Photo via tsukismama (Flickr/cc).
Made popular by grandmothers everywhere, crocheting uses one hook to create woven patterns out of yarn. It may seem like something you would do in a rocking chair when your hair is gray, but crocheting is actually popular amongst millennials as an anxiety and depression coping mechanism. Here are a few examples of how crocheting can help keep anxiety at bay.
1. Crocheting is an easy hobby to start.
Adopting this new hobby will cost you less than $10 (and 15-minutes dedicated to a Youtube tutorial) to begin. Crocheting is repeating the same steps over and over again until you have enough size to create the piece that you want. There are unlimited types of stitches possible, but you only have to master a few to get started.
2. It occupies your hands.
If you have anxiety or suffer from a self-mutilation disorder, you could unconsciously bite your nails, pull out your hair or eyelashes or pick your skin. A crochet needle and a bit of yarn can help occupy your hands for hours. Some stitches are so simple that you can even do them while watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
3. It creates a sense of control.
You get to decide how long the scarf will be. Will it have fringe? Are you going to make it striped so you can represent your inner Gryffindor or stick to solid black? Often we encounter events that are out of our control in life, but crocheting brings your mind back to a place where you have complete authority.
4. It helps you fall asleep.
Many people report that crocheting calms them down to a state where sleep is an option. There is a deeply repetitive nature to crocheting that can ease an insomniac into a state of rest. It’s also a relatively silent activity that can be performed when the rest of the world is sleeping. Your roommate won’t resent you for making a hat at 3 a.m. when you can’t sleep. This makes it easier to cohabitate and adds no undue strain on relationships.
5. You can create useful items with your bare hands.
You may not be a woodworker or potter. Perhaps you buy everything in your life at a store or online. Crocheting allows the maker to create something unique to exact specifications (and with unique flaws). Suddenly making a potholder is within reach. Crocheted items also make special gifts for relatively little money.
6. The items you make can serve as a comfort object.
My stuffed animals were donated to charity many years ago. Now, when I’m feeling stressed out or anxious beyond reason, my comfort objects have changed to more useful, less conspicuous items. If you crochet a blanket, you can go to it for a safe place when it feels like the world is crashing in on you. The best part is that you made that safe place yourself.
If you want to simultaneously benefit your mental health and animal rights, you can order alpaca yarn (made cruelty-free) from A Stroka Gene Us Alpaca Farm in Stringer, Mississippi.