Friday, April 4, 2014

Crochet for Stress and Anxiety Relief

I know that many of you, like me, live a life that encounters stressful situations!  We are constantly searching for peace and tranquility in a world full of turmoil, misunderstandings, illnesses and stress.

Many years ago I suffered from migraine headaches, and they are the worst.  They ruled my life!  I couldn't relax and enjoy anything, anticipating the next attack.  I constantly carried pain relievers in my purse to try to head off the next attack, and the pain relievers didn't help that much and they in turn caused stomach problems.  It was a vicious cycle.  Almost nothing would relieve the pain except to fall sound asleep, which was very difficult to do when in pain.

As time went along I also discovered that if I could find something that would completely distract me to the point of forgetting I had the headache, I would soon find that it was just gone!  At that time I did a lot of tole painting, and that became my passion and escape from stress.  I could get lost in my world of  creating of something beautiful with my brush.

A couple of years ago I began to crochet again after many years.  I had heard about the local prayer shawl ministry and got interested in creating beautiful shawls to give away to my friends in need.  As many of you know, once you begin crocheting or knitting, it is limitless what you can create!  I just cannot put down the crochet hook - there are so many beautiful things I want to make.

During this past two years, my life has taken a dramatic turn.  I was blessed with two beautiful grandchildren which gave me such joy, but in November of 2012, it was discovered that my little precious 17 month old Sadie Caroline had cancer.  She fought a very brave fight, and we all fought it with her to the very end six weeks later.  Such stress and sadness and broken heartedness resulted as a result her loss.  We would never see her become the beautiful woman she was meant to be.  She would not get to live her life and do the good in this world we had dreamed of.

I am thankful I have had my crochet, as it has helped me through this terrible time and continues to help me every single day.  I didn't really pick up the hook and say, ok, this will make me feel better - I just did it!  One day I got to thinking about it and realized that it was relieving my stress and giving me something to do besides think of sad and terrible things.  It was the one thing I had control over, as I definitely had no control over everything else going on.

As time has gone along, I have been able to turn my anxieties over to God, and let him lead my life.  I had to realize that I could not fix this and I definitely could not deal with it all on my own.  Crocheting has helped me in so many ways - I can wile away the hours doing something I enjoy - I can then share my talents with others by giving prayer shawls and chemo hats away to others who are suffering - I can create something of beauty - I can learn new things and share my knowledge with others.  This is a door that God opened for me that I didn't realize I had walked through until later, and I thank Him for leading me to this place of peace.

I have several friends that have various reasons in their lives to be stressed and I have encouraged them to take up their knitting and crocheting and let their mind rest on something creative rather than on trying to solve problems.  They are now smiling with reduced stress, and time has taken care of many of the things that caused them to be unhappy.  If we focus ourselves on the positives in our lives, and give thanks for them - and couple that with reaching out to others who may be suffering - crochet or knit a few beautiful things - God will take care of working things out in His own timing.

God bless you - and if you have a skill like crocheting, knitting, painting, writing, or some other form of self expression - pick it up and do it - let your mind rest - and you will find peace!

If you crochet or knit and would like to become involved in something beautiful, please join me in the ministry I started in memory of my sweet Sadie Caroline - the Sadie Sunshine Chapter of Crochet for Cancer!  We are in the business of helping others and spreading Sadie smiles every day!  Check out our facebook page and "like" it to keep up with what we are doing!