Aptly it is Word Mental Health Day today, on the day I decided to tell my story about how I came to become a crochet addict.
I have a fairly stressful day job, lots of difficult challenges and problems to solve, which if I don’t get right, could have serious consequences for my employer. I took up my current position around 8 years ago. For a long time, with no confidence in my own abilities, I felt I had to work 24/7 to prove myself worthy of the title. I worked all hours and was often known to ping emails off late at night and weekends (even on holidays).
It took me a good few years (about 3 years ago) to realise that this wasn’t helpful for me or the organisation. I was never able to switch off, always thinking and worrying about work and it was having an impact on my family life. Also, what sort of message was I sending to colleagues by sending emails late at night. Was I rising their expectations that I would deal with things immediately, or was I adding unknown pressure on them to respond to me?
This is when I taught myself to crochet (thank you Lucy from Attic 24!). I could knit (just about but badly) but I wanted to learn to crochet when someone asked me to make a knitted character from the Harry Hill programme and it turned out the pattern is actually crochet (who knew!). I also was fascinated how you could create toys from just this little hook?
Crocheting really helped me put work to one side when I was at home and actually relax. I couldn’t wait to sit down with my hook and yarn and lose myself in whatever I was creating at the time. I still can’t and secretly resent those ‘I could be crocheting moments!’.
Since that time, I have opened my own crochet business, designed my own patterns and now teach and pass on the fantastic skills of crochet so others can discover the benefits. It is quite amazing how many people come through my crochet doors with similar stories to me of burn out, stress and wanting to find something to help.
I will talk more about the recent studies that have been conducted into recognised benefits of crochet and the impact it has not only on mental but also physical health, in another post. I will whisper this however – sometimes my crocheting can be the actual source of my stress but that is a story for another day (shh, don’t tell my hooks!).
Thanks for getting this far. I would love to know what you do to look after yourself and to help yourself relax and switch off.
Look after yourself and if someone looks like they may not be OK, ask the question and give them a bit of a squeeze (obviously with permission!!!). It may be just what they need! #itsoknottobeok