Crochet Justifies the Times We Need to Sit Still

I have written several times recently about crochet for mindfulness meditation, meaning using crochet to slow down and become focused. There’s also another side to the stillness of crochet that I think is somewhat related; sometimes our bodies simply need to sit still and we feel guilty about that so crochet gives us the justification to allow ourselves the self-care of sitting still.

Amanda’s Story

I am thinking about this today because of a terrific email I received from Amanda, who shared a little bit of her own personal crochet health story. She says:

“I suffer from anxiety. Although I have been teaching for over 15 years and have enjoyed lots of success in my profession, dealing with the rest of my life has proven challenging. I have pressured myself, for as long as I can remember, to stay busy … many times running myself into the ground, exhausted from unfulfilling relationships and activities. Crochet has helped.

My husband appreciates my crafting because he sees me more when I’m working on a crochet project. He also enjoys watching the projects unfold! Also my attendance at work has improved because I am able to get out of bed rejuvenated because I have relaxed the night before crocheting. I look forward to coming home from work and settling into a project after dinner.

Crocheting has allowed me to slow down, spend time alone or with my immediate family and end up with an amazing project rather than exhausted, struggling to get out of bed because Ijust don’t know how I’m going to face another day like the last. Crocheting justifies me sitting still when life is just too much.”

Justifying Sitting Still

It is unfortunate that we feel the need to justify sitting still but Amanda’s feeling about that is one that I think many of us can relate to. We have so many things that we need to do in life. And we have so many things that we truly want to do. We want to be there for the people we love. We want to create. We want to achieve. We want to socialize. We need to make money, meet our commitments, take care of everyday chores. I think as women we are especially hard on ourselves when we feel like we’re “being lazy” and “doing nothing”. It’s not always an easy thing to escape that feeling and be gentle on ourselves. One thing that can help is to find a way to be still that also feels productive to us. Crochet is great for that because we can create, be expressive/ artistic, make useful items for people we love and sometimes even earn a side income through the craft while we are still essentially sitting still.

Crochet as Self-Care

Amanda makes so many great points in her story. I think the most important thing that she illuminates here is that taking the time to take care of ourselves and rest and heal ultimately makes us better at everything we do in our lives and allows us to give more to others. Crochet is an excellent form of self-care!

Do you ever feel guilty sitting still and doing nothing? Does crochet help with that feeling?

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Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

9 Comments:

  1. Crocheting helps me a great deal with anxiety too. I can’t just sit and do nothing. Having that yarn in my hands creating something beautiful not only soothes my body but my spirit also.

  2. Sometimes, If I am doing absolutely nothing ad watching tv I feel like i should be doing something with my hands.

  3. You got it in one in the first paragraph. I don’t feel “guilty” as such but in a similar vein I get frustrated when my body has to be still and I feel like I am “wasting valuable time”. Crocheting allows me to feel productive (not guilty or frustrated for wasting time). I have to remind myself that resting and looking after myself is not a waste of time by any means as your post and Amanda’s story testify. These days I am trying to teach my children to resist the unhealthy societal pressure that one has to be busy all the time and to look for balance in all aspects of their lives because health is a number 1 priority.

    • I think you’ve identified something important here which is that “guilty” may not be the word that applies to everyone but that there is still a familiarity to this feeling that we “should” be doing something more. I think it is WONDERFUL and amazing that you are working to teach your children that balance.

  4. I definitely feel guilty when I relax because there always seems to be something else I “should” be doing :(

  5. I often think that categories like “anxiety disorder” and “Asperger’s” are at root modern society’s thwarting of our evolutionarily instilled need to be in focus and creating, or basking in what we’ve created, or dreaming of/foraging for the next project. So much of modern society/life revolves around ridiculous interruptions and things you’re expected to do for no good reason.

    For too many people, the freedom to focus and create as they need to–as their brains are driving them–is a luxury, sadly enough, rather than as basic a nourishment as food, water, and sleep. Thwarting that leads to problems with functioning, and the stress can accrue to the breaking point.

    I am very kinesic. I always have to be moving and stimming; when I’m not, I’m completely at rest. Still, all the physical activity that I have in my present landed life–farming, logging, gardening, hiking, backpacking, shooting sports, woodworking, metalworking–somehow cannot replace feeling a hook pull a loop thru another loop. For me it creates a meditation-state as crucial and restful to my brain as sleep or music or proper breathing of clean air. Without it I get seriously unbalanced…and then physically ill. I don’t see that as a pathology, or something that justifies a guilty pleasure…but as a beautiful evolutionary gift that is only in the early stages of being understood.

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    Crochet Saved My Life tells my story of how crafting healed me from chronic depression. It also shares the stories of 24 other amazing women who hooked to heal. Read the book today!