Bad mood got you down? Craft your way back to happiness.
Raise your hand if you’ve had a project in your lap when:
- You’ve had a long, stressful day
- You’re changing jobs or moving
- You’re in a hospital waiting room
- Your heart is broken
- A loved one is dying, or after their death
Though not as difficult as some of the situations above, for those of us who live in northern states, March can be a tough month for mental health.
Winter just drags on, and it’s not all snowglobes and fluffy snowflakes. March in Maine is brown, gray, dirty, sleety, and muddy. Daffodils are a distant dream. If you live with other people or pets, you’re probably mildly (or majorly) annoyed with everyone. Are we painting the picture for you?
Color and yarn therapy are definitely mood boosters, not to mention the act of crafting itself — and there’s actual research to support what we crafters already know.
“In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling ‘very happy.’”
Whether you’re facing a challenging time in life, or just in a March funk, picking up a project is one way to improve your mood.
The question is…
What’s the best project for difficult times?
Your current project or projects just might not cut it for where you’re at emotionally right now.
If your project feels too much like work, or you have a nagging feeling that you *should* be working on it (but you really don’t feel like it), consider Kristin’s advice and put your project in time out. You’re not giving up on it, you’re not setting it aside forever, and you’re definitely not a failure, but it’s just not the right project for you right now, at this particular time in your life.
Crafting through a challenging time might call for a brand new project — sorry-not-sorry, knitting or crochet monogamists!
Here are some guiding questions for choosing a project. Do you need something…
- That’s easy to put down and pick up again?
- With pattern repeats that you can easily memorize?
- That’s modular, such as a blanket or afghan that has small parts to make a whole?
- That features your favorite color(s)?
- That’s quick to make, like a hat?
- That requires lots of focus or attention?
Especially during hard times, the project itself might not actually be the star of the show. It might be the yarn.
Find creative inspiration.
Yarn is our medium. Whether you knit or crochet (or both), we all use yarn to make beautiful things.
When you walk into our shop, you see yarn and color wherever you look. We see your smiles and sparkling eyes, and sometimes we hear exclamations — “Wow. This is amazing!” — or even gasps of delight.
Visiting a yarn store is a therapeutic activity.
It’s color therapy! Tactile therapy! A yarn shop is full of creative potential, with yarn that’s just waiting to be crafted into new forms and functions.
Soak in all those colors. Seek out the ones you feel excited by. If you’re in Maine in March, let yourself bask in a world that’s in full technicolor, not just gray, white, and brown!
Instead of thinking about finding yarn for a project, start with finding yarn that makes you happy. If you love it, you’ll find just the perfect thing to make with it.
We can help you dream up what that might be. We’ve got patterns, books, Ravelry, and plenty of ideas and suggestions if you need them.
Sometimes walking out the door with a bag full of potential is just the mood booster you need.