When someone asks me why I write, I may say many things but the true answer that it always boils down to is, “Because I have to.” The same is true for why I crochet, why I keep scrapbooks, and why I enjoy art journaling. There is a deep-seated need inside of me to create, to give a voice to the million thoughts whirling inside of my mind, to go so deep down inside of myself that I can’t help but reach someone else.
I am the author of a new book, Crochet Saved My Life, which is about the health benefits of crochet. I interviewed nearly two dozen women for this book, who each shared their stories with me about how crafting healed them. Their ailments are all different – schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme Disease, ankle sprains – but what they all had in common was that they had survived (and thrived) thanks to their own creative spirit. These women said the same things again and again: their creativity healed them.
Here are five of the major reasons that a craft like crochet can help improve the quality of life for anyone who is dealing with an illness or disability:
1. It allows us to practice mindfulness. We can be in the moment with our craft and in the moment we do not worry about the future or obsess about the past. Our minds get a break.
2. Repetitive crafts, such as crochet, release serotonin. Serotonin has many benefits, including serving as both a natural painkiller and a natural anti-depressant.
3. Making something out of nothing gives us hope for the future. It is a tangible example of how we are able to see something existing in the future that may not exist for us right now.
4. Crafting feels productive. You may be stuck in a bed, in a hospital, in a home. You may not be able to hold down a job or maintain a healthy relationship – but you can do something. Something powerful.
5. Creativity connects us to others. We can create for others and this creates connections. Even when we create only for ourselves, we are linked to a long history of artists who came before us and who will come after. We are not alone.
To read more about the physical and mental health benefits of crochet, visit crochetsavedmylife.com.
About the Author
Kathryn Vercillo blogs about all things crochet, from fashion to news, art, and CALs at Crochet Concupiscence. You can learn more about her new book, Crochet Saved My Life, at crochetsavedmylife.com.
Article © Kathryn Vercillo. All rights reserved.