Crochet and Mental Health

crochet and mental healthCrochet and Mental Health

As the founder of @craftastherapy, it’s no secret that i believe crochet is good for mental heath. With April being stress awareness month, i wanted to chat about how we often take on more than we can cope with, and stress creeps into our lives. Life is beautiful and too short as we know, but it’s also hard, even when things are going well. We tend to fill up our plates until we are so short on time and energy that we feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up. This is not an uncommon state for a lot of people that i know, so why do we take on too much?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but i do know we can only cope with a certain amount of stress before something gives. What ‘gives’ first for me is my physical health, which then in turn makes everything twice as difficult to deal with as it was before. For others, it’s their mental heath and for the unlucky, both physical and mental health begins to decline.

So what can we do to help ourselves keep stress to a healthy level?

I often hear people around me saying, “We are trying to simplify our lives”, and i have heard very similar words from my own mouth, but this is always easier said than done. Crochet has been and continues to be a wonderful stress reducer for me. There’s something about the rhythm of the stitches, the constant movement of the hands and the pride felt from creating something useful with a simple hook and yarn.

Maybe if more people crocheted (or similar) there would be less stress in the world. We’re all stressed! There’s a reason those meditative colouring books have become so popular.Β crochet and mental health

Research into Crochet, Health and Wellbeing

There is currently research being done by the University of Wollongong, Australia, into crochet, health and wellbeing, but they need a reasonable response rate for the results to impact on health promotion practice. A simple, anonymous survey which takes approximately 5mins, will aid in making the research successful. I would love you to take the time to fill in the survey. It is open to anyone, anywhere in the world who crochets.

The official blurb (as approved by the Ethics committee) is below –

We would like to invite you to complete an anonymous, online survey investigating how crochet impacts your health and wellbeing. The survey also asks questions about how and why you use online forums about crochet.
The survey can be found here:Β https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/crochetsurvey

crochet and mental health

Love Crochet and want to share?

My friends at Love Crochet are also encouraging crafters to talk more about how crochet (or other crafts) help with physical health and wellbeing. If you’d like to share your story about how craft has helped you then tag your contributions withΒ #crochetcrew for a chance to be featured. Or head to the tag to read other crafters stories about crochet and mental health.

Most importantly, if you are feeling like life is all too hard and nothing is helping, please tell someone. And don’t just whisper it, say it loudly and clearly so loved ones can help you.

crochet and mental health

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Follow:

20 Comments

  1. Kate
    April 11, 2018 / 10:16 am

    Thank you so so much for writing this. I sit here with tears in my eyes as I see the beauty and encouragement in your heart through your words.
    Three yrs ago, I woke in herendous pain with a diagnosis of a fractured spine. My spine was collapsed. ..this was permanent!
    The pain was one thing, however , the spiral of depression that followed was quiet another.
    Not being able to do all of those everyday things that we as women take for granted!
    Having trust in the Most High YHWH, that there is a purpose in everything, I returned to CROCHET. πŸ‘Œ Having not touched a hook for decades I had to slowly relearn and build confidence. (Shelley from spincushions videos from her cals were very instrumental )
    Now, books, study, and CROCHET are my hiding place.
    When it all gets too much…a ball of yarn and a hook is soooo soothing… so relaxing , it arrests the mind away to another realm of total relaxation …
    Yes, I do take an antidepressant! But. .. it is not enough. WE need to DO something physically that is therapeutic . I firmly believe any form of craft would help…for me its CROCHET. πŸ’•
    Once again, thank YOU! Love and blessings xx

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Hello Kate, I’m sorry to read your story, but happy to hear how crochet has helped you cope with your depression. I agree that we need something physical to help maintain mental health. Working the stitches is just so meditative!
      Thanks for commenting here. Wishing you good health and happiness.
      Mandy xx

  2. April 11, 2018 / 11:33 am

    Crochet is definitely a MUST in my life to help with my stress. I have worked with a life coach the past few years who has helped me make incredible improvements in my life that have in turn helped with my mental health. I am also very aware too, that as a parent and foster parent that I need to put my health before everything so that I can continue to be the best parent to them. Especially to the boys we foster as they bring a huge amount of continuous stress to our lives and I have noticed that when I get worn down by them, then it filters through to the rest of my family too. I’ll be more than happy to participate in the survey!

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Yes Seona, i agree it’s really important, as carers, to look after our own mental health. We can’t help anyone if we aren’t happy and healthy ourselves. I am sure this research will prove the health benefits of crochet and hopefully more people will turn to it as a form of therapy.
      Mandy xx

  3. Elda Woods
    April 11, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Crochet for me is like the 3 year old kid that gets a box of crayons! So many colors to color your world the way you want it to be. I am creative by nature and I have also been diagnosed with Bipolar for the last 10 years. I started crocheting a little over a year now and I can tell you it is my medicine! Yes I take meds to regulate my moods but nothing makes me happier than purchasing new yarn in different textures and colors. Each stitch is like a little prayer that everything is going to be okay. I also love giving my creations away as gifts. Crochet is a beautiful craft to do. I thank God Each and everyday for my hands that are able to crochet which help my brain to cope better with bipolar which eventually helps my heart to accept who I am. It truly is the simple things in life that can make a huge difference. Lighting a candle and creating a cozy corner to crochet something beautiful helps me more than all the medicine in the world. Hopefully one day more human beings will benifit from this form of therapy!!

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:59 pm

      Oh yes, what you said about colour is the same for me. The yarn, the stitches, the texture and the colours are all part of the joy of crochet and craft. I’m glad to hear that crochet is helping you and i agree, more humans can benefit from this kind of therapy.
      Happy Making!
      Mandy xx

  4. Ann Godfrey
    April 11, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    Oh how true. In June 2017 my very safe and secure world was tipped on its axis and it shook me off. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. To add to my distress I live in an isolated region 2,300km from the treatment centre. It was hard. I experienced great emotional distress and became very depressed. All my retirement plans (I had retired 6 months earlier) went out the window.
    Treatment is now finished, however, I found that I could not settle. Concentration went haywire. One day I picked up my crochet hook and oddments of leftover yarn to crochet myself a bed “snuggle” rug. How soothing. My fidgetty hands had a purpose and my concentration improved through the repetition of the stitches. Gradually my depression has lifted and the amount of anti depressant medication lessened. I believe any craft is beneficial, for me it was crochet.

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      Oh goodness, i can relate to the fidgetty hands and needing to redirect that energy into something positive. I’m glad you have made it through your treatment. Wishing lots of good health and happiness.
      Mandyxx

  5. April 11, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    I love crochet. I suffer with PTSD. I under went a years worth of therapy. Crochet is my life line to mindfulness and bringing me in to the here and now. I recently started my own crochet group on fb for crochet for mindfulness to help support a craft we all love and to support each other through difficult times. It’s working well, and many have made deep connections from all over the world. Not only is my crochet my new therapy, but so is my group. Crochet really needs to used more as a way to help relieve symptoms of all types of mental illness.

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      How wonderful that you’ve been able to connect with like minded people through crochet. I love that connections can be made from all over the world because of crochet. Wishing you lots of happy crochet moments.
      Mandy xx

  6. Janelle Profke
    April 12, 2018 / 4:58 am

    I started crocheting as a 10 year old – there was significant age gap between me and my siblings so it was like I was an only child and I lived on a farm so had no one to play with at all. I found from this young age that crochet was a way of filling the loniness gap in my life. I am now 60 and retired and find the mental stimulation I get from crocheting is so good for my mental health and mind stimulation and I gain tremendous satisfaction and a great sense of achievement from seeing my projects completed. It is also challenging to work on new complex projects and thanks to U tube a whole new world has opened up of new patterns and the scope for ideas is now limitedless. I also share photos of my completed works with my friends on facebook and it just makes me feel so good having people compliment my work.

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Hi Janelle, i loved reading your comment because it shows how it’s not just the act of crochet that brings joy – the giving, the sharing, the sense of pride and compliments are all wonderful for mental health.
      Happy Making!
      MAndy xx

  7. Gabrielle
    April 12, 2018 / 8:31 am

    My mother taught me, and I’ve taught my daughter to crochet. Just this weekend, amongst all the ‘busy-ness’ I created a garland chain of hearts for a friend’s 2yo daughter. Hot off the hook, it was gifted on Sat afternoon. The child immedediately draped it around her neck and wore it all afternoon. My friend beamed with joy. Making it slowed me down and gave me joy. Giving it … we’ll just more joy shared. πŸ’•

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:51 pm

      Thanks for commenting here Gabrielle. There’s so much joy in giving as well as making. This is something i am just discovering as initially i found it hard to part with my makes. Now i love giving things away πŸ™‚

      Mandy xx

  8. April 12, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Such a powerful post. Thank you for sharing. When I wrote my book, Crochet Saved My Life, there was almost no research out there about the mental health benefits of crochet. With each year that passes, more and more people are talking about it. It’s great to see!

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:49 pm

      It’s wonderful to some good, strong research being done into the health benefits of crochet. I think many of us crochet types are already aware of the mental health benefits, but some good hard evidence will help promote better health practices.

  9. Noelene
    April 12, 2018 / 8:47 pm

    I learnt to crochet from my mother in law when I had my first daughter and made so many lovely baby jumpers etc. I am 70 now and still crochet and recently made some lovely colourful hats for Lady Cilento Hosp in Brisbane for the children in the Oncology ward. I find it very relaxing while watching TV. I have recently taught my daughter and daughter in law and they each made a scarf

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Thanks for sharing your crochet story, Noelene. I’m sure i will still have a hook in my hand when i’m 70. Giving crochet items away is another form of therapy i believe. I always feel happy when i’ve given away something that i’ve poured a lot of love into.

      Mandy xx

  10. April 15, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    I have fibromyalgia and who knows what else. There are times when the pain and feelings of hopelessness get to be too much. I find that if I can focus on creating a crochet motif, I can leave all of that behind. Even when it isn’t working out and I’m ripping more than hooking, the focus on getting there is healing. Sometimes it is my hooks, other times my needles, still others, I am at my spinning wheel feeling the fiber become yarn in my own hands. The healing power of the texture of the yarn, the formed stitches, even the smell of the yarns is extraordinary!

    • redagapeblog
      April 16, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      Yes, yes and yes! I think most crocheters who have a chronic illness will agree with all that you said. And i’ve always loved the smell of yarn. πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for commenting here. I really appreciate it and i’m sure others have enjoyed reading your words.
      Happy Making!
      Mandy xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *