These past 10 months have been difficult for everyone; I have personally found hope in connecting with crafters around the globe to combat loneliness and spread hope.
I launched The Shi Show – a daily Facebook Live series – last April to unite knitters and crocheters behind our shared passion for crafting and community, during a period otherwise marked by isolation and anxiety. And through the show, which just celebrated its 200th episode, I’ve heard from countless people, young and old, who’ve turned to knitting and crocheting to get through this time.
People like Lindsay Anderson, from Gladstone, Oregon, and Judy Stievo from Manassas, Virginia, have leaned on the calming and mood lifting mental health benefits of knitting and crocheting to help them stay positive and persevere. Indeed, Mental Health America confirms there are a whole host of mental health benefits associated with the practice, including “lowered blood pressure, reduced depression and anxiety, slowed onset of dementia, distraction from chronic pain, increased sense of wellbeing, and reduced loneliness and isolation.”
Take a look at how knitting and crocheting has helped two women get through the pandemic.
A working mom tackles homeschooling
“I never thought in a million years that I would be playing teacher for my nine-year-old son, while also working a full-time job from home,” Lindsay says. After an exhausting week in quarantine, Lindsay most looks forward to knitting; “it’s the best way to relax.” She’s been able to take her mind off the day-to-day stressors while finishing several knitting projects.
Lindsay has also used her hobby to find a creative way to give back, making it a priority to purchase yarn from local shops to support community businesses. She recommends anyone stressed out during COVID-19 give knitting a shot. “It’s something you can do on your own,” she says, “and it allows you to refocus and distract yourself from this new normal.”
A woman heals old wounds while encouraging others
Throughout the pandemic, Judy has turned to crocheting as a calming influence. “I just feel my entire body relax,” she says. But for Judy, crocheting has been more than a positive distraction. A victim of bullying in grade school, Judy has spent much of quarantine crocheting and donating blue hats to #HatNotHate to raise awareness for bullying prevention.
Crocheting, she says, has helped her manage anxiety and has given her the opportunity to heal old wounds. Judy was eager to contribute in a positive way towards ending bullying; “I crochet the blue hats to…give hope, encourage an environment where our youth learn to be a little kinder towards others, help spread the word against bullying, and inspire a better tomorrow for everyone.”
The bottom line
Lots of us have tried out new hobbies over these past 10 months and many are finding creative ways to cope with our current environment. But if you’re still struggling with stress, anxiety or loneliness, I hope these stories inspire you to give knitting and crocheting a try.