This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo, the blogger behind Crochet Concupiscence. She has just released a new book, Crochet Saved My Life, about the mental and physical health benefits of the craft.
New Book: Crochet Saved My Life, The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet
A woman suffers a violent attack and the trauma of a trial to bring her attacker to justice. She struggles with PTSD and related symptoms including depression and anxiety. To heal, she crochets squares for charity, creating projects filled with love to help comfort those who have also been through what she’s been through.
Another woman struggles with fear and worry as she goes through days of temporary blindness caused by a condition that doctors can’t seem to diagnose. She works through the feelings by crocheting, focusing on pulling up one stitch at a time and how she can still be productive in this small way even if her sight never returns.
A third woman battles low self-esteem and depression after a long bout of unemployment. She finally starts up an Etsy store filled with her crocheted items. It may not support her family entirely but it allows her to contribute to her household income and feel useful and confident again.
These are just three of the stories that were told to me as I researched material for my new book, Crochet Saved My Life. The book begins with my own true story of healing through a lifelong experience of depression thanks in part to crochet. As I began to hear these other stories, I knew it was important that I share what these women had to say as well, so the book also incorporates their tales, often in the women’s own words. With each new story I heard and shared, I became impressed even further that this simple, affordable, common craft could be the tool that helped dig so many women out of their deepest holes in life.
What I learned is that there are dozens of different ways in which crochet can help people to heal. The very nature of the repetitive act of crocheting with a soft and soothing yarn is calming. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, breaks negative thought cycles and gives the body downtime to mend itself. The repetition also releases serotonin, which is helpful in battling depression and also acts as a natural painkiller so it’s useful for chronic mental health conditions as well as chronic pain problems. Crochet allows the practitioner to build their fine motor skills, making it useful as an occupational therapy tool for people of all ages. And crochet provides a focus for group activities, which can help facilitate therapy sessions, support groups and substance abuse meetings.
Of course, you don’t have to be ill to benefit from crochet. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to take a proactive approach by leading a well-rounded, positive, restful, creative lifestyle. Crochet offers that for many of us. You can celebrate yourself, do something you enjoy, create connections to others and rejuvenate both mind and body by taking the time out to crochet regularly. Whether you work on simple granny square projects or complex afghans using unique stitches, the benefits of the craft are the same. You probably don’t need a reason to crochet more but if you do, it’s really just what the doctor ordered!
Learn more about the book here.
Buy it online here.
Download on Kindle here.