health benefits to knitting

Finding Self-Love through Knitting

Another ramble type post, aka me just putting my thoughts onto the screen. Hopefully it's understandable! Hehe.

This Valentine's Day, I'm going to say "I love you" to myself.

This Valentine's Day, I'm going to say "I love you" to myself.

Valentine's Day is traditionally a day for couples to express their love for each other through grand gestures, romantic dinners and flowers. However over the past week I've been thinking about the meaning of Valentine's day and what this holiday represents to me. It's a day of love, but usually that means love for another person. What about love for oneself? 

I've been learning how to better love myself the past couple of months as a way to not only combat my depression/anxiety but also to help improve my health and my sense of self-esteem and worth. Knitting plays an extremely important role in this process, and I've found a few reasons how it has helped improve my life.

1. Designing Knitwear Keeps My Brain Active

Getting bored or falling into a state of inactivity is my number one ticket to restlessness, unease and often high amounts of stress. Since I've begun to design knitwear this has become less of a problem. Designing a garment requires using both creative juices and (thankfully) easy math. One of the reasons why I enjoyed college as much as I did (which was a lot) was because I was always studying, learning and using my head. When I've gone too long without doing something creative, that's when my body starts reacting negatively. Putting my brain to work helps combat this sense of void and keeps me sharp. An active mind is a healthy and happy one. 

2. Sense of Accomplishment with a FO

Outside of school work, I rarely completed any projects that I set my sights on. I liked to dabble in different arts and crafts, but I could never finish anything as I would either get bored with it, or, because of my perfectionist tendencies, give up halfway due to dissatisfaction with my work. Knitting has been the only craft that I've taken on and I've completed many, many projects - in fact, there has only been one project that I've given up on (a sweater). When I finished my first ever knitting project (a simple stockinette cowl), I was so excited and happy with my work, I couldn't wait to get to the next project. And when that was completed, I thought to myself, "Wow, I finished these projects with ease, I enjoyed it and I have something to show for my work!" With each project I finish, it pushes me to pursue a new one but also seeing the fruits of my labor in my hands gives me a sense of pride and happiness.

3. Treating Myself to Nice Yarn

If you watch Parks and Recreation, you should be familiar with the occurring theme of "Treat Yo' Self" (if you're not, the gist of it is that the characters allow themselves one day of the year to completely pamper themselves and blow tons of cash). That episode was rather damaging to my wallet as I started to treat myself to high-quality handmade yarns. But instead of feeling bad about having spent so much, I learnt to not worry about it as I grew to realize that my projects and designs were worthy of high quality (and expensive!) yarns. Besides, holding such nice and beautifully soft yarn makes anyone feel great and I was not an exception!

4. Knitting is Relaxing

There are many articles written about the health benefits of knitting, and I definitely agree with them. When I'm anxious or stressed, knitting has always calmed me down. The less anxiety and stress I have in my life, the easier it is for me to focus on the more important things in my quest for self-acceptance. 

Knitting has given me a sense of worth and accomplishment, and I've been able to see how far I've progressed over the year I've learnt to knit. It has also given me a community that I can connect to and interact with on a daily basis. While I still have a ways to go in my journey for self-love and fighting anxiety/depression, knitting has given me many tools to help. How has knitting helped improve your life?