Crafting Calm: Navigating the End of Year Rush with Self-Kindness
As we whirlwind our way through the holiday season and towards the end of the year our knitting needles can become a source of both solace and stress. We’re madly rushing around organising this, attending that, not to mention knitting our little butts off trying to finish our hand-knitted gifts in time. This doesn’t leave much time to rest and reflect. We’ll catch our breath and think about all that selfcare in the new year… right? Well that’s true, we can (and should) look after ourselves in the new year, but we can also do it now. Right. Now. And it doesn’t have to interfere with our off-the-chart busy running to the finish line schedules.
Begin with Kind Words
Speaking kindly to ourselves is an important part of self care but often it can be hard to know what to say or even to notice what we are saying or not saying to ourselves.
I find positive affirmations really helpful in times when I’m feeling busy, overwhelmed or stressed out, because they require very little thinking time. Instead of adding to my worries by trying to think of what I should or shouldn’t be saying and getting caught in that spiral, pre prepared affirmations are a great thing to have in my tool kit.
Here are a few Knitting Affirmations I have created that you might find useful right now too:
- Knitting soothes my soul
- I am crafting joy and comfort
- I am creative and kind
- Mistakes make my project more special
- I find peace in yarn
- Just this stitch in this moment
Knit, Purl, Pause. Take Micro Breaks.
I know, I get it, you’ve just got to get it done, and you’re going to be up all night and you’ve only finished half a sock, and you’re knitting so fast that you hands are a blur BUT if you’re anything like me, then constant velocity leads to mistakes, panicky feelings and sometimes even the dreaded accidentally-pull-the-stitches-off-the-needle.
Here’s something to try and it will seem super counter intuitive. Pause, just a little, in the inbetween. I’m not saying you have to go slower, if you feel the need to race then go for it but in those moments when you turn your work or switch needles just check in for a tiny moment. These little moments will add up over time and they really won't slow you down.
Get Real About Your To-Do List
Have you overcommitted yourself? It’s time to get really honest here. It's totally ok if you have, I have too. But when we get this close to the big day and we haven’t even started some of the things on that list, well it’s time to cross them off. There will be other Christmases, birthday and special occasions when you can treat your loved ones to hand made gifts.
I got myself into the pickle of having hand knitted socks finished for one of my children but not the other this year and I was giving myself such a hard time about it and still pushing myself to make it happen, but today I realised that I’m totally not going to get there. So birthday socks it is.. or maybe next Christmas.
Start Something Simple and Enjoyable
Has all the rushing and stressing completely killed your knitting mojo? Here's one heck of a crazy idea... put down whatever project you’re working on that’s stressing you out right now, and cast on something deliciously simple or fun instead. No deadline, no rushing, just you reconnecting with the craft that lights you up.
You might not feel it straight away but this is the kind of knitting you probably really need right now. Therapeutic, nurturing and unrushed.
In the whirlwind of year-end responsibilities and knitting deadlines, what we really need is an immediate embrace of self-kindness. From the power of positive affirmations to the counterintuitive grace of micro breaks during knitting, we need to prioritise our wellbeing now. Honest reflections on to-do lists allow for a recalibration of priorities, emphasising the value of sentiment over rigid deadlines. My suggestion to start something simple and enjoyable may seem radical but it could become a nurturing remedy, and serve as a reminder that our craft can be a source of joy rather than stress.
As the year draws to a close I hope you can find time to nurture your beautiful self. Because you deserve it, we all do.
Would you like a free printable copy of the six knitting affirmations I mentioned? Click here.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.
Much love and kindness and happy creating.
Banner image by Annie Sprat.