During the month of May there’s a ‘Wellbeing at Work’ Festival happening in the NHS Trust which I work for as a nurse. They are offering over 20 free health and wellbeing activities for staff and I’m soooo excited that I’ve been given the opportunity to run some crochet classes as part of this… 🙂 🙂
The classes have proved very popular and I’m busy preparing things for the classes now. It will be quite a challenge as there are 10 people signed up to each class and they’re only 1 hour long. I want to be able to give the very best introduction to crochet! Of course there’s no way they’ll master crochet in just one hour but if people leave feeling they’ve had a little fun, seen some inspiring things and maybe want to go and get some yarn and a hook then I’ll be happy!
I was asked to write a blog post for the organisers to shine a light on the links with wellbeing and raise awareness of what will be on offer.
Here it is…
As part of Wellbeing @Work festival at the Trust, I am offering crochet classes. But how can crochet help with wellbeing?
On my blog I introduce my love for crochet as…
“I love crochet! I love how it looks, I love its versatility and more than anything I love to actually do crochet. A craft I can take anywhere with me and the joy of gradually seeing each stitch transform the yarn in my hands into something beautiful.”
As well as the simple joy someone can get from crochet (and other yarn crafts such as knitting) it really can help to improve wellbeing and health conditions such as pain, anxiety, depression and stress. These health benefits have been backed up by research that can be found on the Sitchlinks website.
I crochet most evenings and for me, as the yarn unwinds with each stitch, I literally feel that I myself am unwinding from any stresses of the day.
Time to learn and love crochet…
Crochet is a creative skill that can take a little while to master- this in itself can provide a welcome distraction from stressful working environments. It can be so rewarding to learn a new skill and both patience and perseverance are needed which are valuable life skills that are perhaps not used as much in todays’ fast moving environments with instant access to so much via our technology.
Crochet is not a fast craft and some crocheted items can take many weeks to complete but this slow yet consistent progress can really help to soothe, calm and facilitate relaxation. When someone is engaged in a craft activity such as crochet it can provide a distraction from pain or stress.
Once the basics of crochet are mastered, the possibilities are endless. So many things can be made, from crocheted flowers and bunting to blankets, toys, clothing, accessories and so much more! The satisfaction of making something with our own hands can give a real sense of achievement, self-worth, self-esteem and confidence, especially helpful for those who have depression. To be able to say “I made that” gives a person motivation to do more and a sense of purpose and fulfilment- it goes without saying that all these things can contribute to a positive sense of wellbeing.
It’s like meditation
Crochet involves a lot of stitches! A crocheted blanket for example can be made up of over 15,000 stitches. The rhythmic and repetitive action of crocheting each stitch can provide an almost meditative state. The numerous benefits of meditation are well known including being able to reduce anxiety. Some crochet designs need a lot of concentration, others less so, either way as you are absorbed in the crochet your mind is able to focus on the repetitive stitches. It is like mindfulness- as you crochet you are focusing on the task in hand and can enjoy the here and now.
Anywhere, anyplace, any time
Crochet is also very portable- all you need is some yarn and a hook… I often have my crochet with me so worry less if a train is delayed or I have to wait for something as out comes my crochet and I know I’m using the time to do something I love! The calming action of crocheting those stitches can alleviate some stressful situations I might find myself in!
If you like the idea of crochet but don’t want to make anything for yourself then crocheting for charity is a great option. Many charities welcome crocheted or knitted items to either sell in their shops or send to people in need. Some NHS hospitals have recently been appealing for crocheted octopus to be made for their premature babies. The octopus in the incubator has been linked to better health and wellbeing for the babies (amazing!) – head over to the Poole or Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust websites to find out more.
Crochet – it can help us to relax, unwind and focus; it can distract us, soothe us and calm us; relieves stress, boosts self-esteem, increases confidence and builds self-worth. What fantastic benefits to wellbeing this fabulous craft can give us- oh and aren’t crocheted items just wonderful!? I know my lounge is a cosier place with those crocheted blankets on the sofa.
If you want to find out more about the health and wellbeing benefits of crochet there are some books which have been written:
‘Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet’ (2012) and ‘Hook to Heal’ (2015) both written by Kathryn Vercillo.
‘Crochet Therapy: 20 Mindful, Relaxing and Energising Projects’ (2016) by Betsan Corkhill
There’s also a link to the blog post here
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts…
The very best of luck. I think you will be on a winner with your class. My DIL has found crochet a life saver through her recent illness.
Awww, thanks Cathy 🙂 That’s so good to hear… I love this side to crochet and other crafts… 🙂 🙂
How lovely that you get to share your love of crochet at work! And how lovely that they get to discover it. Crochet (and creating in general) certainly helps with my depression and anxiety 🙂
I know- it’s FABULOUS that I get to crochet at work!! Such a lovely opportunity! And I’m so glad to hear that crochet and crafting helps you… 🙂 xx
I agree completely! How great that you get to share this very worthwhile craft through work.
Thanks so much for sharing that link to your blog- I know I’m very lucky to be able to bring my crochet into work!! 🙂 🙂
Happy to see this article as I agree it definitely does help with mental health, I find the repetitiveness of it really helps me zone out and stops my mind from worrying round and round in circles! It helped me out of the worst depression of my life so far
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment- I’m glad you liked the article and I’m so pleased to hear that crochet helped you too… 🙂 🙂
Great post and great opportunity to promote what an amazing craft that crocheting is. In addition to the meditative benefits of the repetitive stitching there is also the soothing tactile stimulation of the soft yarn, so comforting, and the visual mood boost of either bright happy colors or calming neutral colors. I’m sure you will inspire so many people with your classes! 😀
Thanks so much Tami- yes, the colours and textures of the yarn too- there’s just so many amazing benefits to crochet! And I just love a crocheted item… I hope that I’ll be able to inspire everyone! 🙂 🙂
How fabulous! I, too, get to share my love of crochet at work in a less formal setting. I don’t teach a class but I do teach it in my class. During downtime (that happens very rarely working with kids), they flock around me and want to try it themselves. It’s very rewarding to watch them come to love crochet. Sounds like you’re a wonderful teacher. 🙂
Oh Thank you Yolanda!! I hope I’ll be able to pass on the crochet love (I’m certainly preparing well).. and you too sound like a FABULOUS teacher with your amazing dolls… 🙂 🙂
Thank you! I’ve been tempted to teach a formal class at our community center but haven’t worked up the courage. I know it’s a lot of preparation so my hat’s off to you!
You should do it one day Yolanda…. 🙂 🙂
That’s so great! I am sure you will inspire a lot of the people in work with your crochet if you haven’t already. I definitely agree with the therapeutic benefits of crochet, it’s helped me enourmously this year with the grief of losing my Mum, it calms , soothes and distracts the mind and has helped me cope with everyday life in general, I don’t know how I’d cope without out it!
Thank you so much – I hope I will be able to inspire people! The classes are in a couple of weeks so I still have time to prepare… I’m so pleased to hear that crochet has helped you too with the loss of your Mum… 🙂 🙂
One of the ladies I met in Morecambe works in the NHS and she does classes at the hospital for staff. She was mildly freaked out by the fact she had a couple of consultants coming along on a regular basis!
That’s brilliant Steph! I already have a few senior members of staff signed up… it will be strange trying to teach them to crochet!! 🙂 🙂
Lovely idea,crochet helps me a lot
Thank you so much… it’s good to hear that crochet helps you too! 🙂 🙂
What a lovely thing to be asked to do. Great post and great that our health system is finally recognising how crafts are good for our well being.
Absolutely Bekki- it’s a great thing and I’m just so happy that I get to crochet as part of my work! 🙂 🙂
I couldn’t agree more. Crochet really is my therapy, I get grumpy when I haven’t had the time to ‘create’ something. I can’t think of a more inspirational teacher Eleonora, good luck with your lessons 🙂
Awww, thank you so much for those lovely words! I really hope that I’ll be able to inspire people to go and create! 🙂 🙂
Cripes, what would we do without crochet!? Great article.
Yay! Thanks Rosina- indeed, what would we do without crochet!! 🙂 🙂
I love this! Crochet helped me quit smoking over two years ago.
That’s so good to hear Robin- I hadn’t even thought about it helping to give up smoking but the distraction it provides must help! Thanks so much… 🙂 🙂
Yes, the distraction is good and it also gives you something to do with your hands. Plus, you wouldn’t want to crochet something for someone and have it smelling like yucky smoke.
Lovely post!👍Crochet is such a serene wonderful experience-great to know you are spreading the word!😘Love Fran and Fenty🐶💋🐶
Hello Fran and Fenty, thanks for stopping by here on my blog! I’m glad you liked this post and yes, I hope to be able to spread the crochet joy…😊💕🐶🐶 xx
We are so on the same page 🙂 Love your beach photos too, especially ripple blanket. I also live coastal (Pacific) 🙂 I had Crochet Therapy out of the library a few weeks ago, didn’t get around to making anything but it’s a lovely book. Crochet Saved my Life is awaiting me on my kindle still, but I’ve been following Kathryn for a few years now, she is such an inspiration – kept me persevering when learning to hook and I learned so much from her in terms of crochet as a tool for managing my own mental health issues. I get her newsletter now as I’m a (very small) Patreon supporter of her work, she always shares a mind blowing amount of crochet related news and info. Have you done the classes yet, how is it going? X
Hi Pam- lovely to hear from you! And lovely to hear how crochet has helped you too…The classes I’m running are this Thursday so very soon! I’ll no doubt do a blog post about them so will let you all know how they went. 🙂 🙂 xx
Sorry for the delay in commenting, I’m Slowly catching up on my favourite blogs! I think this is an amazing thing you’re doing, I’m sure you’ll be a fantastic teacher too. I’m so glad I found crochet, it’s my happy place and definitely a lifetime hobby. Can’t imagine being without it now. Best of luck! Xx
Thanks so much Vicki! 🙂 🙂
Reblogged this on Yarnsage.