It’s the beginning of a new year, and what better way to start 2016 than to refocus, relax, and find balance. Last year was the first year I set a resolution that was attainable and slightly difficult, but much needed. My resolution was to spend a little time every day on doing things that made me happy, and it was the best present I ever gave myself.
Even on days that I was extremely sad or grumpy, I made sure to read a book, knit, or take a walk, if only for a couple of minutes. In doing this, I found activities that helped me get out of my funkiest of moods and was able to refocus my energy into something more positive. One of these activities happened to be knitting.
Knitting was my go-to activity that I wanted to do for myself. I sought to knit while I was happy, sad, prickly, or anxious. It took me a while, but I started to notice how helpful knitting was for me when I needed to calm my thoughts, breathe, and recenter. Knitting turned out to be my yoga. It’s the one activity I’m able to do wherein my mind shuts everything out and I’m able to get 100% uninterrupted me time.
There have been quite a few articles lately about the health benefits of knitting and how it’s a great meditative task. Alton Barron, an orthopedic surgeon and president of the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand, has stated, “Using your hands meaningfully triggers healthy engagement and activity in about 60% of your brain.” (1)
His wife, Carrie Barron, a psychiatrist with the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons says, “The rhythmic, mathematical nature of knitting and crocheting keep the mind absorbed in a healthy way, providing an escape from stressful thoughts but allowing for internal reflection.” (1)
I wish sewing had the same effect on me as knitting does, but unfortunately the first moment I have to seam rip something, I’m running for my knitting needles to calm me down.
If you decide to make a resolution this year, I suggest taking a little time every day for yourself. Be it knitting, reading, yoga, walking, or anything that gives you time to yourself to smile, refocus, or mediate. Treat yourself this year. You deserve it.
Oh yes, and I almost forgot…. Happy New Year!