In this time of exponentially increased levels of anxiety and stress we are all looking for ways to unwind and calm down. We do our best to work, either from home or in an essential function, care for children – both their education and entertainment, and concern about family and friends, especially those we must keep at a distance. Common wisdom is that meditation and mindfulness will focus our thoughts on the present, decreasing worry about past decisions and apprehension about the future.
Crafting can interrupt our negative thoughts to focus on the task at hand – specifically,
the craft you are undertaking. Personally, in the last two months I have crocheted thirty-four hats. I like to make hats because they are a small enough project to complete without getting bored. I have no idea what I will do with these hats, most likely I will donate them, but they tend to calm me. I have teen aged children that are requesting stuffed animals, so I may investigate Amigurumi crochet (Amigurumi is
Japanese for “knitted or crocheted stuffed toy”). Focusing on these new types of crochet patterns can potentially be relaxing.
Browsing Subjects in Libby, I found over 450 ebooks in Crafts, over 300 of them were available to borrow immediately. I found Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden, Crochet One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman, Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crochet by Cicely Keim, and even Crochet Patterns for Dummies by Susan Brittain, all with Amigurumi patterns I could try.
There are many, many other crafting ebooks in Libby – on soap making, beading, duct taping, candle making, quilting, and even building cardboard habitats for cats (Cat Castles by Carin Oliver). Many of these ebooks are guides for beginners, you may already have the items needed to start something new, or things can be acquired online, both JoAnn Fabrics and Michael’s have curbside pick-up.
Another thing I have found to distract my thoughts from the past and the future, making me mindful of the present is coloring. Not children’s coloring, although if you have younger kids you could wrangle one of their books, but I doubt that would lead to tranquility.
According to Dr. Scott M. Bea, PsyD at the Cleveland Clinic, adult coloring can be calming because it focuses your attention on the task, leading to relaxing your brain; with a predictable outcome it is a low stakes activity. I have also found that pulling out the coloring books and colored pencils attracts my teens, one or both may pull up a chair and the shared activity allows us to talk – looking down rather than making eye contact seems to encourage a release of feelings. An inexpensive meditative diversion, a Google search for “coloring pages for adults “resulted a whole bunch of free pages.
Whatever you do to distract and relax your mind can be helpful. Try searching and browsing the available ebooks on crafts in Libby or Overdrive and Hoopla for ideas for starting something new or expanding on your current interests.
by DD in the Reference Department