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Nurses who Knit to Relieve Stress

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


Nurse self-care. How can knitting and creativity help relieve stress?


Many activities are said to help relieve stress and anxiety, and knitting is one of them. Research states that sometimes, knitting may have a similar effect on the brain as meditation. However, achieving a zen-like knitting state may take a bit of practice.


With many people leading busy lives and the stresses of the recent pandemic, it's no wonder reports of stress and anxiety are on the rise. Now the worries about Covid 19 seem to be fading. People are trying to find ways to relieve their stress.


How can knitting help?

The repetitive rhythm of knitting can help release the brain's happy hormone, serotonin, which can make you feel calmer and more relaxed.

In recent years knitting has also become quite a social hobby, and many people attend knitting circles for a chat-up while they knit. There are also many of these groups online, so you can still socialize without even leaving your house. Meeting friends and feeling part of a community is a great way to improve your mental health.


Knitting and mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about taking time for yourself, quieting the mind, and recharging your body. Knitting can help you develop mindfulness techniques by giving you a focus away from other areas in your life that are causing you stress and anxiety.

Knitting can help you stay focused on one thing as our brains struggle to multitask for long periods of time. And if you don't concentrate on your knitting, you may drop stitches or knit your pattern wrong.



Ways knitting can help reduce your anxiety.


Hand movements- Concentrating on what your hands are doing stops your brain from being able to think about other things going on in your life that may be causing you stress.

Repetitive movement- Many people use repetitive motions to help calm themselves throughout the day. Tapping, rocking, and pen chewing are quite common. Knitting can take the place of some of these habits and help reduce anxiety more productively.

Safety of the knitting group- If you struggle with social situations or have been isolating yourself, attending a knitting group may be the perfect start to becoming more confident in the world again. No one is going to judge you for staying silent, intently staring at your knitting during a group chat; everyone will assume you're counting stitches. As you become more comfortable, you will find yourself speaking up more.

Knitting is portable- Knitting is the perfect activity to carry in your bag and pull out anytime you feel anxious or have spare moments to fill, and you want to stay distracted.

By learning a new skill, you will create new positive pathways in your brain and strengthen old ones. As you master your knitting skills and the yarn feels natural in your hands, you will be able to relax more and enjoy the peacefulness that comes along with knitting.




Reflection

  1. Do you sometimes feel anxious or stressed and you're not sure what to do?

  2. Do you have a hobby that helps you relax at the end of a long day?

  3. Have you ever considered learning to knit to help you relax?



References


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