7 Quick Self-Care Tips Endorsed by Avid Crocheters
By now you’ve heard me talk about self-care tips & why self-care is important. I’ve also shared the benefits that self-care activities like crochet can bring to your mental and physical health. There are several types of self-care, but this article is going to focus mainly on taking care of yourself while you’re crocheting.
While crochet can be repetitive and calming, over time it can cause pain in the hands and joints. This kind of defeats the purpose of learning the craft!
Today I’m sharing some quick self-care tips that avid crocheters use every day. (At least this avid crocheter uses them!)
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Why is Self-Care Important?
We hear this term being thrown around a lot these days. “Self-care isn’t selfish.” (it’s not!) “We need self-care tips!” (I’ve got ’em!)
But what does self-care really mean? Essentially it’s so important because if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give to others. It’s the oxygen mask on a plane theory. I’m sure you’ve heard about it, but in case you haven’t, here goes.
You are instructed to put your oxygen mask on first in a plane emergency before assisting children or other passengers. Why? Because if you try to help someone else and can’t breathe yourself, you’re not doing anyone any good. Whereas if you’re wearing your own mask and taking care of yourself, you are able to keep up with the demands on your time in an emergency.
The same principle applies even if you’re a stay at home mom, a working mom, a single gal running a blog. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t have enough fuel in your tank to get you where you need to be.
I’m glad we got that part out of the way because now I can tell you that I think crochet is one of the best mental health tools at our disposal. I talked about how useful this can be in this blog post in case you want to read about it.
You’ve Started Crocheting, & Now You Can’t Put it Down
Good! I mean…yes go feed your kids and pay your bills before getting back to hooking. As relaxing and helpful as crochet can be, sometimes the overuse of our hands can leave us feeling sore and tired. I know that after a particularly long day of crocheting, my hands are so stiff I can barely move them.
I’ve got seven of my best tips for relieving joint and muscle soreness listed here. These are self-care tips collected from avid crocheters. These are things I use in my daily crochet life and they do help, so I hope you’ll try them too.
1. Take Breaks – The struggle is real. I get it. One more row turns into one more section, turns into four hours later you’re still working. When I get in the zone I don’t want to stop and so I understand how time can get away from you. But taking small breaks really does help. Get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour. Set a timer on your phone, or get up during a commercial break if you’re watching TV.
2. Use Good Lighting – I know this doesn’t sound like much of a self-care tip, but I promise it is. When you’re not using good lighting while working on your project, you’re putting undue strain on your body. Your eyes have to strain harder to see what you’re working on. You tend to bend closer to your work to see it better, which your back and posture to get thrown out of whack, Using good lighting can help eliminate this stress on your body.
3. Change the Project You’re Working on – Cotton, linen, and bamboo fibers all have very little give. This causes your hands and arms to work harder to control the tension in your project. Switching up the project you’re working on to “springier” yarns (blends, wools, acrylics) can help a lot.
4. Perform stretches on Your Hands and Arms Often – This is a self-care tip I need to follow more often myself. After a particularly long session, my hands tend to stiffen up. The next morning my arms and wrists are super sore and tense. Stretching can help shake off the tension and get me limbered up again. Make sure you’re not overstretching. Remember, it shouldn’t hurt. If it’s hurting, back it off until you feel just the stretch and no pain.
5. Practice Patience – Even the fastest crocheter in the world still takes time to make their projects. Don’t pressure yourself into finishing a project in a certain time frame. Keep plugging away slowly at whatever you’re making, and just don’t quit. Before you know it, you’ll have created something truly unique, and you won’t have a pounding headache as a door prize.
6. Frog Your Work – I know, this is a little bit soul-crushing just to read this sentence. Hell, it’s hard to even type the words out! But frogging is a sometimes unavoidable and necessary component in our self-care activities.
I know that if I get too far into a project and realize I’ve made a mistake, it’s way too tempting to just leave the mistake in and work around it. However, this causes me additional stress trying to remember how to adjust the pattern around the mistake and I end up getting bummed out. Frog your work girl. I promise it’ll feel better on the other side.
7. Ask for Help – Even the most seasoned hooker sometimes needs help in a tricky project. There is no shame in reaching out to your crochet community and asking for a little guidance figuring out what went wrong four rows back. Or maybe reading the pattern is getting to be too much and you need some help with terminology. Whatever the case, make sure you’re asking for help.
There are lots of self-care activities to chose from
But the most important thing to remember is that you are doing what helps you. What works for me, may not be your cup of tea. On the other hand, you might decide that running around your coffee table with a ball of yarn singing “Yankee Doodle” is an effective way to relieve your stress. (On second thought, that sounds divine, I’ll be right over!)
Avid crocheters often find themselves with added stress and pain in their joints that is caused by the very thing they’re trying to relax with. By coming up with different self-care activities, and making sure to use that list when needed, can be a lifesaver.
These seven self-care activities can really come in handy when you’re feeling the strain:
- Take Breaks
- Use Good Lighting
- Change Projects
- Do Stretches
- Practice Patience
- Frog Your Work
- Ask for Help
What self-care tips do you have for the avid crocheter? Did I leave something off this list that you think needs to be here? Drop me a comment below and tell me about it.
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