For you, it could mean sitting down with nothing but your yarn and needles for as long as you can.
Knitting works for a lot of people and it can work for you too.
Focusing on the Journey, Not the Destination
You might try something like cooking or baking for relaxation and mindfulness. However, this may not work if you're obsessed with the outcome. You might not be able to relax because you're focused on, and stressed about, how it will turn out.
When you're knitting, yes, you're trying to create something. But it's OK for the output to be less-than-perfect. In fact, that's the whole point. The imperfection in your knitting is exactly what gives it beauty. It's organic and personal.
The only way to be bad at knitting is if you're not enjoying the process.
Is knitting a cure-all or magic anxiety cure? Of course not. But nothing truly is. Self-care and mindfulness need to be as individual and personalized as possible.
If you would rather get outside, smell the air and sweat a bit on a light jog, knitting may not be for you. But, if sitting down with a cup of something warm in comfy clothes relaxes you, knitting may be exactly what you need.